St. Valentine’s Day
St. Valentine’s Day is the world’s “holiday of love.” Since the Bible states that Elohim is love (1 John 4:8, 16), does He approve of the celebration of this day? Does He want His people—true Christians—partaking of the candy and cards, or any of the customs associated with this day?
When Elohim says He wants you to live life abundantly (John 10:10), does that include celebrating a festive, seemingly harmless holiday like Valentine’s Day? The Elohim who gives us everything—life, food, drink, the ability to think for ourselves, etc. surely approves of St. Valentine’s Day, the holiday for lovers to exchange gifts, right?
Do not be so certain. Do not assume anything. Do not even take this article’s word for it. Go to the history books and encyclopedias. Go to the Bible. Then you will know the real truth behind St. Valentine’s Day, and you will know what Elohim expects you to do about it! “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15).
Like Christmas, Easter, Halloween, New Year’s and the other holidays (not holy days) of this world, St. Valentine’s Day is another attempt to “whitewash” perverted customs and observances of pagan gods and idols by “Christianizing” them.
As innocent and harmless as St. Valentine’s Day may appear to be, its traditions and customs originated from two of the most sexually perverted pagan festivals of ancient history: Lupercalia and the feast day of Juno Februata.
Originally celebrated on February 15, Lupercalia (known as the “festival of sexual license”) was held by the ancient Romans in honor of Lupercus, god of fertility and husbandry, protector of herds and crops, and a mighty hunter—especially of wolves. The Romans believed that Lupercus would protect Rome from roving bands of wolves, which devoured livestock and people.
Assisted by Vestal Virgins, the Luperci (male priests) conducted purification rites by sacrificing goats and a dog in the Lupercal cave on Palatine Hill, where the Romans believed the twins Romulus and Remus had been sheltered and nursed by a she-wolf before they eventually founded Rome. Clothed in loincloths made from sacrificed goats and smeared in their blood, the Luperci would run about Rome, striking women with februa, thongs made from the skins of the sacrificed goats. The Luperci believed that the floggings purified women and guaranteed their fertility and ease of childbirth. February is derived from februa or “means of purification.”
To the Romans, February was also sacred to Juno Februata, the goddess of febris (“fever”) of love, and of women and marriage. On February 14, billets (small pieces of paper, each of which had the name of a teen-aged girl written on it) were put into a container. Teen-aged boys would then choose one billet at random. The boy and the girl whose name was drawn would become a “couple,” joining in erotic games at feasts and parties celebrated throughout Rome. After the festival, they would remain sexual partners for the rest of the year. This custom was observed in the Roman Empire for centuries.
In AD 494, Pope Gelasius renamed the festival of Juno Februata as the “Feast of the Purification of the Virgin Mary.” The date of its observance was later changed from February 14 to February 2, and then changed back to the 14th. It is also known as Candlemas, the Presentation of the Lord, the Purification of the Blessed Virgin and the Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple.
After Constantine had made the Roman church’s brand of Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire (AD 325), church leaders wanted to do away with the pagan festivals of the people. Lupercalia was high on their agenda. But the Roman citizens thought otherwise.
It was not until AD 496 that the church at Rome was able to do anything about Lupercalia. Powerless to get rid of it, Pope Gelasius instead changed it from February 15 to the 14th and called it St. Valentine’s Day. It was named after one of that church’s saints, who in AD 270, was executed by the emperor for his beliefs.
According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, “At least three different Saint Valentines, all of them martyrs, are mentioned in early martyrologies under the date of February 14. One is described as a priest at Rome, another as bishop of Interamna (modern Terni), and these two seem both to have suffered in the second half of the third century and to have been buried on the Flaminian Way, but at different distances from the city . . . Of the third Saint Valentine, who suffered in Africa with a number of companions, nothing is further known.” Several biographies of different men named Valentine were merged into the one “official” St. Valentine.
The church whitewashed Lupercalia even further. Instead of putting the names of girls into a box, the names of “saints” were drawn by both boys and girls. It was then each person’s duty to emulate the life of the saint whose name he or she had drawn. This was Rome’s vain attempt to “whitewash” a pagan observance by “Christianizing” it, which Elohim has not given man the power or authority to do. Though the church at Rome had banned the sexual lottery, young men still practiced a much toned-down version, sending women whom they desired handwritten romantic messages containing St. Valentine’s name.
Over the centuries, St. Valentine’s Day cards became popular, especially by the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. These cards were painted with pictures of Cupid and hearts, and meticulously decorated with lace, silk or flowers.
First Man Called Valentine
But who was the original Valentine? What does the name Valentine mean?
Valentine comes from the Latin Valentinus, which derives from valens—“to be strong, powerful, mighty.” The Bible describes a man with a similar title: “And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one ['god' means a 'mighty one'] in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before Yahuwah: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before Yahuwah” (Gen. 10:8-9). He was said to have hunted with bow and arrow.
As mentioned, the Romans celebrated Lupercalia to honor the hunter god Lupercus. To the Greeks, from whom the Romans had copied most of their mythology, Lupercus was known as Pan, the god of light. The Phoenicians worshipped the same deity as Baal, the sun god. Baal was one of many names or titles for Nimrod, a mighty hunter, especially of wolves. He was also the founder and first lord of Babel (Gen. 10:10-12). Defying Elohim, Nimrod was the originator of the Babylonian Mystery Religion, whose mythologies have been copied by the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans and a multitude of other ancient peoples. Under different names or titles—Pan, Lupercus, Saturn, Osiris—Nimrod is the strong man and hunter-warrior god of the ancients.
But what does the heart symbol have to do with a day honoring Nimrod/Valentine?
The title Baal means “lord” or “master,” and is mentioned throughout the Bible as the god of pagans. Elohim warned His people not to worship or even tolerate the ways of Baal (Nimrod). In ancient Chaldean (the language of the Babylonians), bal, which is similar to Baal, meant, “heart.” This is where the Valentine heart symbol originated.
Notice the name Cupid. It comes from the Latin verb cupere, meaning “to desire.” Cupid was supposedly the son of Venus, Roman goddess of beauty and love. Also known as Eros in ancient Greece, he was the son of Aphrodite. According to myth, he was responsible for impregnating numerous goddesses and mortals. Cupid was a child-like archer (remember, Nimrod was a skilled archer). Mythology describes Cupid as having both a cruel and happy personality. He would use his invisible arrows, tipped with gold, to strike unsuspecting men and women, causing them to fall madly in love. He did not do this for their benefit, but to drive them crazy with intense passion, to make their lives miserable, and to laugh at the results.
Many of the gods of the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Assyrians and others were modeled after one man—Nimrod.
But what does this have to do with us today? Why should we be concerned with what happened in the past? Those who fail to learn the lessons of the past are destined to repeat them and will incur like results.
What God Thinks?
Read what Elohim commands His people concerning pagan customs and traditions: “Learn not the way of the heathen . . . For the customs of the people are vain” (Jer. 10:2-3). Also notice Messiah's words in Matthew 15:9: “In vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”
Throughout the Bible, Elohim describes “heathen” as those who worship things that He had created (animals, the sun, the moon, stars, trees, etc.), or man-made idols, or anything but the one true Elohim. True Christians understand that Elohim hates any customs, practices, beliefs, and teachings that are rooted in paganism which originated in ancient Babylon.
But just how serious is Elohim about paganism?
When He rescued the nation of Israel from brutal slavery and led them out of Egypt, He commanded them, “After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein you dwelt, shalt you not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, where I bring you, shall you not do: neither shall you walk in their ordinances” (Lev. 18:3). Elohim demanded the Israelites not to defile themselves with the pagan practices and customs of the surrounding nations (Lev. 18:24-29). “Therefore shall you keep Mine ordinance, that you commit not any one of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that you defile not yourselves therein: I am Yahuwah your Elohim” (Lev. 18:30).
Elohim brought judgments upon Egypt—a nation of nature-worshippers—with ten plagues and freed Israel from slavery. He rescued Israel from Pharaoh’s army by parting the Red Sea and leading His people to safety. He fed the Israelites manna—special bread made by Elohim—from heaven. He protected them from the battle-tested Gentile armies and brought them into the Promised Land and drove out their enemies.
How did Israel treat Elohim in return? “Our fathers understood not Your wonders in Egypt; they remembered not the multitude of Your mercies; but provoked Him at the sea, even at the Red Sea . . . They soon forgot His works; they waited not for His counsel: But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted Elohim in the desert . . . They made a calf in Horeb, and worshipped the molten image. Thus they changed their glory into the similitude of an ox that eats grass. They forgot Elohim their Savior, which had done great things in Egypt; wondrous works in the land of Ham, and terrible things by the Red Sea . . . they despised the pleasant land, they believed not His word: But murmured in their tents, and hearkened not unto the voice of Yahuwah . . . They joined themselves also unto Baal-peor, and ate the sacrifices of the dead. Thus they provoked Him to anger with their inventions” (Ps. 106:7, 13-14, 19-22, 24-25, 28-29).
Elohim explicitly commanded Israel to cast out and utterly destroy all the nations that occupied the Promised Land (Canaan). Above all, His people were not to make political alliances with them or marry into their families (Deut. 7:1-3, 5, 16). “For they will turn away your sons from following Me, that they may serve other gods” (Deut. 7:4).
But the Israelites thought they knew better than Elohim. They decided to do things their own way. “They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom Yahuwah commanded them: but were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works. And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them. Yes, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils [demons], and shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood. Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions” (Ps. 106:34-39).
To wake them up and get them back on track as the model nation He had originally intended them to be, Elohim gave Israel over to their enemies. Israel would repent and cry out to Elohim. Elohim would then rescue them. With their bellies full and lives protected, the Israelites would then go back to pursuing other gods. Elohim punished Israel again. And again Israel would repent and cry out to Elohim. It is any wonder that Yahuwah would say the following? “Thou hast forsaken Me, saith Yahuwah, thou art gone backward: therefore will I stretch out My hand against thee, and destroy thee; I am weary with repenting” (Jer. 15:6).
And so went the deliverance-idolatry-punishment-repentance cycle (Jer. 15:40-46), until finally, Elohim had no other choice but to divorce unfaithful Israel (Jer. 3:6-11, Dan. 9:24-27).
He used the Assyrians, one of the most brutal warrior nations in history, to invade, conquer, enslave and relocate the entire northern kingdom of Israel (2 Kings 17). Having “disappeared” from history, the modern-day descendants of those ten “lost” tribes are unaware of their true identity even to this day.
Later, Elohim sent the southern kingdom of Judah (mainly the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Levi) into Babylonian exile (2 Kings 24 and 25).
The Israelites were severely punished because they lusted after pagan customs, practices, beliefs and teachings. As you can see, Elohim does not take paganism lightly and deals with His professed children in ways that may seem harsh to us, but in fact are done in mercy!
Why Paganism Is Wrong?
Just why does Elohim hate anything that resembles paganism? Is it possible to “whitewash” or “Christianize” pagan practices and make them clean? Is it okay to practice pagan customs as long as you supposedly “worship Elohim?"
Notice what Elohim says in Leviticus 18. After rescuing Israel from slavery, Elohim warned them not to practice the customs they had picked up in Egypt or learn the ways and customs of the Gentile nations that they would encounter in the Promised Land (Lev. 18:30). Instead, Elohim commanded Israel to follow His ways (Lev. 18:4-5).
“And that you may put a difference between holy and unholy, between unclean and clean” (Lev. 10:10). “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one” (Job 14:4, emphasis added) One cannot bring something good out of evil - paganism!
Elohim then describes the pagan ways of these ungodly nations in great detail. In Leviticus 18:7-20, He condemns all kinds of heterosexual relations that fall outside the holy boundaries of marriage—incest, fornication, adultery, etc. In verses 22-23, Elohim condemns homosexuality and bestiality [sexual activity in which a person has sex with an animal]. Together, these sins break down and destroy the family unit that Elohim had so lovingly created and instituted.
Notice what Elohim links to these perversions: “And you shall not let any of your seed [children] pass through the fire to Molech, neither shall you profane the name of your Elohim: I am Yahuwah” (Lev. 18:21). Elohim ties in the perverse sexual practices of the ungodly, pagan nations with human sacrifices—parents offering the lives of their children to pagan gods! Modern-day abortion?
The Bible shows that Israel not only disobeyed Elohim and wholeheartedly embraced the sexual immorality of the Gentiles they even went a step further.
“And they have turned unto Me the back, and not the face: though I taught them, rising up early and teaching them, yet they have not hearkened to receive instruction. But they set their abominations in the house [the temple at Jerusalem], which is called by My name, to defile it. And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into My mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin” (Jer. 32:33-35).
Imagine. Israel committed a sin so vile, so disgusting, that it even shocked Elohim!
But that was then. What about today? Surely, parents do not sacrifice their children to pagan gods today—or do they?
Do not be so certain. Perhaps their lives are not being sacrificed—but what about their innocence?
Parents today expect their little ones to “fall in love” and have boyfriends and girlfriends. They think it is “cute” when little boys and little girls hold hands and act like a couple, sneaking a kiss or two when no one is watching. Some parents get worried when their kids do not show romantic interest in the opposite sex. They constantly ask them, “Do you have a boyfriend yet?” or “Who’s your girlfriend?”
Yet these same parents are surprised when their teen-aged “little girl” gets pregnant, or catches a sexually transmitted disease, or gets an abortion behind their back.
St. Valentine’s Day is just one of the many tools the “god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4) uses to get parents to sacrifice the innocence of their children.
When little boys and little girls draw each other’s names in a lottery and send Valentine cards and gifts to each other, declaring their “love,” they are learning the first stages of intimate relations that our Creator designed specifically for emotionally mature adults. Instead of embracing the carefree innocence of youth, growing up without the headaches and heartaches of adulthood (finding a job, paying bills, marriage, raising a family, etc.), children today are taught to lust after each other. They are caught up in a daily drama of “If-you-loved-me-you-would-sleep-with-me; I’m-pregnant; It’s-not-mine, she-had-an-abortion.” By the time they reach adulthood, virtually every shred of innocence, sincerity and moral decency has been stripped from them. Emotionally drained, they have world-weary, “been there, done that” attitudes. And their lives are just beginning.
This is why we live in a world where a post-teen-aged virgin is a rare find. Where what used to be called “shacking up” and “living in sin” is now simply called “living together." Where sex is nothing more than meaningless physical recreation with no emotional attachments, no cares, no concerns. Where people change sex partners as conveniently as they change clothes. Where unmarried twenty or thirty-somethings have had at least five sexual partners—and that is considered a low number, especially in the United States. Where men are not referred to as “my husband,” or “my fiancé,” but are referred to as “my second baby’s father.”
Satan has deceived the whole world (Rev. 12:9) in multiple ways—especially when it comes to intimate relationships. St. Valentine’s Day is just one of his tools for his deceptions.
“Come Out of Her, My People” (Rev. 18:4, emphasis added).
Concerning the near future, when this Satanic-influenced world is about to collapse, Elohim declares, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils [demons], and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed [increased] rich through the abundance of her delicacies” (Rev. 18:2-3).
Concerning this pagan, Satanic system, Elohim commands true Christians, to “Come out of her, My people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues” (Rev. 18:4). Elohim’s people are in Babylon even though they may attend a so-called “Christian church.”
St. Valentine’s Day originated from the ancient paganism of this Satanic-influenced world. It is designed to deceive humanity by appealing to fleshly, carnal desires—or, as the Bible calls them, “the works of the flesh.” “Now the works of the flesh are manifest [made obvious], which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry . . . drunkenness, reveling, and such like” (Gal. 5:19-21). “If it feels good, do it!” Do any of these sound like Lupercalia to you?
Ultimately, “they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of Elohim” (Gal. 5:21). A true Christian is focused on Elohim's soon-coming Kingdom (Matt. 6:33) and the world to come; not on the fleshly cravings of our inherited fallen humanity. A true Christian must “put off the old man of sin” and must invite the Spirit of Elohim into their life in order for the perfect, righteous life of Yahushua Messiah to be lived in you. A Christian knows that he/she must actively come out of this world; out of its pagan-originated customs, practices and traditions.
Paul warned the Galatian believers who had come out of paganism. "But now, after that you have known Elohim, or rather are known of Elohim, how turn you again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto you desire again to be in bondage? You observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain" (Gal. 4:9-10, emphasis added). Paul was talking about the pagan feast days to which he saw his converts from paganism to Christianity returning and was fearful for their salvation and rightfully so!
A true Christian does not celebrate St. Valentine’s Day or any of the other pagan holidays! “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). There is only room for love for one or the other – not both. “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve Elohim and mammon” (Luke 16:13).