shOULD WE BE CELEBRATING
CHRISTMAS AND EASTER?
Well what does the bible tell us about it ?
I suggest for true understanding -Pray first and ask the LORD to reveal truth and wisdom in this area .
CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO OPEN FULLY
29 “When the Lord your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land, 30 take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ 31 You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way; for every abomination to the Lord which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods.
1 Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded them. 2 So fire went out from the Lord and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. 3 And Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord spoke, saying:
‘By those who come near Me
I must be regarded as holy;
And before all the people
I must be glorified.’ ”
So Aaron held his peace.
2 Thus says the Lord:
“Do not learn the way of the Gentiles;
Do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven,
For the Gentiles are dismayed at them.
3 For the customs of the peoples are futile;
For one cuts a tree from the forest,
The work of the hands of the workman, with the ax.
4 They decorate it with silver and gold;
They fasten it with nails and hammers
So that it will not topple.
Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.
1 John 2:15-16
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world.
2 Corinthians 6:14-17
14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
“I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.”
“Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.”
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
4 "And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers."
"The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one."
"Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn."
because Jesus died on the cross and FULFILLED the Law and we are set free from the Law ....
Does that mean we can now do Pagan rituals ?
Does that mean God would "welcome us' to follow Pagan rituals ?
Does God give a rule or command as it tells us in the bible , and then change his mind ?
because Jesus died on the cross and FULFILLED the Law and we are set free from the Law ....
Does that mean we can now do Pagan rituals ?
Does that mean God would "welcome us' to follow Pagan rituals ?
Does God give a rule or command as it tells us in the bible , and then change his mind ?
-- EASTER TRADITIOn --
Easter and the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Jesus ChristHave you ever wondered why Christians observe celebrations and customs that God never commanded them to observe? The celebration of Easter was never observed by the early Christians. In this theological expose, we will carefully examine the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and where the celebration of Easter and its customs came from.
The section on Easter in the 11th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica states: “There is no indication of the observance of the Easter festival in the New Testament or in the writings of the apostolic fathers. The sanctity of special times was an idea absent from the minds of the first Christians.”
If you have a King James Translation of the Bible, you will notice that the word “Easter” appears only once in Holy Scripture.
The King James Translation at Acts 12:4 reads: “. . . intending after Easter to bring him (Peter) forth to the people.”
This is a mistranslation of the Greek word “pascha,” which when translated correctly should be rendered “Passover.” The word (pascha) appears 26 other times in the New Testament and in each of these instances is correctly translated as “Passover.” Acts 12:4 tells us that Herod was actually planning to bring Peter before the people after Passover, not Easter.
The New King James Version of the Bible has made a correction of this passage, which now reads: “. . . intending to bring him (Peter) before the people after Passover.”
The word Easter does not appear anywhere in the New Testament nor in any other translation. As we have already established, Easter was never commanded to be celebrated by our Lord, nor did the early Christians observe Easter.
Christ’s Death and Burial
The Bible tells us that the prophet Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights. But what does Jonah have to do with Christ’s death and burial? Plenty!
Jonah 1:17 states: “And the LORD (Yahweh) appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the stomach of the fish three days and three nights.”
This means three daylight periods and three night periods, in other words, 72 hours. Some have suggested that this means just parts of three days and three nights, not 72 hours. When both day and night periods are mentioned in the Bible, it indicates a literal 24-hour period and not a portion of a day. (See 2 Corinthians 11:25)
Jesus said that the only sign that would be given to the evil and adulterous generation of His day was the sign of Jonah the prophet. Just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so the Son of Man would be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.
Matthew 12:38-40 states: “38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered Him, saying, ‘Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.’ 39 But He answered and said to them, ‘An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign shall be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; 40 For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster (great fish), so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.'”
This means that like Jonah, Jesus would be buried in the heart of the earth for three daylight periods and three night periods or 72 hours. Guess what? It is impossible to cram 72 hours into a time period starting late Friday afternoon (Good Friday) and ending early Sunday morning (Easter morning)! In order to have a full 72-hour elapse, Christ would have had to have been crucified on a Wednesday, not on a Friday. Does this fit the Biblical account? Yes it does.
The gospel of Luke gives an account of the death and burial of Jesus Christ. (Read Luke 23:46-55) Luke tells us that Jesus’ body was taken down off the cross and laid in a tomb. It also states that the Sabbath was about to begin.
Luke 23:53-54 tells us that a follower of Jesus (Joseph of Arimathea): “53 . . . laid Him (Christ) in a tomb cut into the rock, where no one had ever lain. 54 And it was the preparation day, the Sabbath was about to begin.”
Jewish Sabbaths began at sunset. The Sabbath mentioned here was not a weekly Sabbath, which according to Jewish law fell on Saturday. It was an annual or high Sabbath. How do we know this?
If you recall the night before, Jesus and his followers met in an upper room to celebrate the Passover (the Festival of Unleavened Bread). The Passover festival occurred once a year and fell on the 14th day of Nisan according to the Jewish calendar. The scriptures tell us that Christ (the Lamb of God) is our Passover Lamb and that He was sacrificed or put to death on Passover day.
Luke 22:7 states: “Then came the first day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed.”
1 Corinthians 5:7 tells us: “. . . For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.”
John 1:29 refers to Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God who takes away our sins: “. . . Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
Isaiah 53:7 refers to the Christ as being a Lamb that was led to the slaughter: “. . . Like a Lamb that is led to the slaughter. . .”
Jesus Christ, as our Passover Lamb, would have been sacrificed on Passover day, Nisan 14th, according to the Jewish calendar.
Leviticus 23:5 states: “In the first month (Nisan), on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight is the LORD’S’ Passover.”
Jesus said that evening to His disciples at Luke 22:15 . . . “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer;”
It is important to note that the day following the Passover, Nisan 15th, would have been a holy convocation or Sabbath and no work would have been permitted.
Leviticus 23:6-7 states: “6 Then on the fifteenth day of the same month (Nisan) there is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. 7 On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious work.”
This marked the commencement of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which would have been observed by the Jews of Christ’s day. The first day of this feast (Nisan 15th) would have been a Sabbath, when no work was permitted. The Passover day (Nisan 14th), on which Christ was crucified, was a day of preparation before the Sabbath day (Nisan 15th). The bodies of the two criminals, along with Christ’s body, had to be taken down from the crosses so that they should not remain there on the Sabbath. John 19:31 tells us that the Sabbath day (Nisan 15th) was a “high day.” This means that this Sabbath, or high day, was not the same as the weekly Sabbath that the Jews observed each Saturday. It was an annual Sabbath!
John 19:31 states: “The Jews therefore, because it was the day of preparation (the Passover), so that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for the Sabbath was a high day), asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.”
Luke 23:53-54 tells us that a follower of Jesus (Joseph of Arimathea): “53 . . .laid Him (Christ) in a tomb cut into the rock, where no one had ever lain. 54 And it was the preparation day (the Passover), the Sabbath (or high day) was about to begin.”
According to the Mosaic law, a “high day” was an annual Sabbath which could have fallen on any day of the week. Was there a high day Sabbath during the crucifixion week? Yes there was! The high day Sabbath was Nisan 15th or the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
In order to fulfill the three days and three nights prophesied, Jesus would have had to have died on Wednesday afternoon and been laid in the tomb by sundown Wednesday evening. This would have been just prior to the commencement of the “high day Sabbath,” the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The high day Sabbath would have then fallen on Thursday. According to Jewish custom, the high day Sabbath would have started at sunset on Wednesday and continued until sunset on Thursday. Remember, no work was to be performed on the high day Sabbath, so Jesus’ disciples would have rested on that day (Thursday). (See Leviticus 23:7 previously cited)
Does this make sense? Yes it does. The scriptures tell us that after the high day Sabbath was over, the women bought spices to anoint Christ in the tomb. Mark 16:1 states: “And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might go and anoint Him (Christ). The women could not buy spices on the high day Sabbath (Thursday) or on the weekly Sabbath (Saturday), but they could buy spices on Friday, which is what they did. After they purchased the spices on Friday, the women rested on Saturday (the weekly Sabbath). This Saturday Sabbath would have commenced at sunset Friday and continued until sunset Saturday.
Mathew 28:1 states: “Now after the Sabbath (Saturday), as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week (Sunday), Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave.”
John 20:1 states: “Now on the first day of the week (Sunday), Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb.”
Do you realize from these scriptural accounts, that Jesus Christ had already been resurrected prior to sunrise, Sunday morning? It was still dark on Sunday morning when the women arrived at the tomb and Christ had already risen. The scriptures tell us that the stone was rolled away and the body was gone. (See John 20:1-10 & Mathew 28:1-7)
A Chronological Summary
From all of the above scriptural evidence presented, we can establish that Jesus Christ was put to death (crucified) and buried on a Wednesday (Passover Day or Nisan 14th), just prior to sundown. Sundown, Wednesday evening, would have marked the beginning of Thursday or the Jewish “high Sabbath,” on which no work was permitted. This would have meant that the night before, on Tuesday evening at sundown, Jesus would have met with His followers in the upper room to celebrate the Passover and inaugurate the “Lord’s evening meal.” Remember, Tuesday evening after sundown would have been the beginning of Wednesday or the Jewish Passover. After celebrating the evening meal with His disciples, Jesus was arrested that very night, brought before the authorities, and on Wednesday morning (Passover day) was put on trial before Pilate. According to scripture, He was then crucified at about 9:00 AM Wednesday morning and hung on the cross until about 3:00 PM Wednesday afternoon, when He expired. He was then buried in a rich man’s tomb just before sundown, Wednesday evening. This would mark the beginning of Thursday or the Jewish high Sabbath.
If we calculate (starting) from Wednesday evening at sunset, to Thursday evening at sunset (which would be the high Sabbath or Thursday according to the Jews), we have 24 hours or one day.
If we then calculate from Thursday evening at sunset, to Friday evening at sunset (which would be Friday according to the Jews), we have 24 hours or a second day.
If we make a final calculation from Friday evening at sunset, to Saturday evening at sunset (which would be the weekly Sabbath or Saturday according to the Jews), we have 24 hours or a third day.
We then have a total of three days and three nights (72 hours) starting from Wednesday evening at sunset to Saturday evening at sunset. Once again, sundown on Saturday would mark the beginning of the first day of the week according to Jewish custom or Sunday. From this we can conclude that Christ rose from the dead at sundown Saturday evening, which would have also been the beginning of Sunday, the first day of the week. He would have already risen and been absent from the grave for quite some time (approx. 8-10 hours), when the women got to the tomb just before sunrise on Sunday morning.
Why Is This Important?
The above information is important to know, because we as Christians are witnesses of Jesus Christ. We need to defend our Lord and Savior! Jesus did not lie to us when He said that He would be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights! Yet, for centuries the world has mocked this claim that Jesus made, simply because you cannot fit a 72-hour time frame from late afternoon on Good Friday to early Easter Sunday morning. Historically, the atheists, the secularists, and the agnostics have had a heyday with this discrepancy! But with the above information, we now have a plausible explanation for this seeming inconsistency. A careful examination of Holy Scripture reveals the truth. Jesus was in the tomb for three days and three nights, from Wednesday evening to Saturday evening, and rose from the dead at sundown Saturday evening or the commencement of Sunday, the first day of the week according to the Jews.
There has been an absolute failure on the part Christendom to set the record straight on this issue. The clergy of Christendom (comprised of popes, bishops, priests, pastors, and theologians), with very few exceptions, have universally failed to vindicate our Lord as to the truth regarding His death, burial, and resurrection, which is the original gospel. (See 1 Corinthians 15:1-4) Jesus Christ, Himself, said that He would rise from the dead after three days.
Mark 9:31 states: “The Son of man will be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill Him; and when He is killed, after three days He will rise.”
In spite of this, the vast majority of churches still teach that Christ was crucified and buried on a Friday. This false claim in the light of Holy Scripture is an outright lie!
The question then arises, if Christ was put to death on a Wednesday, what is so good about “Good Friday?” Where did the “Easter” celebration, with its rabbits, eggs, lilies, hot cross buns, and sunrise service come from? What about the 40-day observance of “Lent” and the command to abstain from meat and eat only fish on Friday? Are these observances and customs of Christian origin or of pagan origin? We shall now reveal the answer to these questions.
The Origin of Easter
Websters Dictionary has this to say about Easter: Eastra or Eostre, Goddess of dawn, whose festival was celebrated at the spring equinox.
Unger’s Bible Dictionary states this about Easter: The word Easter is of Saxon origin, Eastra (Eostre), the goddess of spring, in whose honor sacrifices were offered about Passover time each year. By the 8th century Anglo Saxons had adopted the name to designate the celebration of Christ’s resurrection.
The book Babylon Mystery Religion by Ralph Woodrow says this about Easter: “It is well known that “Easter” is not a Christian expression – not in its original meaning. The word comes from the name of a pagan goddess – the goddess of the rising light of day and spring. “Easter” is but a more modern form of Eostre, Ostera, Astarte, or Ishtar, the latter, according to Hislop, being pronounced as we pronounce “Easter” today. The goddess of the spring, from whose name our word “Easter” comes, was associated with the sun rising in the east – even as the name “Easter” would seem to imply. Thus the dawn of the sun in the east, the name Easter, and the spring season are all connected.”
The Readers Digest book The Last Two Million Years tells us this about Easter: “Often churches were sited where (pagan) temples stood before, and many heathen festivals were added to the Christian calendar. Easter, for instance, a time of sacrifice and rebirth in the Christian year, takes its name from the Norse goddess Eostre, in whose honor rites were held every spring. She in turn was simply a Northern version of the Phoenician earth-mother Astarte, goddess of fertility.”
Alexander Hislop in the book The Two Babylons states: “What means the term Easter itself? It is not a Christian name. It bears its Chaldean origin on its very forehead. Easter is nothing but Astarte, one of the titles of Beltis, the queen of heaven. . .”
The Catholic Encyclopedia states: “. . . Eostre, a Teutonic goddess of the rising light of day and spring. . . Eostre is the ancient European name for the same goddess worshiped by the Babylonians as Astarte, or Ishtar, the goddess of fertility, whose major celebration was in the spring of the year.”
Vines Complete Expository Dictionary of the Old and New Testament Words states: “The term “Easter is not of Christian origin. It is another form of Astarte, one of the titles of the Chaldean goddess, the queen of the heavens. . . . the pagan festival of “Easter” was quite distinct and was introduced into the apostate Western religion, as part of the attempt to adapt pagan festivals to Christianity.”
From the above sources we see that Easter is the name of a pagan Babylonian (Chaldean) goddess; Astarte, Ishtar, Ashtoreth, or Beltis (the queen of the heavens). She later became known and worshiped in the northern hemisphere as the Teutonic goddess; Eostre, Eastra, or Easter (the goddess of the light of dawn or spring).
Believe it or not, Easter and its customs are mentioned in scripture.
The prophet Ezekiel depicts an Easter sunrise service and calls it an abomination.
Ezekiel 8:16-17 states: “Then he brought me into the inner court of the LORD’s house. And behold, at the entrance of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the alter, were about twenty five men with their backs to the temple of the LORD and their faces toward the East; and they were prostrating themselves eastward toward the sun. 17 And He said to me. ‘Do you see this, son of man? Is it too light a thing for the house of Judah to commit the abominations which they have committed here, that they have filled the land with violence and provoked Me repeatedly? For behold, they are putting the twig to their nose.'”*
The prophet Jeremiah depicts women making cakes (hot cross buns) for the queen of the heavens.
Jeremiah 7:18 states: “The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough to make cakes for the queen of the heaven; and they pour out libations to other gods in order to spite me.”
Jeremiah 44:19 states: “And, said the women, ‘when we were burning sacrifices to the queen of the heaven, and were pouring out libations to her, was it without our husbands that we made for her sacrificial cakes in her image and poured out libations to her.'” (See also Jeremiah 44:25)
Ezekiel depicts women weeping for the sun-god, Tammuz.
Ezekiel 8:14-15 states: “14 Then He brought me to the entrance of the gate of the LORD’s house which was towards the north; and behold, women were sitting there weeping for Tammuz. 15 And He said to me, ‘Do you see this, son of man? Yet you will see still greater abominations than these.'”
History tells us that the “queen of the heavens” was a real woman or person, whose name was “Semiramis.” Semiramis was the mother of “Nimrod” (the mighty hunter), who was before the LORD (or in opposition to the LORD) Almighty God, “Yahweh.” After the flood, Nimrod built the tower of Babel in defiance of the LORD and was the first tyrant on the earth. The LORD God came down and confused the people’s languages, which caused them to disperse out over the earth. This was God’s way of disrupting an early attempt or version of a new world order. As the people spread out over the earth, they took their pagan theology and customs with them. (See Genesis 10:8-10) Nimrod married his mother (Semiramis) and thus gave birth to Satan’s version of the trinity; father, mother, son, or three in one. Historical legend tells us that Nimrod was killed at a young age (40 years old), and that he was later resurrected and deified as the god Tammuz. The mystic “T” or “Tau,” the sign of the cross, became his symbol (ex. hot cross buns). In essence, Nimrod became Satan’s version of the promised seed, a counterfeit seed in place of Jesus Christ.
According to ancient legends, Nimrod (Tammuz) was slain and descended into the underworld. Through the weeping of his mother, Semiramis (Ishtar, Astarte or Easter), Nimrod was mystically revived or resurrected in the spring. The resurrection of Tammuz, through Ishtar’s weeping, was dramatically represented in order to insure the success of the crops and the fertility of the people. Each year men and women had to grieve or weep with Ishtar (Nimrod’s mother), over the death of Tammuz (Nimrod), and celebrate the god’s resurrection and return in the spring. This annual mourning for Tammuz was, on the people’s part, a concerted effort to win anew Ishtar’s favor and blessings in the spring. When the new vegetation began to sprout forth in the spring, these ancient peoples believed that their savior (Tammuz) had come forth from the underworld, thereby ending winter and causing spring to begin. The sunrise service that Ezekiel describes, with men prostrating themselves to the sun in the east, depicts the resurrection of Tammuz (or Nimrod) as pictured by the rising sun. The women, as witnessed by both Jeremiah and Ezekiel, are seen weeping for Tammuz. In actuality, they are mourning the death of Nimrod. By making cakes and libations (hot cross buns) to Ishtar or Easter (the queen of the heavens), they are petitioning her favor and blessing at the dawn’s light of early spring.
The Easter celebration is an outright merging of paganism with Christianity. The sanctioning of the name “Easter” (a pagan goddess) as the title representing our Lord’s resurrection is blasphemy! In doing this we dishonor our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who died for our sins. (Refer to Titus 2:13) This does not even begin to take into account, what God the Father would have to say concerning this rank misrepresentation of His only begotten Son.
The LORD God (Yahweh) at Exodus 20:3 states:
” Thou shalt have no other God’s before Me (before My Face).”
Our Lord Jesus Christ said at John 8:49 & 5:22:
. . . “I honor My Father, but you dishonor Me. ”
. . .”Whoever does not honor the Son, does not honor the Father that sent Him.”
Celebration of Fertility
The queen of the heavens (Ishtar or Easter) was also the goddess of sex and fertility. It was only natural that she be worshiped with sex symbols such as prolific rabbits, eggs, lilies, etc. The Easter lily was the floral emblem of the queen of the heavens. Hot cross buns were also made to commemorate her and the resurrection of her son, Tammuz, his sign being the mystic “T” or cross. In ancient times, people wept, fasted, and performed acts of self-chastisement for forty days in honor of Tammuz. This was done before the queen of the heavens (Ishtar or Easter).
Legend has it that Nimrod (Tammuz) was killed by a wild boar, when he was 40 years old.
In his book The Two Babylons, Hislop points out that forty days – a day for each year Tammuz had lived on earth – were set aside to “weep for Tammuz.”
This weeping was done before Nimrod’s mother (Semiramis or Ishtar, the queen of the heavens) so that in the hope of gaining her favor, Tammuz would come back to life from the underworld and bring forth the commencement of spring. This 40-day period of mourning for Tammuz was known as “Lent.”
In his book “The Two Babylons” Hislop states that: “Among the pagans, this Lent seems to have been an indispensable preliminary to the great annual festival in commemoration of the death and resurrection of Tammuz.”
The egg and rabbit were introduced as Easter symbols representing sex and fertility, following the festival of Lent.
The Catholic Encyclopedia states: “Because the use of eggs was forbidden during Lent, they were brought to the table of Easter Day, colored red to symbolize the Easter joy. . . The custom may have its origin in paganism, for a great many pagan customs celebrating the return of spring, gravitated to Easter.”
The Catholic Encyclopedia also states: “The rabbit is a pagan symbol, and has always been an emblem of fertility.”
The book “Catholic Customs and Traditions” by Greg Dues states: “The egg has become a popular Easter symbol. Creation myths of ancient peoples center in a cosmogenic egg from which the universe is born.”
“In ancient Egypt and Persia, friends exchanged decorated eggs at the spring equinox, the beginning of the new year. These eggs were a symbol of fertility for them because the coming forth of a living creature from an egg was so surprising to the people of ancient times. Christians of the Near East adopted this tradition, and the Easter egg became a religious symbol. It represented the tomb from which Jesus came forth to a new life.”
The same author also explains that, like eggs, rabbits became associated with Easter because they were powerful symbols of fertility. “Little children are usually told that Easter eggs are brought by the Easter bunny. Rabbits are part of pre-Christian fertility symbolism because of their reputation to reproduce rapidly.”
Note how far the Catholic church went in an effort to embrace these pagan customs. In likening our Savior Jesus Christ to the creature of an egg, Pope Paul V (1605-1621) prayed this prayer: “Bless, O Lord, we beseech thee, this thy creature of eggs, that it may become wholesome sustenance unto thy servants, eating it in remembrance of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The apostate church sought to Christianize the egg, suggesting that just as the chick came out of the egg, so Christ came out of the tomb!
From the account of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection as found in the Gospels, we have already established that Jesus did not die on a Friday. The Bible tells us that there was nothing special or good about “Good Friday.” Where then did the observance of Good Friday and its customs come from?
For centuries Roman Catholics abstained from eating meat on Good Friday (the day of Christ’s crucifixion) and instead substituted fish. The Bible never associates fish with Friday, so where did this custom come from? The word Friday comes from the goddess “Freya,” who was regarded as the goddess of peace, joy, and fertility. The symbol of her fertility was “the fish.” The fish, as a symbol of fertility, dates back to ancient Babylon. Various species of fish can lay anywhere from 100,000 eggs to 1,000,000 eggs when spawning. As a symbol of sex and fertility, the fish was regarded as sacred to Ashtoreth (Ishtar or Easter), the pagan Babylonian goddess. This goddess eventually took on other names or identities such as Freya, Isis, Venus, etc. The statues of these goddesses were often represented with a fish on the goddesses head, representing sex and fertility. Our week day, Friday, was named after the goddess of sex and fertility (Freya). The fish was her sacred symbol and Friday her sacred day. The Roman Catholic church adopted these pagan customs into the church, and officially sanctioned the observance of this holiday, that we now know as “Good Friday.”
Easter, a Pagan and Christian Holiday
The observance of Easter as a Christian holiday became official at the Council of Nicea in 325 CE. This followed what is known as the Quartodeciman controversy, which was a dispute over which day of the week Easter was to be celebrated on. This controversy pitted the church of Rome, which held that Easter should be celebrated on the Sunday following Passover, against the Eastern church, which held that Easter should be commemorated on the same night as the Jewish Passover. At the Council of Nicea, the Roman church prevailed, with Sunday as the choice for the Easter celebration.
Once again, history points to the Council of Nicea as a major turning point in the history for the early Christian church. Under the authority of the Roman Emperor Constantine, the bishops who presided at the Council of Nicea designated a festival bearing the name of a pagan goddess and reeking of paganism as the official celebration of the resurrection of our Lord. This was a brilliant political maneuver on the Emperor’s part. By adopting pagan observances and customs into the church, he could unite both pagans and Christians as one, thereby securing and unifying his empire.
The apostles foretold that the apostasy (or falling away from the faith) would come after their passing. False teachers, who were ravenous wolves, would enter the flock, teaching doctrines of demons and perverting the original gospel! By their apostasy, they would disown the very Owner who bought them, Jesus Christ.
The Apostle Paul at Acts 20:28-29 foretold: “28 Be on guard for yourselves and all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 I know after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.”
1 Timothy 4:1-3 states: “1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 and by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, 3 men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods, which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.” (Note the fulfillment of this prophesy, with the apostate church mandating the celibacy of both priests and nuns and forbidding to eat meat on Friday)
The Apostle Peter prophesied at 2 Peter 2:1-3: “1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be also false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. 2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; 3 and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; ”
The Simplicity and Purity of Christ
But someone might say, “I want to observe Christ’s death and resurrection, and I feel a Christian should.” Fine! The Lord’s evening meal symbolizes Christ’s death. This is the only observance that Jesus told us to celebrate, not His resurrection. Just observe the Lord’s evening meal and you will be obeying Christ’s commandment to the fullest! This was the commandment that Jesus gave to all of His disciples: “Do this in remembrance of Me.” (See Luke 22:19) The Lord’s evening meal is the true celebration of the Lord, not the pagan Easter that is observed today.
Jesus, when He broke the bread, said: “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” Jesus, when He took the cup, said: “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this; as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 1 Corinthians 11:24-25
The Apostle Paul said: “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes (arrives).” 1 Corinthians 11:26
The celebration of the Lord’s evening meal was the only celebration observed by the early church. This was in express keeping with Jesus’ command to proclaim His death, until He arrives or comes again. Maranatha! Anything beyond this is an aberration and defilement of the simplicity and purity of the original gospel.
The Apostle Paul said: “But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness (cunning), your minds (thoughts) should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:3
The Apostle Paul also said: “. . . that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written. . . ” 1 Corinthians 4:6
The Apostle Paul warned: “. . . if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:9
Do You Feel Lucky?
That is the question that all professing Christians need to ask. Jesus condemned the religious leaders of His day, because they went beyond the things written (the law of Moses) and taught doctrines and traditions of men.
At Matthew 15:6-9 Jesus said: “6. . . And thus you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7 You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophecy of you, saying, 8 ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. 9 But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts (commands) of men.'”
Jesus said that if we remain in His word, we are really His disciples, and the truth will set us free.
John 8:31 states: “31 If you abide (remain, continue) in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make (set) you free.”
The scriptures liken the church as being a chaste virgin betrothed to Christ. The true church is no part of the world and is free of man-made doctrines and traditions. This would include pagan customs and festivals.
Jesus said at John 17:16: “They are no part of the world, even as I am not of the world.”
James 1:27 states: “This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, . . .to keep oneself unstained (without spot) by (from) the world.”
James 4:4 tells us: “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world, makes himself an enemy of God.”
The Apostle Paul states at 2 Corinthians 11:2: “. . . for I betrothed you to one husband, that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.”
The question then remains, “Do you feel lucky?” It is always a difficult thing when we as humans attempt to second guess God. The LORD God (Yahweh) allowed the nation of Israel to be destroyed because of their worshiping Baal (Tammuz or Nimrod) and Ashtoreth (Easter or Semiramis). Are we so naive as to presume that this same God is going to sanction and tolerate these same pagan customs and observances in the name of His Son and in the church? Read for yourselves the consequences of Easter (Ashtoreth) worship in the Old Testament. (Read 1 Kings 11:3-8 & 33, 2 Kings 23:13, & Jeremiah 44:25) According to all that is written in scripture, King Solomon died out of God’s favor for worshiping Ashtoreth (Easter) and other pagan gods. The nation of Israel was cursed by God!
Jesus said that true worshipers would worship God in Spirit and truth.” (John 4:24) If that is you, then you will faithfully observe the Lord’s evening meal, just as Jesus commanded. It is not incumbent or obligatory for any of us as believers to celebrate Easter or incorporate its pagan customs and practices in our worship. Early Christians placed no special significance on the resurrection of Jesus Christ, by celebrating it. In a manner similar to the early Christians, true believers can celebrate the Lord’s death (communion or the Eucharist)* just as Jesus commanded, “Do this in remembrance of Me.” (See Luke 22:19)
It should be stated that for all of those, who wish to commemorate and express joy in the resurrection of our Lord, they can do so in the simplicity and purity of Christ. More and more Christians now simply refer to Easter Sunday as “resurrection Sunday.” In this way, believers avoid the use of the name, “Easter,” and the pagan customs associated with it. (See John 16:19-22) This is a great opportunity to give a true testimony concerning the original gospel; the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. (See 1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
“Let God be found true, though every man be found a liar.” Romans 3:4
*The word “Eucharist” (Gr. Eucharistia) was a term used by the early Christians for the Lord’s supper or evening meal. It is a Greek word meaning “giving of thanks.”