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Valentine's Day

“Will you be my valentine?” Again, it is that time of the year when businesses popularize that one day a year when people are to show some special person that they are very special. People do this in many different ways. Retail businesses reduce some of their prices in hopes to gain more sales. Theaters reduce prices so one can take their loved one to a movie. Restaurants reduce meal prices so one can treat their spouse or loved one to a special meal. Liquor is sold at reduced prices to encourage their sales. Florists give special prices on flowers. Card and gift shops advertise special prices to encourage the sale of their goods. Commercial establishments use this day to increase their sales so they can increase their profits.

Advertisers Also Target Young People
The above scenarios are for the not so young. But retail stores also target children. They encourage school children to purchase a card for each child in their class. If a class has 30 pupils and each buys a card for the other children, that totals 870 cards. Multiply this by a small amount for each card and this will total in the hundreds of dollars. Then, multiply this by the number of classrooms in the country doing the same thing and what do we have? A business venture not left alone.
The Beginning
A number of stories concerning this day have circulated through time to give some credence to its origin. One story has a Roman priest named Valentine who favored young people. At the time when the Roman Empire needed soldiers and the Emperor forbade anyone becoming engaged, much less getting married, this priest defied the Emperor and married a young couple and he was arrested and sentence to die.
    Another legend has Valentine being jailed for helping persecuted Christians. For this he was imprisoned and while there he seemingly helped the jailer’s blind daughter regain her sight. Just before he was executed he sent her a farewell message and signed it “from your valentine.”
    There is a Roman festival named Lupercalia, which was celebrated to honor Lupercus, protector of flocks against wolves. One story attached to this festival was that Roman youths would draw names of young girls to be their partner for this pagan fertility festival. Another story concerning this February 15 day dealt with luperci priests who, after a sacrifice, would choose two youths of noble birth to run through the streets of Rome and lash out at the crowd with goatskin throngs. If a person was struck by the thongs, it was believed to increase their fertility. It was also believed that birds, especially love birds, would begin their mating on February 14.
Its Meaning Is Lost
The Adversary has once again shown his ability to shadow the true meaning of this pagan celebration. As with other pagan days which society chooses to celebrate, as Halloween or Christmas, Satan has convinced mankind that nothing is wrong with doing something good on this day. Mankind really has had the wool pulled over their eyes. By merely looking in a dictionary or an encyclopedia one can find out for yourself the origin of this day. You will be surprised what those reference books will say.
    Don’t let Satan beguile us. It is of utmost importance you recognize the true meaning of this and all pagan celebrations. Yahweh is most assuredly not for them. He hates manmade festivals. We must turn from them if we want to have a position of rulership in His Kingdom when our Savior, Yahshua, returns to set up that Kingdom.
    What was Valentine’s Day first called long ago? Its original name was Lupercalia. It was celebrated thousands of years before there were such people known as Christians or saints. Lupercalia was known in Roman mythology as an ancient Roman fertility rite or Feast of Lupercus, which took place on February 15th. This rite was named after a Roman god named Lupercus, who was said to watch over the shepherds and their flocks and keep them from the wolves. This feast was celebrated every February to honor Lupercus so that no harm would come to the shepherds and their flocks.
    Priests (called Luperci), dressed in goatskins, would sacrificed a goat (symbol of fertility) and a dog (symbol of protection) to the gods, anoint themselves with the blood of the sacrifices, and then run through the streets whipping onlookers with a thong made from the goat’s skin. These thongs were called februa and the lashing the februatio, both stemming from a Latin word Februarius (February), meaning to purify through sacrificial offerings. Women in the city placed themselves in positions around the streets so that the priests could strike them with the februa to assure these women of fertility and easy childbirth.
    In another part of the celebration, priests would pair up the young men and women in the city by writing down the names of the girls and collecting them in a box. Boys then individually drew the girls’ names from the box, and became paired with them until the next year’s Lupercalia celebration.
    This same festival was also used to honor Juno, the Roman goddess of women and marriage, and Faunus (associated with Pan), the god of nature. On the eve of this festival a lottery was held.
    A Latin word for wolf is lupus and someone once wrote, “Today we still refer to one who fancies himself as the ladies’ man as something of a ‘wolf,’ and when a pretty girl walks down the street, young men give a ‘wolf whistle,’ which shows that the spirit of the Lupercalia is still with us.”
St. Valentine
The story which evolved was about a Roman Catholic priest, Bishop of Interamma, who lived during the third century under the reign of Emperor Claudius II. During his reign, Claudius was involved in many wars. Recognizing his need for young men to serve in his army, Claudius forbade men to marry. The reason for this was the fact that the men would refuse to join the army because of being married.
    Valentine thought this to be totally unfair, and he began to secretly marry couples in spite of the emperor’s orders. When Valentine was found out, he was arrested, placed in prison and sentenced to die. During his imprisonment he wrote letters to those of his parish and signed them “From your Valentine.” Is this not being carried on today – sending cards on Valentine’s Day?
    During the third century the Roman Emperor Claudius II was a warmonger. He enjoyed winning and the power that was associated with winning. Because of this he was continually recruiting soldiers for his wars. Soon the men refused to join his army and preferred to stay at home with their families. Because of this the emperor declared that all engagements were cancelled and that no more marriages could be performed.
    This didn’t sit too lightly with the populace. They began secretly getting married behind the emperor’s back. How did they accomplish this? There was a Roman priest, bishop of Interamma, by the name of Valentine. He thought the emperor’s orders were unrealistic so he secretly began marrying people. As one might expect Valentine was soon found out, arrested, put in jail, and sentenced to die.
    It seems that while he was in jail that he fell in love with the jailer’s daughter who was blind. During his imprisonment he wrote letters to those in his parish and is said to have always signed them “From your Valentine.” Valentine was eventually beheaded on Palatine Hill at the site of the ancient altar to Juno. Since this time Valentine was considered a martyr who sacrificed himself in the name of true love.
    Over time, the lottery, as associated with Lupercalia, was replaced with a lottery where both men and women were allowed to draw from the box, and now this box contained the names of saints. When a saint’s name was drawn, the person was expected to imitate the life of the saint whose name they had drawn. Over time, this new lottery lost favor with the populace. In its place the young men began a custom of offering women they admired and wished to court handwritten greetings of affection on February 14th. Thus began the idea of Valentine’s Day cards.
Mythology of Valentine’s Day
In the fifth century, the reigning pope declared February 14th as Valentine’s Day in honor of St. Valentine. The tradition of drawing names on St. Valentine’s Day continues in England and other places. Also, the Europeans believe that on February 14th the birds began to choose their mates. This tradition of birds choosing their mates on St. Valentine’s Day led to the idea that boys and girls should do the same.
    Most people today could remember the story of St. Valentine, but Lupercalia and associated deities of classified mythology are forgotten. We rarely study them or see any significance in our lives The St. Valentine story motif has the elements of a good story: love, honor, courage, and sacrifice. But, let’s go deeper into the significance of Lupercalia and the mythology behind this.
    Ancient pagan fertility rituals have come down to our present time almost intact. The only difference in the ancient pagan rituals and their modern counterparts, is the fact that their names have changed in order to veneer them with Christian respectability.
    Lupus is the Latin word for wolf. The wolf is the symbol for valor. Valorentine was a common Roman name, which Roman parents often gave to their children in honor of the famous man who was first called valiant: Valentine, in antiquity, Lupercus, The Hunter.
    The Romans identified Lupercus with Faunus, a deity of nature. The Greeks called this deity of nature---Pan. Pan, the chief of the satyrs, presided over rural occupations, was patron of fishermen, hunters and shepherds.
    Faun was the Roman mythological name. It corresponded with the satyrs of mythology. They had pointed ears, short horns and a tail.
    Pan was an Arcadian deity of light and, as evil, was equivalent to the Sun deity: Baal, also spelled
B-A-L or B-E-L. Baal is any of the numerous local deities among Semitic peoples, typifying the productive forces of nature and worshipped with orgiastic rites. Baal simply meant lord.
    Baal, which is mentioned often in the Holy Scriptures, was a title of Nimrod, the hunter who was against Yahweh. We read in the King James version Genesis 10:9,
    He was a mighty hunter before Yahweh: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before Yahweh.
    The hunter, Nimrod, it is said, pursued wolves in the Apennine Mountains of Italy, and acquired the title of Lupercus - wolf hunter or hunter of valor. Remember, valens means to be strong, powerful, mighty.
    Nimrod not only was strong, powerful and mighty in a political sense, but he was also strong, powerful, and mighty in a sexual sense. The worship of the pagan people was centered on sexual activity to insure fertility.
    Nimrod, Baal-Lord-Sun God of the ancients, is the basis for all mythology worldwide. His exploits and those of his wife Semiramis and their foundation of the satancentered system of mythology are explained in great detail in the excellent book titled “The Two Babylons,” written by Alexander Hislop.
    If you study the origin and symbols of Valentine’s Day, they are not simple and meaningless. They refer you to a pagan ruler Nimrod who rebelled against Yahweh. Perhaps to continue recognizing these holidays, we are giving support to that rebellion by Nimrod. Nimrod was not the first to rebel, however. The first was Satan. We do not wish to associate ourselves in any way to that great rebel.
Mythology Embraced by Christianity
Ancient pagan fertility rituals have come down to our present time almost intact. The only difference in the ancient pagan rituals and their modern counterparts, is the fact that their names have changed in order to veneer them with Christian respectability.
    It is a documented fact that pagan customs were grafted into Christian religion. Christian missionaries took each of these pagan festivals and veneered them with Christian respectability by changing their names. That is why today we have Christmas rather than Saturnalia, Easter rather than the Festival of the Goddess of the Dawn, and Valentine’s Day rather than the Lupercalia.
    Even though Christian missionaries took the pagan festivals as they were and gradually grafted the observance of the new faith onto their festivals, with their rites and customs, they are still abominations in the sight of Yahweh.
    In fact, Yahweh has given us a direct command not to serve Him in the way that the pagans served their deities! In Deuteronomy, 12:29-32, we read:
    When Yahweh thy Elohim shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land; Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou inquire not after their deities, saying, How did these nations serve their deities? Even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto Yahweh thy Elohim: for every abomination to Yahweh, which He hateth, have they done unto their deities; for even their sons and daughters they have burnt in the fire to their deities. What thing soever I command you, observe to do it; thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.
    Does Yahweh have something to say about religious leaders who took the pagan festivals as they were and gradually grafted the observances of the new faith into these festivals and the customs and the rites surrounding them? Yes, he does. Let’s look at what 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 says:
    For such are false apostles, deceitful workes, transforming themselves into the apostles of the Messiah. And no marvel; for Satan is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
    Although these ancient fertility rituals have come down to us through Satan’s ministers in forms of beauty, we are still creating, maintaining and renewing fertility to the same ancient pagan deities that Yahweh says are an abomination to Him. As described earlier, we are using new terms and stories, but they all have the same roots. The roots are found in the Old Testament Scripture. Yahweh was concerned with them and still is today.
    During the fourth century, the church seemingly swallowed up many people for the sake of religion. In doing so, the people, swallowed up brought along their own version of religion. This meant many pagan practices were incorporated into the practicing religious celebrations. Even though they tried to rid themselves of these pagan practices, a book, “The Story of Valentine Symbols,” says,
    “Unable to abolish some of the pagan festivals that the people loved, they accepted them and gave them Christian names. So it was with the Lupercalia, which survived late into the fifth century. St. Valentine’s name was given to a festival that was celebrated in springtime and dealt with the fertility in human beings and other animals. And, doing what the church might, the ancient meaning never quite left it. Memories of the Lupercalia as a celebration of mating were handed down, attaching themselves to the saint’s name.”
    The ideas connected to St. Valentine’s Day were brought to the United States, and that day was first celebrated in the United States during the Civil War.
Symbols Connected With Valentine’s Day
That symbol which is almost a Valentine entity in itself, Cupid, is the Roman mythological son of Venus, the goddess of love. In Greek, he is called Eros, the god of love, and son of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. Cupid has always played a role in the celebrations of love and lovers. He is known as a mischievous, naked, winged child carrying a bow and a quiver of arrows. There is more to the stories of Cupid, but suffice it to say that Cupid has pagan origins.
The Heart
Along with Cupid, another symbol used over and over again during the season of Valentine’s Day is the heart. In the book, “The Two Babylons,” the author, Alexander Hislop, writes on pages 188-189,
    “The ‘heart’ was one of the sacred symbols of Osiris (Egyptian deity of the underworld) when he was born again, and appeared as Harpocrates, or the infant divinity, borne in the arms of his mother Isis. Therefore, the fruit of the Egyptian Persea was peculiarly sacred to him, from its resemblance to the human heart. Hence, this infant divinity was frequently represented with a heart, or the heart shaped fruit of the Persea in one of his hands…Thus the boy-god came to be regarded as the ‘god of the heart,’ or, in other words, as Cupid, the god of love. To identify this infant divinity with his father, ‘the mighty hunter (Nimrod),’ he was equipped with ‘bows and arrows;’ and in the hands of the poets, for the amusement of the profane vulgar, this sportive boy-god was celebrated as taking aim with his gold-tipped shafts at the heart of mankind. His real character, however, as the above statement shows, and as we have reason already to conclude, was far higher and of very different kind. He was the woman’s seed. Venus and her son, Cupid, were none other than the Madonna and the Child.”
    There’s more.
    “How came it that the ‘Heart’ became the recognized symbol of the Child of the great Mother? The answer is, ‘The Heart’ in Chaldee is ‘Bel;’ and as, at first, after the check given to idolatry, almost all the most important elements of the Chaldean system were introduced under a veil, so under that veil they continued to be shrouded from the gaze of the initiated…Now, the worship of the ‘Sacred Heart’ was just, under a symbol, the worship of the ‘Sacred Bel,’ that mighty one of Babylon, who had died a martyr for idolatry; for Harpo-crates, of Horus, the infant god, was regarded as Bel, born again.”
    The most predominant symbol of the fertility rite of Valentine’s Day is the heart. In our country, the heart symbol has the same meaning as love. Almost everywhere one looks you can see examples of this symbolic representation of love. The heart is also a popular design for costume jewelry, saying love without saying it.
    This symbol was also familiar in ancient Babylon where it symbolized the deity who was worshipped. This symbol did not come down to our day untainted and pure, despite what the world has been deceived to think.
    Let us read a very revealing and astounding excerpt from Halley’s Bible Handbook. This will certainly put “the heart” of truth into proper context:
    “The Imperial Church of the 4th and 5th centuries had become an entirely different institution from the persecuted church of the first three centuries. In its ambition to rule it lost and forgot the spirit of [Messiah].
    “Worship, at first very simple, was developed into elaborate, stately, imposing ceremonies having all the outward splendor that had belonged to heathen temples.
    “Ministers became priests. The term ‘priest’ was not applied to Christian ministers before A.D. 200. It was borrowed from the Jewish system, and from the example of heathen priesthood. Leo I (440- 61) prohibited priests from marrying, and celibacy of priests became a law of the Roman Church.
    “Conversion of the Barbarians: The Goths, Vandals, and Huns who overthrew the Roman Empire accepted Christianity; but to a large extent their conversion was nominal and this furthered the Church with pagan practices.”
    We are warned “learn not the way of the heathen,” Jeremiah 10:2.
What about the significance of “arrows.” J.E. Cirlot offers this in his Dictionary of Symbols:
    “It was used to designate the sun’s rays. But, because of its shape, it has undeniable phallic significance, especially when it is shown in emblems balanced against the symbol of the ‘mystic center,’ feminine in character, such as the heart. The heart is pierced with an arrow of conjuction.”
Serve Yahweh, Not Man
If we obey Yahweh by practicing every Word that proceeds from His mouth without adding to his Word or taking from His Word, we are servants of Yahweh. However, if we follow after the servants or ministers of Satan, who are deceived into grafting pagan customs into Christianity, then we are servants of Satan.
    Servants of Satan! Now that is the truth without veneer or syncretistic manipulation. That is a frank description of whom we obey when we acknowledge and honor Valentine’s Day. It seems harsh and certainly not politically correct, but truth feels that way sometimes.
    Yahweh warns us to come out of this pagan system. If we choose not to do this, we have made our choice and will be identified with it. Consider what Revelation 18:4 has to say:
    And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
    Now that we have identified this world’s holidays, the wrong ones to be associated with, what does Yahweh prefer?
Prove All Things
How does it happen that we are unable to correctly discern what is true and what is false? How does the world innocently accept a holiday like Valentine’s Day, which in fact has a history that leads you back to the deity of this world, satan?
    Remember what we are told in Ephesians 6:12 NASB:
    For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
    We learn more about the attributes of Satan in Ezekiel 28:12-13,
    You had the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of Yahweh; Every precious stone was your covering: The ruby, the topaz and the diamond.
    Satan’s demons are very intelligent and aware of reality. We find this in Mark 3:11:
    Whenever the unclean spirit saw Him, they would fall down before Him and shout, “You are the Son of Yahweh.”
    In Ephesians 2:2, Satan is described as having a special power over us:
    In which you formerly walked according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.
    Most people believe that is Yahweh’s world or certainly Yahshua’s world. But that is not true. This world was given to Satan to rule. He has twisted that opportunity and despoiled it.
    These Scriptures confirm who the real ruler of this world is:
    Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out, John 12:31.
    I will not speak with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in me, John 14:30.
    In whose care the mighty one of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Messiah who is the image of Yahweh, 2 Corinthians 4:4.
    We know that we are of Yahweh, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one, 1 John 5:19.
    These Scriptures confirm that this whole world is under the influence of Satan and his demons, who are able to manipulate, deceive, and confuse at will. They construct history and culture to meet their needs. The symbolism used during the Valentine’s Day celebration is just another example of their work.
-Elder Roger G. Meyer

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