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Dear Refiner's Fire...

Just wondering, is Mary the "queen of heaven" as Catholics assert?

Our Response...

Great question and the answer is: No, Mary is NOT the "queen of heaven!" However, this is not simple to explain, either. The bottom line is: "Queen of heaven" refers to all false religious authority and ideals. The following from the AENT serves to explain:

Jeremiah 12:16 states that the Israelites swore by the name of Baal (Lord) a popular heathen deity of the day. Jeremiah 23:27 says that false prophets postured false dreams to manipulate YHWH’s people away from YHWH into Baal worship. One should also note that the English "LORD" is an equivalent term for "Baal." Jeremiah 44:26 states that YHWH would remove His Name from their lips for using the cliché, "as Adonai YHWH liveth," all while they burnt incense to the Queen of Heaven. However, Jeremiah 16:21 states that "they shall know my Name is YHWH." Ezekiel 36:20-24 states that when Israel "entered unto the heathen...they profaned my Set Apart Name...but I had pity for my Set Apart Name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen...and I will sanctify my Great Name, which was profaned among the heathen!" (Part of a footnote to Matthew 1:20, AENT)

More info from the AENT: False deities....

After the flood when the human race was centralized on the plains of Babylon, haSatan began to turn mankind away from YHWH's plan of redemption by producing a counterfeit Messiah. HaSatan found an ambitious woman named Semiramis, the widow of Nimrod, he was of course "the mighty hunter before YHWH" (Genesis 10:9) who met with a violent death. Nimrod had been deified as the deliverer from the menace of wild animals. His widow sought to perpetuate his worship while also retaining the power of his kingdom, and she deceived people into believing that she gave birth, through a miraculous conception, to a son she named Tammuz (branch) whom she purported to be the reincarnation of Nimrod.

2,000 B.C.E. saw the haSatan's counterfeit to the promised "Seed." Semiramis was thenceforth worshipped as "the mother of god" (Madonna) or "the queen of heaven," and her illegitimate son also became a deity. This is where the ancient Babylonian mystery religion originated, the fountainhead of all idolatry. Every idol, whether mentioned in the Set Apart Scriptures or in Mythology, can be traced to these beginnings.

Alexander Hislop, in his monumental work "The Two Babylons" has shown that papal worship is based on none other than the worship of Nimrod and his wife, disguised in a garb of Christianity. Concerning the Christmas festival Hislop writes: "That Christmas was originally a pagan festival is beyond all doubt. The time of the year, the ceremonies with which it is celebrated, prove its origin. In Egypt, the son of Isis, the Egyptian title for the queen of heaven, was born at this very time, about the time of the winter solstice.

The very name by which Christmas is popularly known among ourselves - Yule day - proves at once its pagan and Babylonian origin. 'Yule' is the Chaldee name for 'infant,' or 'little child'; and as the 25th of December was referred to by Anglo-Saxon ancestors as the 'Yule-day' or 'the child's day,' and the night that preceded it, 'Mother night,' long before they came in contact with Christianity, that sufficiently proves its real character. Far and wide in the realms of paganism was this birthday observed." (The Two Babylons; Alexander Hislop, p.93)

Ashtoreth: The moon goddess of the Phoenicians, representing the passive principle in nature, their principal female deity; frequently associated with the name of Baal, the sun-god, their chief male deity (Judges 10:6; 1 Samuel 7:4; 12:10). These names often occur in the plural (Ashtaroth, Baalim), probably as indicating either different statues or different modifications of the deities. This deity is spoken of as Ashtoreth of the Zidonians. She was the Ishtar of the Accadians and the Astarte of the Greeks (Jeremiah 44:17; 1 Kings 11:5, 33; 2 Kings 23:13).

There was a temple of this goddess among the Philistines in the time of Saul (1 Samuel 31:10). Under the name of Ishtar, she was one of the great deities of the Assyrians. The Phoenicians called her Astarte. Solomon introduced the worship of this idol (1 Kings 11:33). Jezebel’s 400 priests were probably employed in its service (1 Kings 18:19). It was called the "queen of heaven" (Jeremiah 44:25).

John writes: "After this I saw another Messenger coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. With a mighty voice he shouted: 'Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird. For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.'

Then I heard another voice from heaven say: 'Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; for her sins are piled up to heaven, and Elohim has remembered her crimes. Give back to her as she has given; pay her back double for what she has done. Mix her a double portion from her own cup. Give her as much torture and grief as the glory and luxury she gave herself. In her heart she boasts, "I sit as queen; I am not a widow, and I will never mourn." Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is Master YHWH, Elohim, who judges her." (Revelation 18:1-8)

All of us understand the metaphor behind, "Come out of her (Babylon) my people." It refers to all false religious authority and ideals, but most don’t realize that this passage is also very literal: "With the help of Silas, whom I regard as a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of Elohim. Stand fast in it. She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark." (1 Peter 5:12-13)