Every year millions of people worldwide, join together as they all gather on some hilltop, early on a Sunday morning, and wait for the dawning rays of the sun to, as they put it, celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The participants of this occasion generally stand facing the east, as they await the early rising sun. In the Roman Catholic faith, this day is preceded by 40 days of Lent.
Where did Easter originate from? Is it mentioned in the Bible? Is it the Christian's duty to observe Easter, according to the Bible?
Did the Apostles observe Easter? We'll look at these questions and more as we study the issue of Easter and its importance to God's people.
The word Easter is in the Bible (KJV), as we read in Acts 12:4. Since a reading of verse 3 shows us that this is really the Passover as we read in Luke 22:1 (days of unleavened bread), and since the Jewish people in general and the leadership in particular, did not accept Jesus as the Messiah, it is quite doubtful that any of them celebrated Easter. So I believe we can safely conclude that the word Easter in that verse is an error by the translators. Another point to consider is that the Passover was observed on the 14th day of Nisan on the exact date, whereas the celebration of Easter is always on a Sunday, regardless of the date.
WHERE DID EASTER COME FROM?
Most adherents of Easter are under the belief that it was celebrated by the Apostles in the early Christian church. But there is absolutely no Biblical or historical evidence to support this concept. There is however ample evidence to support the fact that this feast was celebrated for thousands of years before Christ was born into this world! To discover the origin of this festival we must go back to the very beginnings of mankind, back to the Book of Genesis.
There in Genesis 10:6-9 we read: ?And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Cush begat Nimrod: He began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord.” ?Before the Lord” in this instance, means against. He was opposite of everything the Lord stood for.
Nimrod, the great-grandson of Noah, was the founder of Babel, (Babylon), and other cities, but this one is significant in the Bible for its wickedness. Also it is widely accepted by historical scholars that Nimrod was instrumental in establishing such practices as idolatry, magic and astrology on the earth after the flood. In fact, the evils of Babylon became so great, that Shem, Noah's son and Nimrod's uncle, took it into his own hands to destroy Nimrod and send the remnants of his dismembered body to the chief cities as a warning to the followers of that great apostate. As a result, the followers of Nimrod and his practices went underground, and the mysteries of Babylon have remained hidden in mystic symbols and secret rituals to this day. Few in our day are aware that most of these rituals were built around a framework of ascending degrees, i.e. 1st degree,. 3rd degree, etc. In fact, very few Christians realize that the present system of scholastic degrees is a direct descendant of this Babylonian practice and is not part of God's educational plan for mankind.
Time and culture have changed the name of Nimrod into such figures as Jupiter, Saturn and Baal. Because of his great strength and hunting prowess Nimrod was literally worshipped and idolized by his followers, and when he died his wife Semiramis led them to believe that his immortalized spirit went into and took possession of the sun. From the adoration of Nimrod came the source of Sun-day worship––––Satan's counterfeit Sabbath. That's where Sun-day worship really began, back in the days of Nimrod, the sun-god, on his day, Sun-day, the 1st day of the week.
Nimrod's wife Semiramis, was a beautiful but depraved and evil woman whom the pagans also idolized. And since Nimrod's spirit took possession of the sun, they believed that when she died, her immortal spirit would take possession of the Moon, and she would become the Moon-goddess or the Queen of Heaven. Her name has come down to us as Diana, Venus, Isis, Ishtar, Eastre, and in the Bible she is known as Ashtoroth, and the Queen of Heaven. Judges 2:13 reads: ?And they forsook the Lord, and served Baal and Ashtoroth.” That is Nimrod and Semiramis right there. In Jeremiah chapters 7 and 44 you will find mention of the Queen of Heaven (Semiramis), and just how the Lord views this adoration shown her.
Semiramis never married again after the death of Nimrod, but a few years after his death, she gave birth to a son on the 25th of December. This son, whom she later married, she named Tammuz, which means the ?sun-of-life.” SUN of life! Semiramis claimed that the spirit of the sun, her husband Nimrod, was the father of Tammuz. Tammuz was thereby considered the SON of the SUN. The first letter of his name ?T” was ever afterwards considered the symbol of sunworship, and sunworshippers, in their depravity, sacrificed human offerings to the Sun-god upon a wooden cross––––the initial T of the name Tammuz. That is where the cross, in its many forms originated from.
Tammuz was also a great hunter like his ?father” Nimrod, but while yet a young man, he was killed by a wild boar, in the spring of the year. This caused so much grief throughout the whole kingdom, that the 40 days before the time of the celebration for the moon were set apart as days of weeping for Tammuz, who had become an object of adoration, like his ?predecessor” Nimrod. Especially did the women take the lead in this weeping, and almost 1500 years later we find God's professed people observing this heathen custom in Ezekiel 8:14: ?Then He brought me to the door of the gate of the Lord's house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz.”
This custom is still observed today, as will be shown later, but this historical background is necessary so that we may be able to clearly determine the origin of Easter.
The New American Bible expresses Daniel 7:25 thusly: ?She shall speak against the Most High and oppress the holy ones of the Most High thinking to change the feast days and the law.” Or as the KJV puts it: ?times and laws.”
This quotation from ?The Catholic Catechism” by Cardinal Gibbons helps us to see a little clearer what is meant by ?feast days.” ?The new law has its own spirit..and its own feasts which have taken the place of those appointed in the law of Moses. If we would know the days to be observed (Easter, St. Valentine, St. Patrick, Sunday and Christmas, etc.), we must go to the Catholic Church, not the Mosaic Law.”
Further emphasizing these bold claims of the Papacy we read: ?The church took the pagan philosophy and made it the buckler of faith against the heathen. She took the pagan Roman Pantheon, temple of all the gods, and made it sacred to all the martyrs; so it stands to this day. She took the pagan Sunday and made it the Christian Sunday. She took the pagan Easter and made it the feast we celebrate during this season..The sun was a foremost god with heathendom..There is, in truth, something royal, kingly about the sun, making it a fit emblem of Jesus, the Sun of justice. Hence the church in these countries would seem to have said, ‘‘Keep that old pagan name, It shall remain consecrated, sanctified.' And thus the pagan Sunday, dedicated to Balder [the god of light and peace], became the Christian Sunday, sacred to Jesus.” Catholic World, March 1894.
Christianity finally came to look so like paganism that Faustus, a pagan of the fourth century, in speaking to the Christians, declared: ?You celebrate the solemn festivals of the Gentiles (pagans)..and as to their manners, those you have retained without any alteration. Nothing distinguishes you from the pagans except that you hold your assemblies apart from them.” ––––Faustus (a non-Christian) to St. Augustine. So we see that the observance of Easter was intimately related to the observance of Sunday as a festival of the pagan world centuries before Christ was born.
As we have seen, the name ?Easter” comes to us directly from Ashtoroth, Astarte, Ishtar,and Eastre. As stated before, Jeremiah chapters 7 and 44 tell how God's people provoked Him by worshipping this ?queen of heaven”. A reading of Jeremiah 7:18 states: ?The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.” The entire family was involved in this worship of the queen of heaven, and turning to chapter 44:16,17 we read why they refused to stop this idolatrous practice. ?As for the word that thou has spoken unto us in the name of the Lord, we will not hearken unto thee. But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: for then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil.”
So, despite the admonitions of God, they refused cease their idolatry! Why? Well, they had plenty to eat, the economy was good, and there was nothing to get upset about––––why ask for trouble! But, as history bears out, their insistence on worshipping the queen of heaven led God to allow them to go into Babylonian captivity where they could worship all the false gods they wanted to––––but without the providential mercy of God protecting and caring for them.
Today, the cakes to the queen of heaven are still being made, only they're called hot cross buns––––and they still are marked with that old expression of pure paganism––––the sign of Tammuz!
The time to worship the queen of heaven, the moon goddess, Astarte, Ishtar, Eastre, whatever title seems appropriate, was to extend from the first full moon after the vernal equinox, or the 21st of March, until the first Sunday after this full moon. Exactly the same method by which Easter is determined to this day!! So this day, hailed by millions, as the great day of our Lord's resurrection may vary from March 23rd to April 25th! Now which Sunday was He resurrected on, since this is supposed to be celebrating His resurrection?
But the Bible does not leave us wondering. We are told how Christians are to honor Christ's resurrection. Romans 6:4,5 states: ?Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection.” Colossians 2:12 also tells us: ?Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead.”
So we see that in observing the ordinance of baptism we are honoring His resurrection. This is God's approved method, not by following some ancient pagan custom that the Roman Catholic Church has claimed to consecrate and sanctify.
But again, another issue comes to bear. Not all churches believe and practice the proper form of baptism––––and there is only one method which God approves. In Matthew 3:16 we read: ?And Jesus, when He was baptized went up straightway out of the water..” In Mark 1:5 we read: ?..and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan..” Again we read in verse 10: ?And straightway coming up out of the water..” In John 3:23 we read: ?And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there..” And in Acts 8:38,39 again we read: ?..and they went down both into the water, both Philip an the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water..”
All these verses clearly imply that the proper form of baptism is total immersion of the entire body––––a mere sprinkling is not looked upon as baptism by God. So until one is convicted on this matter, one cannot grasp the significance of baptism and how the resurrection of Christ is honored and symbolized by baptism.
Jeremiah 10:2 tells us: ?Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen..” Do we get Easter worship from the Bible, or do we get it from the pagan, heathenism? LEARN NOT THE WAY OF THE HEATHEN!
Again we read: ?Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and thou enquire not after their gods saying, How did these nations serve their gods: even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the Lord the God..What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.” Deuteronomy 12:30-32
Can it be much plainer than that? That we are not to learn from the heathen and the pagans how they worship their gods and bring those practices to God. For many do admit that they know that these practices have pagan origins but they rationalize ?Oh but we put Jesus into everything.” But what does Jesus Christ Himself say about this? We read: ?Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? And in Thy name have cast out devils? And in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Why does Christ say this to all those that have put His name into everything? ?Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but HE THAT DOETH THE WILL OF MY FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN.” Matthew 7:22,23,21.
We read in Ezekiel 8:16: ?And He brought me into the inner court of the Lord's house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the Lord, and their faces toward the east, and they worshipped the sun toward the east.” When the Lord gave instruction for His sanctuary to be set up, He always placed the door on the east side so that when the priest went in their backs were always to the east, to the rising of the sun. So we can see that the Christian world's practice of celebrating the resurrection by facing the east, and greeting the early rising sun (see John 20:1), and the determining of Easter by the moon, preceded by 40 days of (weeping) Lent, is nothing less than pagan sun-worship cleverly camouflaged by the Arch-deceiver, (see 2 Corinthians 11:13-15), the worship of Satan's counterfeit trinity.
“ How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God follow Him, but if Baal then follow him.” 1 Kings 18:21.