Here is a guest post by sister Loammi addressing a challenging topic. As you read and are challenged by this information, please prayerfully ask the Father for Truth!! Through Truth, comes peace and life. Shalom, Pete
The Valentine’s Day that was forgotten
Nowadays, we equate Valentine’s Day with Saint Valentine. But was this the true origin? As with most all of our holidays, if we do a little research we see all roads lead to Rome. Then, with a little more digging, we find all Roman roads lead to Babylon/Chaldea.
Why do I make this point? I feel it’s important to get to the root of things. If Jesus, Yahushua in Hebrew, is our root, then do these things line up and bear good fruit or are they producing bad, foreign, or strange fruit?
Let’s take a look at Cupid, Valentine cards and this holiday centered around love. God is love, right? What could be wrong with the holiday? (Please keep in mind, the devil goes about disguised as an angel of light-or else we’d spot him right away). Let’s go back to Nimrod in Babylon. He was rebellious and was known as a mighty hunter (considering bow and arrow), and after the dispersion at Babel the peoples spoke different languages, thus calling him many different names. He was known as, Tammuz, Osiris, Eros (where we get the word erotic) Bacchus, Thor, Cupid, Baal, and Marduk to name just a few. Depending on the culture you are in he goes by many names. He had an incestuous relationship with his mother Venus-also known as Isis, Semiramis, Ishtar, Ashtoreth, Easter. You may have noticed some of these names from your Bible such as Tammuz, Ashtoreth, Isis and Osiris-you can look them up and see what the Father thinks of them and their worship. The Israelites were seduced into the worship of both Baal and Ashtoreth, who many agree were originally known as Nimrod and Semiramis. See, the distractor, Satan, doesn’t care what name you call him-he has many. His goal is simply to distract you from the name YHWH and His celebrations. This may come as a shock, but Jeremiah said there would come a time when we’d wake up and say, ‘surely we have inherited nothing but lies.’
The Eternal Church of God has quite a thorough study online, so I will quote from them on this, but the resources are endless-you simply need to look. ‘According to Roman mythology, Cupid was the son of Venus the goddess of love and beauty. Most representations of Cupid show him as an amoretti, a winged baby, but ancient talismans actually portrayed him as winged phalli constructed of bronze, ivory, or wood. In India Cupid was known as Kama. The famous sex manual The Kama Sutra was named after him.
The name Cupid comes from the Latin verb “cupere” meaning “to desire.” He has been described in ancient folklore as an extremely handsome, famous archer, who frequently hunted in the country and mountains. He also is said to be responsible for impregnating numerous goddesses and mortals. Thus another manifestation emerges from these tall tales of Cupid.
Said to be a very handsome man, Nimrod became an object of desire eliciting lust in many women including his own mother, Semiramis, who eventually married him. Cupid—like the legends of Nimrod from which he was created—came equipped with the skills, characteristics and stories of being a mighty hunter.Cupid’s mythological relationship with his mother Venus is similar to that of Nimrod and his mother, Semiramis. Several paintings from the Renaissance era show a rather incestuous relationship between Cupid and Venus. In Bronzino’s famous painting of 1545, Cupid kisses his mother while fondling her breast as she caresses his arrow. Michelangelo also produced a work of art portraying an abnormally intimate relationship between Cupid and Venus.The origin of this cute, peaceful, and innocent looking winged child is nothing short of evil and is something we should be alarmed about. No one should admire or use this kind of imagery to portray love of any kind. Fraternizing with the names, imagery, or practices of false gods and their ways do not mix with the life of a Christian. No matter how cloaked these pagan ways may seem, God perceives it as dining at the table of devils (1Co. 10:21).’
In Lew White’s book, Fossilized Customs, he goes over this topic. ‘The mythology of the Romans taught that the empire began with two orphaned boys named Romulus and Remus, who were nurtured by a she-wolf. Their importance to the early Romans was observed by a national day of “purification”, associated with the “wolf” (Latin lupis) that preserved their lives. Each year on their February 15, a purification festival was held which was called “Lupercalia”, or wolf festival. 2 youths (who represented Romulus and Remus) ran around the city in the nude, laughing and whipping around strips of wolf skins, dipped in blood. Unmarried girls exposed their posteriors to be lashed with these bloody wolf hides, supposedly to imbue fertility. As part of the ritual, every eligible girl’s name was collected and placed in a large “vat” or jar, and all the young men would “draw” a name from it. Whatever name a young man would draw out, that girl would be his consort in the festival.’
And further, from the Eternal Church of God, “as a sequel to the celebration of the Saturnalia, the Lupercalia was a festival that honored the legendary founders of Rome; Romulus and Remus. Falling on February 15th, this festival was conducted in the spring and regarded as a festival of purification and fertility as well as a spiritual means to protect the flocks by warding off dangerous wolves. The official ceremony took place in Rome at the foot of the Palatine Hill, at the cave of Lupercal, where it is said that the founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus, were nurtured by a she-wolf during their early years of life. The tales surrounding these brothers were filled with sensuality and idolatry and were included as a part of the Lupercalia.
“The religious ceremonies were directed by the Luperci, meaning brothers of the wolf, who were priests of Faunus. The festivities began with Vestal Virgins offering cakes, called mola salsa, made from the first ears of last year’s grain harvest. Two naked young men, assisted by the Vestals, sacrificed a dog and one or two goats at the site. Goats were used because of the symbol of sexual vigor and Lupercus was also considered a god of shepherds. A dog was used because it was considered to be the flock’s main defender against the wolves. The blood from the victims was then smeared on the foreheads of the young men and wiped off with wool or goat’s hair dipped in milk. A sacrificial feast followed, after which the youths would then gird themselves with loincloths made from the goat’s skin.
“The goatskin hide was also used to fashion whips called “februa.” The young men were then to begin laughing as they gallivanted around the hilly boundaries of the city—striking men and women with the februa who would line up along the way.
This act was believed to provide fertility, easy child birth and protection from curses or bad luck to anyone the februa touched. It is said that some women would even bare their nakedness to the februa in hopes of obtaining better results.”
Details are even in the Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics.
As far as the Valentine’s cards or love lottery the Eternal COG also notes ‘Another festivity of ancient times, connected to the Lupercalia, was surnamed the lover’s lottery. Celebrated by the youth on the eve of the Lupercalia—February 14th on the Roman calendar—this ritual was in honor of Juno Februata, queen of the Roman gods. Designated as the goddess of women, love, marriage, childbirth, and sometimes war, Juno’s festivals were commonly orgiastic rites of fertility. Interestingly, Juno was often portrayed wearing a goatskin cloak, the same material used to clothe the half naked youths during the culmination of the Lupercalia ceremony. During this particular ceremony, names of teenage girls were written down and placed in urns or jars. A teenage boy would then draw a name and the two would be paired, forming a temporary liaison, for dancing, merry making, and erotic games at feasts and parties throughout Rome. After the festival they would remain partners for the rest of the year and this sometimes resulted in marriage.
James Hastings wrote of this celebration in the Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics vol III: “The customs of Valentine’s Day have been handed down from the Roman festival of the Lupercalia, celebrated in the month of February, when the names of young women were put into a box and drawn out by men as chance directed. This is the origin of valentines – cards linking men and women together for sexual purposes. This festival was characterized in the later Roman period by wanton raillery and unkindled freedom (p.226).”‘
But that’s not what it means to me you say. However, considering, II Corinthians 6:14ff, ‘what part hath light with darkness’, where does this leave us? Further, considering the stern warning YHWH gave us in Deuteronomy 12:30-31 about mixing pagan practices in worship then we must decide if we prefer to serve the gods of this world or the Creator of the world. A celebration based on promiscuous sex and fornication or lewd behavior does not line up with His Word. Just because we don’t look to the origins of these days doesn’t mean He doesn’t see them for what they are. [Note from Pete: Just as my wife doesn’t appreciate me bringing up old girlfriends, YHWH does like us associating with the darkness from which we have been redeemed. He is a jealous lover!]
So then, how do we celebrate Him His way with true love? Getting back on His calendar is foundational. See, Daniel prophesied in Daniel 7:25 that the set times (moedim) and laws would be changed. We can only serve one master-whose calendar are you on? Yes, it is much easier to go with the wide path and not the narrow here, but there are many blessing to be had upon returning to His ways and calendar. His feasts, as He calls them, but we’ve been trained to call them Jewish feasts or Old Testament feasts, are shadows of good things to come. These feasts are practice runs for the big wedding day when our bridegroom comes for us! If we don’t take time to appreciate them now, will we be like 5 of the 10 virgins without oil? It’s something to consider. He says they are to be celebrated forever, and if we look to the prophets in the ‘Old Testament’ then we see we will be even going by them in the Millennial reign (Zechariah 14:16, Ezekiel 45, 46). So, did our church fathers say they were done away with because they didn’t want to look to Jewish? Let’s truly be grafted in and get to know Him better, loving Him as He asked to be loved.
” Here is how we know that we love God’s children: when we love God, we also do what he commands”—I John 5:2. So let’s love our friends His way and love Him by His way. “If you love me, you will keep my commands” John 14:15. What commands? I John 2:7 says, ‘I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning’. The beginning being the Old Testament, as there was no New Testament compiled when he wrote. Keep that in mind with the consideration of keeping His feasts. By loving our God and our neighbor as He says then we will be doing so in true love. He is looking for those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth, and says all the law and the prophets hang on these commands. If we follow His guide to loving Him and our neighbor we will be fulfilling His instructions for us.
For further study on this see the following resources: