The True God Of Catholicism:
The God Of Fortresses
Perhaps we might begin with the
title, "God of Fortresses," and where this god received its name. Even,
more importantly, what is implied by the title. Consequently, an important
note to consider at this point, is the fact that most all modern translations
of the Hebrew text regarding the strange god mentioned in Daniel 11:38,
refer to the deity as "a" god of fortresses but, the correct rendering
is "the" god of fortresses. The seemingly unimportant fact that
the article "a" is used instead of "the," is indeed of great importance.
I believe the intent of the verse is meant to convey that this god was
"THE" god worshipped time and time again, not "a" god, which would,
perhaps, infer one of many. "The god of fortresses," as used, an
idol (#433, #410); the Israelites knew of her well, as did most of the
pagan world. The following are some excerpts from an article by Mr. Stearman
(Prophecy In The News), to whom I owe a debt of gratitude.
The Babylonian Semiramis, under the name of Astarte, was known as "the tower goddess." Alexander Hislop, writing in "The Two Babylons," notes, "Now, no name could more exactly picture forth the character of Semiramis, as the queen of Babylon, than the name of "Asht-tart," for that just means ‘The woman that made towers.’ Thus, in the Hebrew, this is the meaning of the goddess Ashtoreth.
Elsewhere, commenting on the Greek (where "tart" becomes "turis") he adds, "Turis is just the Greek form of Turit, the final t, according to the genius of the Greek language, being converted into s. Ash-turit, then, which is obviously the same as the Hebrew ‘Ashtoreth,’ is just ‘The woman that made the ‘encompassing wall’."
She was the ancient goddess of "towers" or "surrounding fortifications." Mr. Hislop cites instances from ancient Greek history in which citizens appealed to the goddess to protect their city when it was under threat. It is especially interesting that ancient statuettes of the goddess were cast with the figure of a tower upon their heads. They were tower goddesses or goddesses of the fortress, to whom was attributed the power to protect a city or an empire.
In the Greek, she was known as Artemis, but in reality, was none other than Ashtoreth or Astarte. As recorded in Acts chapter 19, Paul threatened the livelihood of the guild of silversmiths. They cast souvenir goddesses from silver to be purchased by the faithful who made pilgrimages to her temple. More than that, she was their protector goddess. Paul’s gospel preaching threatened to overturn their worship…and their business.
Of great interest is that the ancient goddess from the land of Shinar was considered to be the chief protector (defender) of the empire. The Roman Diana, was considered just as powerful an image as any of her predecessors.
But in the centuries following the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, she faded into obscurity, and was considered as good as dead. But today, with the massive New Age resurgence of pagan superstition, she is springing back to life. Millions are once again calling for the protection of the goddess.
It is most interesting then, to observe what may be an obscure reference to the tower-goddess in Daniel 11:38.
This is the well-known prophecy of the antichrist- the willful king who rises out of the memory of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the infamous model of the antichrist. Daniel’s prophecy points to the antichrist’s worship: "But in his estate, shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things."
Here, the antichrist, is shown offering gifts to an image called the "God of forces." Using the original Hebrew text, some Jewish expositors translate this verse, "But he will honor the god of the fortress in his place; and a god whom his ancestors knew not, he will honor with gold, silver, precious stones, and desirable things."
The word "fortress" is from maozim, meaning "fortresses." The same word is used in verse 39: "Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain."
In the Hebrew, this sentence literally begins, "He will develop strong fortresses with a strange god…" Again the word Maozim is used. This is the standard word for "fortress." Even the Jewish Temple was referred to as a fortress. In Daniel 11:31, we find the phrase, "the sanctuary of strength," that used the same Hebrew word (maoz, in the singular) to imply that the Temple is an impregnable stronghold.
The point is clear. The antichrist’s god will be the god of the fortress. Throughout history, the leading example of the fortress god is none other than Ishtar/Ashtoreth/Astarte, also known in certain contemporary circles as "Ashtar."
Thus, in II Thessalonians 2:9, the antichrist is shown being revealed, "…after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders." The awakening worship of Baal and Ishtar will leap into the public consciousness once more, amazing those who thought that this pagan worship had died forever.
This corresponds to Daniel 11:36, where we read, "And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done."
In Hebrew, the word "marvelous" is nephloot. It is a word that bespeaks something wonderful, admirable or miraculous. It even suggests the fantastic and wondrous – that which is unfathomable to the rational mind, would see it as a wonder or a mystery.
The stage has been set for Ashtar. The man of sin will have no trouble at all voicing the wonders of the gods from on high. Can there any longer be any doubt about the real power behind the antichrist?"
Also, there can be no doubt that the present Pope John Paul II, worships and is totally committed to the god of fortresses as described here. His deep devotion is reflected even in his vestments worn, which so often have the letter "M" embroidered upon them. Even the papal crest is tailored to give "her" glory. The upper left side of the shield is the papal shield and crest, and upon the shield appears a cross. Tammuz? Offset upon the lower right side of the shield, leaving the right lower corner, which is the larger portion of the three corners, is a very large "M" that stands for "Mary." Also, it is his yearly ritual to make pilgrimages to Fatima in honor to her. Along with that, he is quoted as crediting her with the saving of his life. His famous motto has truly become synonymous with him; "Totus Tuus" (totally yours).
Quoting from "The Keys of This
Blood," by Malachi Martin, page 493:
"….John Paul is following a timetable he asserts has been established in Heaven; and he fully presumes that what he does and they do will succeed only if it conforms to the foretold sequence of historical events he confidently ascribes to a woman he, along with other millions, venerates under the symbol of her "heart" (emphasis mine) – they call it the Immaculately Sinless Heart of Mary."