Biblical Definitions – Church

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  1. Doctrine ArticleExpanded Internet Edition – September 27, 1998
    The Anatomy of a Church – Part 1

    by Ernest L. Martin, Ph.D., 1998

    Language is the most important tool for conveying knowledge and understanding to people. It is a marvelous invention. The written word is capable of preserving earlier teachings that provide (among other things) a basis for the retention of religious knowledge and usage that are the benchmarks for our societies in which we live and function. The Holy Scriptures are such writings. The Bible contains written words that the prophets and apostles said came from God Himself to provide all of us with answers to the fundamental questions regarding why humans are on earth, where we are destined to live in the resurrection, what we are programmed to become, etc. The Bible, however, was originally written in Hebrew (with a smattering of Aramaic) and also in Greek It is important that we have an accurate translation of the sacred texts into equivalent English meanings. Unfortunately, modern English translations are not always faithful in adhering to this essential rule for translating Hebrew and Greek words with equivalent English words. One such word in the Bible which has suffered in translation is the word that means “assembly” in the original biblical languages. In the New Testament it has most often been translated by scholars with the English word “church.” This is not proper because our word “church” has its origin outside the Holy Scriptures and it carries with it ancient pagan meanings that make the biblical texts state things that are diametrically opposite from what the prophets and apostles meant. It has false religious and political nuances associated with it that corrupts what the biblical texts are trying to convey. It is time that we understand what our word “church” signifies in its original undressed meaning and how we subtlety have brought into the biblical text the heathen significance of this foreign word that perverts the actual teachings of God. We who live at beginning of a new millennium, need to know just what is “The Anatomy of a Church.” To properly view its “Anatomy,” we must take “off the clothes” of the word “church” that it acquired over the centuries and witness it in its undressed fashion. I hope you are adults enough not to be offended by this historical survey, but I warn you before hand that I intend to be as graphic as details warrant. It’s time the modern world realizes the origins of false religious beliefs.

    The modern word “church” has several meanings in the English speaking world, but there are two primary usages with which all of us are familiar. Our intellectuals who devise the modern dictionaries state that the English word “church” derives from the Greek “kyrios” which means “Lord” and that “church” is the possessive use signifying “belonging to the Lord” or in common usage it means “Lord’s House.” In the latter derivation, they state it denotes either a building or the name of a Christian denomination. Though this is what many scholars have guessed, the usages presented above are not the actual meaning of the English word “church.” It really comes from the early English word that means “circle.” The biblical word that is translated “church” is the Greek word ekklesia (feminine gender) has nothing to do with the word “circle” that describes a shape. Ekklesia in its etymological sense means “called out ones,” but in general usage it answers to our English words “congregation,” “assembly,” or “group.” In one place in the New Testament the word ekklesia actually refers to a mob of rioters who were assembled to harm the apostle Paul (Acts 19:32). The word ekklesia in the Bible never means a building (whether for worship or secular use).

    More importantly, the word ekklesia does NOT signify “Lord’s House,” that scholars guess is the meaning of “church.” The truth is, such a phrase “Lord’s House” is prohibited in biblical parlance for any building used for Christian worship because (doctrinally speaking) only the Temple at Jerusalem or its equivalent (such as the Tabernacle) could ever be called, in a legitimate and scriptural sense, “the House of God” or the “Lord’s House.” It is a well-known fact that the naming of buildings where Christians assembled for worship as being “Lord’s Houses” did not become popular until the fourth century of our Christian era. Even then, it was wrong to do so.

    Churches Are Not “Houses of the Lord.”

    From the point of view of the Bible, it is profoundly wrong to have any “Lord’s House” (or “House of God”) other than the Temple at Jerusalem. When the phrase “House of God” is used, it means that this is the residence where God has His abode. Now, according to biblical teachings, this usage aptly applies to the Temple at Jerusalem, but the Holy Scriptures teach that there can only be one “House of God” on earth at any time. In Bible teaching, it is rebellious to God’s word to say that God dwells in any cathedral, abbey, chapel or church. This wrong practice is making many “temples” of God to be strewn over the face of the land. This is not proper in the biblical teachings. We have the scriptural lament that God sent the ancient Israelites into captivity and ruin because they constructed numerous “Lord’s Houses” (Hebrew: “Bethels”) over their lands (II Chronicles 33:1-3; Hosea 8:11). Those multiple “Bethels” (“Lord’s Houses”) scattered over the land were the very establishments that God condemned in the Scripture (Amos 3: 14,15). The word “Bethel” in Hebrew means “Lord’s House” or the “House of the Lord,” but its proper use refers only to either the Tabernacle of Moses or to the Temples that were built in Jerusalem. So, if our scholars are right in stating that the English word “church” means “Lord’s House,” then the term should not be used because it violates scriptural laws.

    Look at the matter closely. If the word “church” means “Lord’s House” (Hebrew: Bethel) as most of the modern dictionaries conjecture, then when God looks down from heaven to see his people at worship, He has to observe them meeting in unauthorized and improper buildings that were the very kind that caused Him to chastise ancient Israel for constructing. In truth, the early Israelites in their rebellion to God embraced Gentile ways and methods of worshipping God, but God specifically said not to do such things (Jeremiah 10:1-5). In spite of this, the name “Bethel” became popular among the heathen religions. Every stone pillar that indicated a sacred religious site (erected by pagan priests of the Gentiles within the early European, West Asian and North African worlds) became known as a “Bethel” (normally spelled through the Greek “Baetyl”). There were literally thousands of such “Bethels” scattered over the land. They were normally stone pillars, often shaped with phallic designs (that is, either the male or female genitalia being shown as a sign that this was the place where “life” could be engendered). See any exhaustive classical and religious encyclopaedia about ancient religious beliefs and they will adequately confirm this fact about the “Baetyls.” As a matter fact, even the “Bethel Stone” formerly underneath Queen Elizabeth’s throne in Westminster Abbey is a classical example of one of the thousands of such pagan “baetyls” (or “Bethels”) that God condemned when the Israelites (following Gentile practices) began to establish in profusion in places of worship.

    Once these facts are realized, there is actually a benefit to those who know the truth when the word church” is used to identify places of Christian worship (even though the word “church” is a wrong translation for the biblical word ekklesia). I believe God has allowed the translators of our Bibles to render the word ekklesia as “church” to give God’s people a significant clue as to what these “bethels” (or, “baetyls”) actually are in His view. Remember, it is biblically wrong to call any place of worship the Lord’s House” or “Bethel” other than the Tabernacle or the Temples at Jerusalem.

    History of the Word “Church.”

    Anyone who looks at the early usage of the word “church” (or its cognates) will realize that it does not mean “the Lord’s House.” In Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible (one volume edition), which you can find in almost any Christian bookstore today, under the article “Church,” Professor Smith states that the English word “church” actually comes from an early word meaning “circle” which is akin to the word “circus.” He stated a major study made by Professor Lipsius of Germany, the great historian and theologian during the Reformation, showing that our word “church” does indeed come from “circle.” We also find that Professor A. F. Fausett in his “Home Bible Study Dictionary” under the word “Church,” mentions favorably this same research by Lipsius. That doesn’t end the matter. Scholars who compiled the exhaustive 10 volumes of the “Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature” Under the article “Church” also subscribe to this pagan derivation of the word “Church.” It says:

    “The word Church: The origin of the word is uncertain. In the Germanic and Slavonic languages it is found as follows: Anglo-Saxon, cyrica, circ, cyric; English, church; Scottish, kirk; German, kirche; Low-German, karke; Frisan, tzierke; Danish, kyrke; Swedish, Kyrka; Bohemian, cyrkew; Polish, cerkiew; Russian, zerkow. There was probably some word which, in the language from which the Teutonic and Slavonic are descended, designated the old heathen places of religious assembly, and this word, having taken different forms in different dialects, was adopted by the Christian missionaries. It was probably connected with the Latin circus, circulus, and with the Greek kuklos. Lipsius, who was the first to reject the received tradition, was probably right in his suggestion” (Volume II, p.322).

    Yes, Professor Lipsius was right. Yet there is more. For English readers, one of the greatest historians on the origin of words was Brewer. In his “Dictionary of Phrase and Fable,” under the entry “Church” (original edition, and not the watered down modern version), Brewer states: “The etymology of this word is generally assumed to be from the Greek, kuriou oikos (house of God); but this is most improbable, as the word existed in all the Celtic dialects long before the introduction of Greek. No doubt the word means ‘a circle.’ The places of worship among the German and Celtic nations were always circular. Compare Anglo-Saxon ‘circe,’ a small church, with ‘circol,’ a circle.”

    An example of this is the circular Stonehenge in England. In fact, the Scottish “Kirk” or the German “Kirche,” are clearly from the early word “Circe” (with the letter “c” having a “k” sound in the original vocalization). All of this historical information gives us an abundance of evidence to show where the word “Church” comes from. It is derived from “Circe.” But what did the original word “Circe” actually refer to in ancient times? The word “circe” is well known by classical historians. In his classical study, “The Myth of Kirke,” Robert Brown gives extensive meanings derived from its various usages in the ancient Greek world and concludes that its simple meaning is “Circle” or “Circular” (p.22). But there is more to it than that. It was also a proper noun. It not only referred to a building or monument that was “circular,” but one of its main meanings was its reference to one of the Goddesses of the ancient world.

    Robert Brown’s book was devoted to the exploits of this early Goddess called “Kirke” or “Circe.” She was the great heathen Goddess who was the daughter of the Sun God. She was famous for taming wild animals in her circus. She also met Ulysses returning from the Trojan War and had an adulterous relationship with him that produced, as one of the children, Latinus the supposed founder of the Latin race. And how is Circe pictured in the classical accounts? She is shown holding a golden cup in her hand mixed with wine and drugs through which she controlled the kings of the world (among whom was supposed to be Ulysses). Now for a fact! This Goddess is also found in the symbolic teaching of the Bible. She is nothing less than the Great Whore who sits on many waters and seven hills who masterminds Mystery Babylon. Listen to what God says: “I will show thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication…having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication. And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH” (Revelation 17:2-5, note that the capitalization is in the original KJV).

    This is a clear biblical description of the Goddess of the classical world known as Circe (or “Church”), the great sorceress. As a matter of fact, when Circe (the original “Church”) died she was buried on one of the islands of the Pharmacusii group in the Aegean Sea in eyesight of the Isle of Patmos where the apostle John saw most of the Book of Revelation. God has allowed the name “Church” (the Great Whore) to adorn all Christian churches in existence, if the churches use the name “church” to describe themselves. But what an excellent device God and Christ are using to indicate to their people what to avoid on this earth. This is a wonderful clue to God’s people who want to live by the truth. God has given to His people this great sign of identification in these historical and biblical references.

    Even though God allows Satan to control the nations of this world that the Great Whore has caused to err with her wine mixed with drugs, God has also allowed the name of the Great Goddess and Whore (“Church”) to be placed on all the religious places of meeting where the teachings of the Great Whore are disseminated. God allows each of these buildings to be called a “church” so that God’s people will know that this is where “Circe” the Great Whore has her assistants teaching Satan’s doctrines of the Immortality of the Soul and the nonsensical Trinity doctrine. Listen, the word ekklesia in the New Testament means simply a group, assembly or congregation. It does not mean the “House of God” (or a “Bethel,” which itself is condemned by God in the Bible), nor does ekklesia mean a “Church” which name derives directly from “Circe” the Great Whore of the Book of Revelation.

    Sex and Ancient Religion

    What most church-goers fail to recognize today is the fact that almost all the ancient pagan religions had sex and sexual actions as being paramount ritualistic duties for the believers to perform. Indeed, sex and religion were two terms that were like a hand fitting into a glove – one did not exist without the other. When God told ancient Israel to refrain from practicing the rituals and principles of the Gentile religions, God was telling them to stay away from their religious duties which were more often than not based on improper sexual behavior. In order to understand this subject properly, I cannot improve on Professor Robert Briffault’s introductory words to his article titled “Sex in Religion” published in the book “Sex in Civilization” (Garden City Publishing Co.). He makes the matter clear.

    “In the tradition of modern Western civilization no two spheres stand more sharply opposed than that of religion and that of sex. The manifestations of the latter are in that tradition the type of sin, the head-fount of that evil and impurity with which the religious spirit cannot be brought into touch without defilement and dissolution. Between religion and eroticism the antithesis is scarcely less than between religion and atheism. Yet a glance at the various religions of the world, outside Christianity and one or two closely allied systems, a survey of the religious rites of lower phases of culture, shows that the antithesis does not exist. Those religions and those rites are, on the contrary, shot through and through with riotous sensuality; the manifestations of the sex instinct, instead of being accounted incompatible with the religious spirit, are associated with it in the closest manner; and religion, in those phases, is almost as much concerned with sex as with ethics or theology.

    “The religious art of New Guinea, of Polynesia, of Indonesia, of Africa, of South America is as pornographic as that of the temples of India and of Japan. In earlier phases of culture, from that of primitive hunting tribes to the great agricultural societies out of which our own civilization has sprung, almost every ritual includes licentious dances and songs, the performance, actual or symbolic, of the sexual act, and often orgies of promiscuity. Although the erotic character of religious symbolism and ritual tends in general to become restrained in the highest phases of culture, it is displayed in the fullest manner in those cultural stages that have immediately preceded them, and is conspicuous in the ancient religions of the most advanced and highly civilized peoples.

    “The elaborate mystic theology of Egypt was replete with sexual symbolism; hierodular [sacred] prostitution, ritual bestiality were among the observances of its cult. The religions of Babylonia, of Asia Minor, of the far-flung Semitic colonies, were notorious for the licentiousness of their rites: their priestesses were sacred prostitutes and prostitution was incumbent upon every woman. ‘Nearly all peoples, except the Egyptians and the Greeks,’ says Herodotus, ‘have intercourse with women in the temples.’ But the exceptions which he mentions are not borne out even by his own testimony. The religion of Greece, though obscenity and license were attenuated in its later phases, presented the same rites and the same features as those of Babylon and Syria; brothels were attached to the temples; phallic emblems, ritual obscenity, the conventionalized celebration of the sexual union remained to the last as features of its most sacred ceremonies. Even the austere and simple religion of Rome was associated in its most venerated native rites with ithyphallic images [showing the genitalia] of the gods, Fescennine [obscene] ribaldry, and symbolic coitus” (pp.31,32). This appraisal by Prof. Briffault is most accurate.

    To this common description of early religious beliefs, we have the incident of Aaron bringing out the bull for the Israelites to worship when Moses remained longer on Mount Sinai than the people thought. The people were getting edgy so Aaron made a festivity for them by fashioning the golden calf and told them to worship the calf in a sexual manner (Exodus 32:25-35). God was angry with Aaron and the people for this. But the people thought that by their sexual actions they were actually worshipping God in a proper way. Their worship was to “Baal-Peor” (Hebrew: “Lord of the Opening,” that is, “Lord of the Vagina”) (see Psalm 106:28,29 for this identification). The rebellious Israelites were making images (and setting up pillars) in honor of this pagan deity that demanded gross sexual actions as a part of the “nature rituals” by the worshippers. This was nothing strange to the Israelites because most Gentile religious activities involved a measure of sexual activity as a part of their liturgies and rituals.

    Moses Forbade the Making of Any Images that Depicted Deity

    Even in the days of Moses, God condemned the making of any images whatever of any God (even the true God) by His people. Yet we find Christian churches (and even the most prestigious of the Protestants) displaying prominently in their churches and chapels an illegal shape of a person with long hair that they will inform you to be “Jesus.” But Jesus did not have long hair when he was on earth (nor does he have long hair now). I have an abundance of biblical and historical material to prove this. Indeed, the personage they are displaying as Jesus in their churches is no more than an image of Zeus (usually in the form of the Egyptian God Sarapis). Satan has cleverly deceived people into believing that the bearded and long-haired “Jesus” we see in the churches is the Jesus of the New Testament. In no way is this true.

    Listen, if the apostles could enter Christian churches today and see the image of such a long-haired personage in the chief area for worship, they would instantly think they were in some kind of pagan temple. When told that the place was a site for Christian worship, they would no doubt ask why such an idolatrous and illegal image of Zeus was put in that place of Christian worship. The truth is, Satan has got people to believe that the grooming that denotes Zeus (the chief heathen God) is now that which identifies Jesus. But Jesus does not have long hair (I Corinthians 11:3-16). Jesus taught openly in the Temple, and no male could enter the Temple precincts with long hair, and this included even the priests (Ezekiel 44:19,20).

    This nonsense of displaying a long-haired “Jesus” that we see in our modern churches is just like placing a picture of Tiny Tim with his long hair in a photo art gallery and then placing a sign under his picture stating that he is John Wayne. This practice of showing Zeus with his long tresses as now being the Jesus of the Bible is a travesty of the truth. It is an outright lie! Such pictures are false depictions of Jesus. Indeed, even displaying a true picture of any deity is in itself blatant idolatry and is an expression of rebellion to God on the highest level according to the Bible (Exodus 20:4-6). But go into these “churches” named after the Great Whore and you see a long haired Zeus prominently displayed and falsely called “Jesus.””

    Pagan Architecture Associated With Places of Worship

    Most ordinary people who have not studied the history of architecture, may be surprised to learn that the standard of focus in offering a symmetry of design in the construction of early buildings within the classical age was the human body. This was especially the case in the construction of ancient pagan temples. Vitruvius, the great architect who lived during the period of Augustus (near the time of Jesus’ birth), wrote a book that described the principles that governed the shape and designs of temples. Notice what he said: ”

    “Symmetry also is the appropriate harmony arising out of the details of the work itself; the correspondence of each given detail among the separate details to the form of the design as a whole. [And what was the design they were trying to duplicate in sacred buildings? Going on…] As in the human body, from cubit, foot, palm, inch and other small parts [of the human body] comes the symmetric quality of eurhythmy [harmony of design based on parts of the human body]; so is it in the completed building” (Book, sect.4).

    Continuing with Vitruvius:

    “The planning of temples depends upon symmetry: and the method of this architects must diligently apprehend. It arises from proportion [of the human body]. Proportion consists in taking a fixed module, in each case, both for the parts of a building and for the whole, by which the method of symmetry is put into practice. For without symmetry and proportion no temple can have a regular plan; that is, it must have an exact proportion worked out after the fashion of the members of a finely-shaped human body, for Nature has so planned the human body” (Book,sect.l, italics mine).

    Every part of ancient pagan temples within the classical age was a reflection of some part of the human body. The parts of the buildings may have appeared as a human counterpart or the shape may have been exaggerated or even altered in shape if the display was too blatant (but the initiated would always know what was meant even if the original form was embellished and varnished with an ambiguity). This fact so well known that it hardly needs proving, but because we of modern times are not used to the esoteric nuances of the early architects and artists, we have to be reminded (very decidedly) about this principle of symbolic teaching. In order to bring this point home to a proper intellectual awareness, I will quote Frontisi-Ducroux and Lissarrague (two French authorities on ancient Mythology and Iconography) who wrote an article titled “From Ambiguity to Ambivalence,” in the book “Before Sexuality” (Princeton University Press, 1990).

    “Images are very much at home with ambiguity. They sometimes depend on it for the core of the fascination they exercise over the viewer. The painter may consciously organize his work around a network of snares and puzzles that posterity tirelessly attempts to decipher, or the unconscious element inherent in all creativity may invest the image with multiple and varied meanings, independent of its creator. It is important to distinguish both of these two sorts of ambiguity, which are alike intrinsic to the thoroughly polysemous [having many meanings] nature of the pictorial image, from a third sort, which is more artificial and is added after the fact. This last ambiguity arises in the spectator as a result of a lack of competence to read the image, a lack stemming from ignorance or imperfect knowledge of the code that is the common property of the artist and his audience” (page 211).

    The above is a proper evaluation of either the artist or the architect (modern or ancient). What we need to do is to pay close attention to such ancient architects as Vitruvius who will tell his readers in plain language what may well become ambiguous to the uninitiated, especially in regard to the design of ancient temples. Most people today (even professional theologians and preachers and the ordinary laity) are saddled with (as mentioned above) “a lack of competence to read the image, a lack stemming from ignorance or imperfect knowledge of the code that is the common property of the artist [or ancient architect] and his audience.” What I want to do is to educate my readers concerning these matters of church architecture which I have realized and have analyzed for over forty years of professional life.

    The truth is, pagan temples were constructed to resemble the human body (or the body of a God or Goddess that also had anthropomorphic features like we humans). Many of the designs were plain and simple to interpret (by being blatantly obvious) while many others required a “knowledge of the code” that will reveal to the initiated what the various designs and forms actually signify.

    Now, when you or I look at pictures of ancient pagan temples of Greece and Rome (or visit the sites ourselves and examine the ruins), we may find it difficult to see resemblance in the parts of buildings to human body parts, but this is simply because we have not been educated into what some of the esoteric sections of the temples were designed to symbolize. The early architects arranged their buildings with walls, columns, windows, etc. that may not have symbolized anything unusual to the uninitiated, but like artists today who often take liberties in exaggerating or even altering the shapes of the subjects they are painting, it was expected that the initiated would realize the subtleties of the architect’s (or artist’s) imagination. This symbolic strategy was used to spiritually enlighten the worshippers by the various coded designs of the sections that made up the temples. A pagan temple was like a human body with all its parts portrayed often in form that were ambiguous to the uninitiated.

    For an example, Vitruvius said: “the Doric column began to furnish the proportion of a man’s body, its strength and grace” (Book 1 ,sect.6). Further: “Seeking to plan a temple of Diana in a new kind of style, they changed it [the Doric column] to a feminine slenderness with the same measurement by feet… at the capital they put volutes, like graceful curling hair hanging over the right and left [with fluting] like the folds of matronly robes” (ibid. sect.7). Vitruvius went on to say that all columns had either male or feminine characteristics. The Corinthian column imitated “the slight figure of a maiden” and the capital was designed with curls within her hair (ibid. sects.8,9).

    The ancients began to make pagan temples that illustrated certain parts of the human body that they often wanted to emphasize for religious reasons. In some cases they were gross and blatant. In others they were esoteric and ambiguous. This especially applied to the genitalia of male and female bodies. These organs are normally not viewed in a public way but they are still vital parts of the body, especially for reproduction (for providing the engendering of life) and for the continuance of the human race. When the apostle Paul compared members of the ekklesia to a human body, he said that God had made both “comely” and “uncomely” parts in the body. Paul said that the parts “we think to be less honorable, upon these we bestow more abundant honor, and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness” (I Corinthians 12:23,24). Paul is here speaking about the male and female genitalia. What is astonishing to some people (especially the extremely prudish) is Paul’s evaluation [and he is speaking under the inspiration of the Spirit of God — that is, Paul is expressing God’s opinion on the matter] that the male and female genitalia “have more abundant comeliness” (or, as Paul states, in comparing all parts of the human body, the genitalia are the most attractive). There is really nothing dishonorable about the genitalia to God as long as they are used in a proper and legal manner.

    It is astonishing to some Christians that Paul says that even God Himself “hath tempered [arranged] the body together, having given more abundant honor” to the genitalia than to other parts of the human body. Paul does not explain why God gives “more abundant honor” to those parts of the human body. Perhaps it is because “those parts” are the organs that give “life” and perpetuate the human race, just like God is the Creator and gives “life” to us at the first. This New Testament teaching is most important because it demonstrates that God holds the genitalia in great honor [“more abundant honor”], and this surely shows that we humans should not disparage (or hold in inordinate shame) the human genitalia.

    As far as the ancients were concerned, the genitalia were held in esteem in many forms of worship. Often these rituals were pornographic and this, of course, was wrong and always to be avoided. But even the New Testament does not mention human genitalia with prudish terms nor with esoteric meanings. And remember, in building ancient temples which resembled the parts of the human body, Vitruvius used some of the same type of language as did Paul in matters dealing with the human anatomy (though Vitruvius wrote in Latin rather than Greek). Notice what he says about a hundred years before Paul made his comparison of parts of the human body with the ekklesia.

    “Therefore if Nature has planned the human body so that the members correspond in their parts to its complete configuration, the ancients seem to have had reason in determining that in the execution of their works they should observe an exact adjustment of the several members [parts of the human body) to the general pattern of the plan. Therefore, since in all their works they handed down orders [orderly designs in displaying parts of the human body], they did so especially in building temples, the honorable and the dishonorable [Latin: et laudes et culpae] of which usually endure [in stone] for ages” (Book 1 ,sect.4, boldness of phrases is my emphasis).

    What the ancient pagans did was to build their temples to the heathen gods and goddesses by showing in artistic form the parts of the human body (that is, by making such depictions in stone and in wood and metals). In reality, they created all types of temples (with different shapes and forms), but they held to a universally accepted norm to design all such temples in relationship to parts of the human body (both the honorable [Latin: the laudes] and the dishonorable [Latin: the culpae] parts). Indeed, there are many building terms that have come down to us today from ancient times that use human body parts as architectural devices. Some of these ordinary terms use the genitalia as their reference.

    For example, openings into buildings such as doors or windows were referred to in female terms because the temple was entered by those means just as a woman is designed to be entered in coitus. Contrary to this, obelisks, spires and steeples (or any type of pinnacle or artifact shaped in such a manner) were called by male terms because of their appearance as a man in the act of coitus. The use of bolts, nuts and screws in building were also known for their sexual innuendoes and they are still used today. Most of us are familiar with male and female plugs associated with electrical outlets (some plugs penetrate and others are penetrated). The word “penetrate” (note the pen as a part of the word, and this syllable often refers to the male member). It is associated with the Latin Penetralia that Brewer defines as: ‘The private rooms of a house; the secrets of a family. That part of a Roman temple into which the priest alone had access; here were the sacred images, here the responses of the oracles were made, and here the sacred mysteries were performed” (Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, original ed., p.958).

    Male Genitalia Used in Church Architecture

    There are other signs that identify “churches” today. For almost a millennium many church buildings have had a steeple or spire placed on top of their buildings of worship. In Europe near the start of the Crusades, the people learned to make such spires and put them on their places of worship to mimic the minarets of the Muslims from which the Musseins (the men in the tower) would call the faithful of Islamto prayer. However, not preferring the human voice to call the faithful as in Islam, the Europeans put bells (that is, Baals) in their newly created spires and called them “belltowers.” And why did they come to a point on top? This was to indicate that this was a tower that had the appearance of reaching up to heaven. Such a pointed shape at the top gave the illusion of a tower vanishing into the heavens. It was to give the impression to the people that this is the place that reaches up to heaven and that the people themselves can attain heaven by coming into the place of the tower.

    In the Bible, however, the first time people on the earth wanted to make such a tower that looked like it reached to heaven, God got angry with them. He came down and confused their language and sent people into all areas of the world for their rebellion to Him in raising up such a tower (Genesis 11:1 – 9). But about a thousand years ago, forgetting all about the warnings in Genesis of God’s condemnation, Christians began to raise up such towers all over the Christian world. Christianity actually learned this practice of raising towers over their churches from the Muslims who then represented the apex of a modern and sophisticated society.

    In the Muslim world at the time it was fashionable to erect such towers with each Mosque and the Christians in Europe wanted to be modern like the advanced Arab society. They began to do the same thing as the Muslims, although Christians usually put their towers on top of their churches or cathedrals. And where did the Muslims get the practice? It is known that most Muslim architecture was copied from the Great Mosque of Damascus which can be proved once to have been a Roman temple to the pagan gods. And remember, though the Muslims themselves preached the shunning of making idols or pictures of God, Mohammed still could not shake the Arab tribes (especially the Koreish who controlled Mecca) from worshipping toward the black meteorite stone called the Ka’aba which had been an idolatrous idol of the Arab folk for centuries. Unable to shake them from worshipping that stone or praying toward it, Mohammed came up with an ingenious idea. Because he fell out of sympathy with the Jews and to win over the Koreish tribe, Mohammed ordered all Muslims to quit praying toward Jerusalem and to bow down and pray toward that idol five times a day as a cardinal teaching of their faith.

    And now, Satan laughs at the Muslims (who think they are against idolatry) by cleverly having them pray five times daily to that ancient idol of the early Arabs. All Muslims are in utter idolatry and they show it five times a day. Muslims mean well but they are uneducated and ignorant in this matter as are Christians in their profane practices involving idolatry today. This shows that Satan is very sly in getting people to think that their righteousness and their religious ways are right, when they are as wrong as they can be. Yes, even the Muslims are greatly deceived, and this even applies to their adoption of the towers near their mosques.

    But where did the Muslims get their basic design for their mosques and minarets (towers)? As mentioned before, it was basically from the great Roman (pagan) temple at Damascus. But why should anyone want to raise up towers in the first place in association with places of religious worship which the Christians finally adopted from Muslim example? The use of towers stemmed from the practice in early Egypt of erecting obelisks as sacred shrines or monuments near or at their places of worship. But why have such towers with various shapes (but almost all of them displayed as long, erect and normally with a type of point or pyramid on top like our steeples and spires)?

    Classical history is clear on this matter. When the Egyptian God Osiris was killed and dismembered (with his body parts scattered around the country), the Goddess Isis (his sister and wife) sent her messengers to gather the body parts together for a proper burial of Osiris. They were successful in discovering all the parts of the body except the penis. They looked all over for it, but it was never found. So what did Isis do? She erected various kinds of obelisks always erect and upright in a type of penis-form to remind the people to look for Osiris’ lost penis. To not let them forget it, she erected numerous obelisks penis-like monuments) at the main places of Egyptian worship (Diodorus Siculus, Book I, Chap. Two). As a matter of fact, the Egyptians gave the practice to the Greeks and then it came to the Romans.

    The Romans even transported to Rome some of these Egyptian obelisks for their own worship purposes, and one of them is now in the center of Vatican City prominently erected there as pretty as you please. Following the example of the Egyptian Goddess Isis, the practice of raising up obelisks in the form of spires and towers continued throughout the pagan world with various types being used and often their designs were subtlety changed to hide the meaning of what the obelisk actually was. As a matter of fact, would you not think that a steeple with its spire looks more like a large upright writing instrument that we call a pencil (with a sharp point at the top) than an obvious erect male penis? Yes, most people would think so. But I ask you to go to any good size dictionary and look up the word “pencil” (you know what I mean, that pencil we all use to write letters). Get ready for a shock if you have not looked up the origin of this word because the word “pencil” means “a small penis”! Most of you probably never knew what you were actually holding in your hand when you wrote your last letter to Aunt Mable.

    And the word “pinnacle”? It doesn’t come from the word “wing,” though it did become associated with a “feather” because feathers provided “pens” (that is, a type of “pencil”) for people to write with. The word “pinnacle” has a similar origin. Pinnacles are simply another indication of upright penises. And, believe it or not, if you look up the early use of the word “prick” in the exhaustive Oxford Dictionary, you will find that five hundred years ago people customarily referred to pinnacles as pricks even in a normal non-gutter type of language. That Dictionary showed one translation of even the New Testament that Satan took Christ to the “prick of the Temple” in order to throw him down (see the article “Prick,” vol.VII,p. 1345, col.A).

    By the way, there were no standing towers or spires in the Temple at Jerusalem. And since it was quite common a few centuries ago to refer to the steeples and spires on churches and cathedrals as “pricks,” I frankly think they ought to be called by this name today. At least people would then begin to understand what these steeples represent. As a matter of fact, with some of the eastern European churches, the architects got more bold. They left the top of the steeple looking globular, which is even more penis-like in shape than the pointed pencil-like spire of our western churches and cathedrals. Interestingly, even the biblical story of the cock crowing when Peter denied Christ was told through designs in church architecture. There was often a rooster (a cock) positioned on top of a prick (a steeple) which was called a “peter” (another vulgar reference to the male penis). And, as the Merriam-Webster Dictionary states, the word “cock” meant either “the penis, usually considered vulgar” or in some regions it takes on a female significance and means “the pundenda, usually considered vulgar.” So, the “cock” on the top of a steeple (which was considered a “peter”) both had sexual nuances associated in their common or vulgar meanings. This example is a biblical story being used with sexual overtones in such religious themes.

    These historical facts allow you to understand how Satan the Devil uses his subtle ways to deceive the world. He laughs at God every day a church is erected with an erect penis on the top to identify it. God calls such a sign the symbol of the Great Whore named “Circe” from whence we get our word “Church.” Why, we see such signs adorning so many churches in our western lands that if a small church is raised up somewhere, one of the first things the Board of Deacons will do is to buy an obelisk sign to place on the church roof. Why do they want such a sign to be there? It doesn’t keep off the rain. There is no practical purpose for a steeple to be on the roof of a church where God’s people meet. The only reason for a steeple (spire) is to identify the building as a “church.” God, however, identifies it with something else. He sees it as the original penis-sign erected by the Goddess Isis as a place of worship for the pagans who were to look for the lost penis of the Egyptian God Osiris. And our intellectuals know this to be the case. Now some may say that such signs today have lost all their original meaning and no one any more thinks of a steeple or spire as an erect penis. That’s true, and that is how Satan deceives “the many” of which Christ spoke, and why God calls our religious system “Mystery [Secret] Babylon.”

    People today are so ignorant and uneducated that they do not know that their erection of a steeple and spire over a church is their erection of the Isis penis-sign. But, do not churches do a lot of good for society and should we not be too hard on them for their ignorance of the origin of their signs? Indeed, I wholeheartedly agree that much good is done by churches today, but Satan the Devil also practices “good” a full 99% of the time for the benefit of his societies. It is his mixing in 1% of his religious strychnine that poisons the whole thing. This is the problem. But let us forget for a moment how we humans reckon these symbolic matters. We should ask: “How does God view these historical facts?”

    While Christians today show an indifference to these corruptions, God the Father and Christ Jesus are not ignorant of the meaning of these penis-signs and other such abominations in our churches. They are well aware of what these profligate signs mean, and Satan laughs at so-called righteous Christians over their stupidity in erecting such penis-signs over their churches. But really, should God and Christ be subjected to view such pagan idolatry when they look down from heaven on the worship services of their people? Why should they have to view these heathen corruptions adorning our Christian church buildings? It is outrageous that when God and Christ want to observe their people assembling for worship, they find them each Sunday or Sabbath under the upright penis (or penises) that Satan had them erect over their churches. And Christians today show not the slightest shame in their actions.

    This indicates just how deceived Christians have become. This corruption, however, not only involves God and Christ looking at these obscene signs from the ancient world, what about all of us who know these historical and biblical truths? Why, every time my wife goes to buy groceries, she passes three churches which have those erect penises identifying them. Believe me, she knows what they signify. The least the ministers of those churches could do is to put some kind of covering over their penis-signs to hide them from the sight of my wife and the general public. Should our wives and children be subjected to such indecency? In truth, the intellectuals know what “steeples” signify.

    As an example of this, Newsweek magazine for December 13, 1993 had an article (with a photograph) of the citizens of Paris, France placing a gigantic condom over the obelisk from Egypt located in the Place de la Concorde (which is like the obelisk in Vatican City) to commemorate the promotion of World AIDS Day and to remind homosexuals to use safe sex between themselves. The intellectuals in France are well aware of what that obelisk sign from Egypt means. It is time that the Christian ministers and priests be honest enough with the general public to put the same kind of sheath over the penis-signs on the top of their churches. At least, all people would then know what those steeples represent. Really though, can you see why God calls our religious societies today “Mystery, Babylon the Great”? He calls them “Mystery” (or “Secret”) because people today are so ignorant and uninformed that Satan has got even the most religious Christians thinking that all these disgusting and obscene signs on the tops of their churches and the equally offensive signs within them are actually holy, righteous and proper. The saddest fact of all is that Christian authorities today express complete apathy and indifference toward such pagan signs adorning their places of worship. They couldn’t care less.

    Church Architecture Follows the Pagan Designs

    Remember that in the Holy Scriptures the word which denotes the Body of Christ is ekklesia. It never refers to a building of any kind. However, when permanent buildings for worship began to be constructed in the time of Constantine (when the Roman Empire ostensibly became Christian oriented by the conversion of Constantine to Christ), we first meet with the term “the Lord’s House” being referred to a building. This means that the buildings themselves were then beginning to be called “Bethels” (if one used the Hebrew term to describe them). As I have stated, however, the Scriptures will allow only the Tabernacle or the Temples in Jerusalem to be honored with such a title. The first church buildings were basilica in form (usually rectangular in shape, much like a Roman public building). But soon, the pagan architectural designs began to creep in. The capitol or dome-style section was often attached. This represented the “capital” [‘1ead] of which the human “head” was a type. Other features began to enter into the architecture as time went on. And just before and during the Crusades (which began in the year A.D. 1099), we find that western Europe commencing to encounter eastern types of architectural buildings either in Byzantine or Muslim styles. Much of this type of structure they were unused to, but it was attractive to the people of western Europe. This period also produced a renewed interest in the architecture and its principles that were dominant in the classical world. Vitruvius was again consulted and heeded. This is when Gothic architecture was devised. It was a combination of a rich native art that the Celts, Anglo-Saxons, Germans, etc. utilized with a touch of classical and Muslim themes that were common around the period of the Crusades and slightly before.

    The arrival of Gothic architecture is an interesting period to study because much of our present church architecture traces back to the designs developed within the Gothic periods. It is important to realize that the word “Gothic” does not refer to the Germanic type of people who were in Europe from the fourth and fifth centuries onward. No, because it had no racial meaning. It was actually a contemporary disparaging term that was analogous to “barbaric.” Sophisticated people in southern Europe (Italy in particular) who saw the first designs of the “Gothic” in church architecture were outraged by its grossness as they saw it. They did not appreciate the innovations that appeared to them grotesque and gauche. But those who designed the Gothic type of architecture thought it to be an astonishing accomplishment. They were advocating the principles of Vitruvius (along with an amalgamation of the apostle Paul’s teaching that the ekklesia was like a body – a human body). These builders began to construct abbeys, cathedrals, etc. in stone, wood and metals that depicted the “Church” with human body parts emphasized. The organs of reproduction (which gave “life”) were symbolically equated with spiritual” themes (which also gave “life,” that is, “eternal life” within the presence of God and Christ).

    Since Paul always rendered the “Church” as being feminine, they began to build places of worship (in Gothic style) which illustrated the basic feminine nature of the “Church.” Of course, Christ himself was masculine, so they also adopted masculine features to be associated with the feminine “Church.” Let us see some of the ingenious designs they developed in order to show the people at the time the “Church depicted in stone” as they conceived it. They followed the principles of Vitruvius who said that sacred places should resemble the parts of a human body (both male and female). Let us look first at Celtic (mainly, Irish) church architecture. We have a number of remains of early churches in Ireland that shows clear forms of human anatomy (some of it blatant and non-esoteric) so that the Christians at the time would understand clearly what was meant in the architectural designs.

    Read the rest of this story…

    Ernest L. Martin

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  2. Doctrine ArticleExpanded Internet Edition – September 27, 1998
    The Anatomy of a Church – Part 2

    by Ernest L. Martin, Ph.D., 1998

    Let us now concentrate on the female symbolism that we find in church architecture. Much of our themes which we presently use to design sacred edifices are based on what we have learned from our “Gothic” progenitors. Though there have been various phases in history when certain styles of architecture have prevailed, but in most of them there have been some standard themes that have been used which have been perpetuated from time immemorial. Without doubt, some of our ecclesiastical designs in our buildings have motifs that reach back to the early classical periods. And recall what Vitruvius said (who lived at the time of Augustus, near the period of Jesus’ birth). He made it clear that architects in the classical periods used human body parts as their principal standards and benchmarks as designs with which they constructed their sacred buildings, especially temples and shrines. The “Gothic” is a prime example of this. Vitruvius gives a further account to show the relationship.

    “In like fashion, the parts of temples ought to have dimensions of their several parts answering suitably to the general sum of their whole magnitude. Now the navel [Latin: umbilicus] is naturally in the exact center of the body. For if a man lies on his back with hands and feet outspread, and the center of a circle is place on his navel, his figure and toes will be touched by the circumference. Also a square will be found described within a figure, in the same way as a round figure is produced. For if we measure from the sole of the foot to the top of the head, and apply the measure to the outstretched hands, the breadth will be found equal to the height, just like sites [of temples] which are squared by rule” (ibid., Book 1 ,sect.3).

    Look carefully at this architectural illustration of Vitruvius. He was giving a principle of constructing temples that showed the navel of a human body representing the center part of a temple. Vitruvius said: “Now the navel is naturally the exact center of the body. For if a man lies on his back with his hands and feet outspread, and the center of a circle is placed on his navel, his figure and toes will be touched by the circumference.” This, of course, is true. Now let us use this object lesson of Vitruvius and apply it to the human female. If a woman lies on her back in such a posture as Vitruvius mentioned, and then lifts her knees to be perpendicular to her body, her legs will obviously be elevated above her body as two projections. Such a position, I am told, is the common one that women assume when they are given a pelvic exam by a medical doctor. The genitalia will be given full view. Transferring this posture to an architectural application in regard to building a sacred temple, as Vitruvius would use it, the temple of the illustration would reveal two elevated towers with an entrance to a temple between the towers at their base. Imagine such a building for a moment. Such a scene is not unlike prime Gothic cathedrals having two spires on each side of an entrance leading into the sacred precincts. Note examples below

    With such an architectural posture in mind, we are now ready to carry the symbolism of the human body (in this case, the female body) into the heart of Christian architectural themes that were used near the period of the Crusades when Gothic [barbaric] designs were becoming popular.

    Early Irish Churches Blatantly Show Female Genitalia

    The Christian men in Ireland who were in authority over their flocks had churches built in order to perform the liturgies and rituals associated with their sacred duties. And what did the church authorities place at the entrances to many of their churches just before and after the time of the Crusades? In full view of the congregations that attended the various Catholic Churches then in Ireland, the priests and monks placed a statue carved out of stone (usually) showing a squatting woman with her legs apart and the genitalia of the woman held open with her hands. Such images were widespread in Ireland and each one was known as a Shiela-Na-Gig (probably meaning, the “Woman of the Vulva”). This naked woman was prominently displayed for all the churchgoers at the keystone spot of an arched doorway leading into the church (or sometimes over a pointed arch of a window that was also apart of the church).

    It may be difficult for us of modern times to believe that such things happened in a Catholic Christian environment, but the fact is, they did indeed take place. In the prestigious “Encyclopedia of Religion,” edited by Mercia Eliade and published by Macmillian Publishing Company for the University of Chicago, there are references to these Sheila-Na-Gigs (sometimes spelled Sheelagh-na-gig). Notice what the encyclopedia tells us about them.

    “Aside from the transformative religious mysteries of sacrifice and initiation, the obvious life-giving and growth-promoting powers of the vulva and its secretions have given rise to a widespread use of representations of the female genitalia as apotropaic devices. The custom of plowing a furrow for magical protection around a town was practiced all over Europe by peasants. It was still observed in the twentieth century in Russia, where villages were thus annually ‘purified.’ The practice was exclusively carried out by women, who, while plowing, called on the moon goddess. A similar apotropaic function seems to have prompted the placing of squatting female figures prominently exposing their open vulvas on the key of arches at church entrances in Ireland, Great Britain, and German Switzerland. In Ireland these figures are called Sheelagh-na-gigs. Some of these figures represent emaciated old women. These images are illustrations of myths concerning the territorial Celtic goddess who was the granter of royalty. When the goddess wished to test the king-elect, she came to him in the form of an old hag, soliciting sexual intercourse. If the king-elect accepted, she transformed herself into a radiantly beautiful young woman and conferred on him royalty and blessed his reign. Most such figures were removed from churches in the nineteenth century.

    And a little farther down in the same article:

    “A remarkable parallel to the Celtic Sheelagh-na-gig is found in the Palauan archipelago. The wooden figure of a nude woman, prominently exposing her vulva by sitting with legs wide apart and extended to either side of the body, is placed on the eastern gable of each village’s chiefly meeting house. Such figures are called dilugai. Interestingly, the yoni [the female genitalia] is in the shape of a cleft downward-pointing triangle. These female figures protect the villagers’ health and ward off all evil spirits as well. They are constructed by ritual specialists according to strict rules, which if broken would result in the specialist’s as well as the chiefs death. It is not coincidental that each example of signs representing the female genitalia used as apotropaic devices are found on gates. The vulva is the primordial gate, the mysterious divide between nonlife and life” (Encyclopedia of Religion, article YONI, Vol.15, p.534).

    There is a great deal of information about these Sheila-Na-Gigs that were found in many places in Ireland (until the Protestant Reformation when many of them were destroyed by the reformers) and in various places of Northern Europe within Christian times (indeed, these images were found in the most prominent places carved on Catholic Christian churches). They were even found on Cathedrals (the seat of a bishopric). The highest authorities in the Christian Church allowed them to exist at the time.

    In the famous “Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics,” edited by James Hastings, we read the following.

    “Nor are such female effigies confined to the pagan natives of tropical wilds. They were frequently carved on churches in the Middle Ages. Many have been preserved until recently in Ireland, as, e.g. on a doorway of Cloyne Cathedral, Co. Cork. The Royal Irish Academy in Dublin possesses a very good specimen removed from a church. They are known to Irish antiquaries by the name Sheila-Na-Gig. Most of them, however, have now been destroyed” (vol. IX, p.8~7).

    Barbara Walker in her book “The Woman’s Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects,” states under the subject Sheila-Na-Gig:

    “Female figures prominently displaying the yoni [female genitalia] as a vesica piscus [Mandorla] were once common ornaments of Irish churches built before the sixteenth century. As a rule the sheila-na-gig was carved into the keystone of a window or doorway arch. Undoubtedly it was a protective sign left over from pre-Christian Goddess worship. Figures of the same type were found throughout Europe as cathedral decorations, on the capitals of columns, at the ends of ceiling beams, and so forth. Squatting Goddess figures almost identical to the Sheila-Na-Gig guarded the doors of temples in India” (p.104).

    It should be recalled that the depiction of these women blatantly showing their genitalia in the most prominent places of a Cathedral or church were sanctioned and ordained by the Christian ecclesiastical authorities with the approval and approbation of the papacy in Rome (after all, some of them were found on churches as late as the nineteenth century). A few of these images approved by the priests and monks are shown below. These few represent the hundreds that must have existed on other churches.

    PLATE VI (Shelah-Na-Gig Monuments)

    Many symbols and signs on churches and cathedrals in Europe were not as blatant as the Sheila-Na-Gigs, but the so-called benign symbols that the female and male genitalia represented only the initiated into the “church mysteries” would know what they meant. Many windows were given various designs that to the uninitiated looked like pretty decorations to make the church appear attractive to the eye. Yes, it did that, but the architects ofTen had much more in mind when they painted (or constructed) their rose windows or carvings in walls, on columns, at the top of columns, or at the end of beams. As a point in fact, at the Church of San Fedele in France there were discovered some medals dating from the fourteenth to the sixteenth centuries that had on one side the “benign” symbol in the form of a cross with other decorations with what the symbol actually entailed on the reverse side (which was a phallic symbol). Some signs were “male” and others were “female” and were identified by the respective genitalia found on the reverse side. The Plate IX below was taken from the book “A History of Phallic Worship,” by Thomas Wright and published as a reprint by Dorset Press, 1992.


    So, the next time you want to admire the decorations that are found in many of our modern churches (who often copied from early Gothic progenitors), look closely at the various designs of the crosses in the quatrefoils in the tracery windows. You will see that some of them are very similar in design (if not identical) with the medals from the Church of San Fedele shown above. And too, many churches today have lancet shaped windows (with their pointed arches) as their basic window designs. When you know what they actually mean to the initiated (without the outward ambiguity), you may be shocked at what you find displayed within those “beautiful ornaments of sacred art, that adorn even the quaint little “churches in the vale.” Notice the medals shown above that depict on the obverse the female genitalia. The artists idealize the shape of the external genitalia by making what is called an “almond shaped” design that is called in symbolic language a Mandorla (which means “like an almond”). The same shape of genitalia (the Mandorla) was found in the majority of the Sheila-Na-Gigs that were carved on the top of doorways (usually at the pinnacle of a pointed or lancet arch) in the early churches and on some Cathedrals. This symbol of the Mandorla is a very much used in Christian art. Most of us have seen it at one time or another, but most people have not the slightest idea what it signifies. It is a woman’s vulva. The illustration below shows how Barbara G. Walker in her excellent book “The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets” describes this well known symbol called the Mandorla.

    Vesica piscis
    Mandorla “Almond,” the pointed-oval sign of the yoni, used in Oriental art to signify the divine female genital; also called vesic~ piscis, the Vessel of the Fish. Almonds were holy symbols because of their female, yonic connotations. Almonds had the power of virgin motherhood, as shown by the myth of Nana, who conceived the god Attis with her own almond.’ The candlestick of the Jews’ tabernacle of the Ark was decorated with almonds for their fertility magic (Exodus 25:33-34). Christian art similarly used the mandorla as a flame for figures of God, Jesus, and saints, because the artists forgot what it formerly meant. I. Frazer, G.B., 403,

    You will often see Mary and/or the supposed “Jesus” within a glorified Mandorla symbol. Note the following examples

    Now note this. If you will cut the Mandorla in half; you will see that the two sections (if turned upward) resemble the famous pointed arch that we see in profusion in all of Gothic architecture. It is also the most used form for windows (such as lancet windows) that we see in churches today. In fact, it is common for us, when we see windows or doorways that have the pointed arch (which is the top part of the Mandorla sign) to say that is ecclesiastical or church-type of architecture. Even the little “church in the dale” is most often shown with doorways and windows with the pointed type of arch. As said before, this is simply a modified Mandorla symbol and it represents the external female genitalia.

    This fact can be shown in a most remarkable way once we understand the medieval attitude toward rendering the Christian Church into the shape of a stone, wooden and metal building. This especially applies to that architectural frame of mind which used Gothic motifs to enshroud the clear meanings of their parts of a church with symbolic teachings that only the initiated would understand. We can see how the female genitalia (as well as the male) were used extensively in various ways to show that the “Church” was indeed a reckoned as a woman that would bear children for God and Christ who were in heaven. And though in some areas (and even on some Cathedrals) the Sheila-Na-Gigs were placed in full and blatant display of the female genitalia (to remind people they were going “inside” the Woman, the Church, in order to find “life” and regeneration), in most cases the architects used the esoteric motifs with ambiguous themes or displays that the uninitiated would not understand.

    The Three Divisions of the Medieval Christian Church

    In the Middle Ages it was common to say that there were three divisions to the Christian Church. There was the “Church Triumphant” (those saints and holy people who are already in heaven because of their righteous lives), the “Church Militant” (those saints who were then living on earth and had not yet attained fill glory), and the “Church Suffering” (those saints who were not righteous enough to go to heaven at death but were still suffering in Purgatory until they could be cleansed of their sins and then they could enter the heavenly realm). Each Gothic Church showed these three divisions. The steeples (spires) that reached toward heaven designated the “Church Triumphant. The ground level of the Church showed the present “Church Militant” (representing members who are now in the flesh and warring against sin). Also, ideally under every Gothic Church (and occupying the same dimensions of the ground level Church) was a lower section known as the Crypt where the dead of the parish (or famous people) were buried. This lower section was tantamount to the “Church Suffering” (or, the area of Purgatory). The dead who were in Purgatory were still reckoned as living “members” though they were being cleansed in Purgatory. This nether world section was viewed as being like a mirage or ghost-like.

    Even our word “Crypt” (which identifies the area) gives a negative or illusionary aspect. The area was thought to be an ethereal region viewed as a mirror-like reflection of the upper level for the “Church Militant.” But things in the underworld were “turned upside down” (or were negative) to what we experience in our normal human lives in the flesh. This mirror-like aspect of representing the Crypt was like looking in a mirror and seeing an image, but the image could not be touched because the glass of the mirror came in the way. This mirror effect helped to explain the Church’s doctrinal teaching of Purgatory. The Church inherited this erroneous belief in Purgatory from pagan teachings of the past.

    “The Greek settlers in southern Italy considered some wild and eerie regions as parts of the underworld existing on the surface of the earth… The hereafter [after one dies] is conceived as a mirror image of the world of the living, the difference is not as great as it may seem. Things may be reversed, left and right, up and down, the cycle of the seasons may have changed places, but the general principles remain the same” (The Encyclopedia of Religion, vol.1, p.118, boldness is my emphasis).

    Now, if there was a standing pool of water surrounding a church where the mirror-image of the church could be seen (or imagined), the church in the lower image would be upside down and fit into the realm of being illusionary or ghost-like. This is how Purgatory was conceived. The Crypt represented the underworld or the “Church Suffering.” Notice how this would appear as a mirror reflection. Look at the example of Notre Dame on the Seine River in Paris.

    When you witness the whole Church (including the mirror image of Purgatory, that is, the “Church suffering”), we see three Mandorla shaped entrances to the Church (in this case, Notre Dame). The middle entrance is symbolically the one to the “Church Militant,” the right is into the “Church Triumphant,” and the left is into the “Church Suffering.” The central entrance was the most for those then living on earth. It was the main entrance with a Mandorla shape (when the mirror image representing Purgatory or the Crypt was being imagined) and at the top of the pointed arch (representing the place of the clitoris) is where the Sheila-Na-Gigs were placed in the blatant rendition of what the symbol was teaching. Most ecclesiastical leaders, as time went on, took down the obvious Sheila-Na-Gigs, but they left all the other signs of the male and female genitalia still in place for all the initiated to remember. And when we today see the “little church in the dale,” we observe the early sexual themes of the ancient pagans brazenly displayed (though in symbol form) for all to witness. God and Christ have to look down to see Christians today worshipping in modem churches (Circes). They observe Christians worshipping God after entering the symbolic vulvas of their churches.

    In closing, let me give you a present day scenario by using an example of an event of the past mentioned in the Old Testament. When God today calls a council in heaven of His Sons with all the angels and including Satan the Devil, they all have a dialogue with one another. This is just like when Satan came to God’s heavenly council in the time of Job (like in Job 1:6-12 and 2:1-6). God no doubt still asks Satan where has he been. Satan would tell God he had been going throughout the earth. God would then ask Satan if he noticed the humans on earth who were His sons and daughters? Satan would then answer God.

    “Yes, I have been witnessing the people you call your so-called sons and daughters and they are so ignorant and stupid that I have got them into worshipping you in the most disgusting ways imaginable. I have them all meeting in “churches” which are named after the Great Whore of Revelation. I have them assembling where they can find upright and erect penises over their churches. And when they go into their churches through the female vulva of their churches and sit in pews, I have them placing Zeus with his long-hair in a prominent position and I get them to call this image of Zeus by the name of “Jesus”.

    Satan continues:

    “I also have your Christian folk teaching the doctrine of the Immortality of the Soul which you have stated in the Bible is wrong. I also have them worshipping you with the false doctrine of the Trinity. I have them congregating on the pagan days of the ancient world which they now call Easter and Christmas (with other heathen days and customs they now call “Christian festivals”) when you have said not to learn the way of the heathen (Jeremiah 10:1-5). I have given them religious ceremonies that they call Christian worship that originated with the pagans that you have always condemned and told them not to use. I have them also reading from their Bibles with an order of the biblical books completely opposite to your original manuscript design which came from the apostles and this false design brings them into utter confusion in understanding true biblical doctrines. That is what I have got your sons and daughters to do who are supposed to be members of your divine Family. I have done this deceit while your sons and daughters believe that my deceptions are righteous, holy and good. God, you have let me do it, and I believe I have done a jolly good job.”

    After hearing Satan’s report from earth, God would answer Satan and admit that he has indeed deceived the world.

    But God would then remind Satan that there is a remnant of God’s people who know better and eschews such evil, and that He is soon to give them the power to reveal the truth of these religious corruptions to the whole world. The reason God would tell Satan of this coming change in society is because it is prophesied in the Bible. For us there is hope. Indeed, God and Christ have called you and me to know this truth beforehand. He has selected us to help pave the way for this new reformation. Though Satan has been highly successful in the world, there is another side of the coin. We are just now coming into that time prophesied in the Bible when the whole truth of God is going to be given to this world. There is hope (real hope) for God’s people because God is about to lift the veil of deception that He has placed on the world (Isaiah 29:13-24).

    God is now telling us that His true knowledge will soon sweep this world (Daniel 12:4,9; Acts 3:19-21). And in fact, God is calling you and me to give us this advance understanding in order that we can teach God’s truth to the world. He is opening the doors for us, and I hope that all of us will walk through those open doors. And what is God’s promise to you and me now that this knowledge is being made known to us? The Bible says this: “The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly” (Romans 16:20).

    Ernest L. Martin

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    © 1976-2011 Associates for Scriptural Knowledge – ASK is supported by freewill contributions

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