Date Added: 3/24/2013
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I'll start off saying, Easter is heathen/pagan and not Christian and it is very foolish to mislead children with fables of an Easter Bunny or Santa Claus. These characters are clearly intended to hinder children from seeking the Lord Jesus Christ.
However, the Bible DOES command believers to regularly recognize Christ's crucified un-broken body, born of a virgin. Our main focus as Christians should be winning lost souls to Jesus Christ and not celebrating holidays.
The name "Easter" is merely the slightly changed English spelling of the name of the ancient Assyrian goddess Ishtar, pronounced by the Assyrians exactly as we pronounce "Easter." The Babylonian name of this goddess was Astarte, consort of Baal, the Sun-god, whose worship is denounced by the Almighty in the Bible as the most abominable of all pagan idolatry. 1Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth [his] hands to vex certain of the church. 2And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. 3And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) 4And when he had apprehended him, he put [him] in prison, and delivered [him] to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.
But now if you know your KJV Bible I know what your going to say, "but well it's in the Bible Mr. Know-it-all" and my reply is this "it sure is, lets open the Bible and have a look see"
Acts 12: 1-4 (KJV)
So if you read in verse 4 here it says that Herod was waiting until "Easter" to bring Peter out and kill him before the people, meaning Herod was observing Easter, not Peter...
Also did you happen to notice they took Peter during the "days of unleavened bread" (see verse 3) and held him until after Easter.. The Old Testament teaches that the DAY OF PASSOVER started the FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD. Notice in the following Scripture that the Day Of Passover occurred on the 14th day of the first month, but the Feast Of Unleavened Bread began on the 15th day of the month...
“In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD's passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.” (Leviticus 23:5,6)
So we learn from this Old Testament Scripture that the day of Passover fell on the 14th day of the first month, and then the “FEAST of UNLEAVENED BREAD” began upon the 15th day of the first month.
The days of unleavened bread came AFTER Passover! Acts 12:3 tells us that Peter was apprehended DURING the “days of unleavened bread.” This means that the day of Passover had ALREADY occurred. “Easter” could not have been Passover, because Passover occurs BEFORE the days of unleavened bread. Passover had come and gone. Herod decided to bring Peter forth AFTER Easter.
This is the proper time sequence:
2. DAYS OF UNLEAVENED BREAD
So there you have it... the Day of Passover always kicks off the seven Days of Unleavened Bread, happening the day before the feast begins. So if Herod arrested James during the Feast Of Unleavened Bread, the Passover was already over. Easter is correct. Of course, Easter is a pagan holiday and the Bible doesn't deny that. The Bible is simply teaching that James was taken by Herod during the days of unleavened bread, and Herod was planning to kill Peter after Easter.
Look up the word "Easter" in Webster's dictionary. You will find: "AS. (Anglo-Saxon), from name of old Teuton goddess of spring."
Easter, as Hislop says (The Two Babylons) "bears its Chaldean origin on its very forehead. Easter is nothing else than Astarte, one of the titles of Beltis, the 'queen of heaven,' whose name, as pronounced by the people of Nineveh, was evidently identical with that now in common use in this country."
The ancient gods of the pagans had many different names. While this goddess was called Astarte in Babylon, it appears on Assyrian monuments found by Layard in excavations at Nineveh as Ishtar (Layard's Nineveh and Babylon, page 629). Both were pronounced "Easter." Likewise, Beltis, or Bel (referred to in the Old Testament) also was called Moloch. It was for sacrificing to Moloch (I Kings 11:1-11, especially verse 7, where Moloch is called an abomination) and other pagan gods that the Eternal condemned Solomon, and rended away the Kingdom of Israel from his son.
In the ancient Chaldean idolatrous Sun-worship, Baal was the sun god, Astarte his consort, or wife. And Astarte is the same as Ishtar, or the English Easter.
Says Hislop: "The festival, of which we read in church history, under the name of Easter, in the third or fourth centuries, was quite a different festival from that now observed in the Romish (and Protestant) church, and at that time was not known by any such name as Easter. IT WAS CALLED PASSOVER, and was very early observed by Christians . . . . That festival agreed originally with the time of the Jewish Passover, when Christ was crucified.
How Easter Crept into the Church
Such is the origin, and early history of Easter.
How, then, was this pagan festival injected into the professing Christian religion, as a substitute for an ordinance of God?
Before revealing briefly the astonishing account of this great deception, two facts must be firmly fixed in mind.
First, Jesus and the apostles foretold, not a universal, widespread popular growth of the true New Testament Church, but A FALLING AWAY FROM THE TRUTH on the part of the great majority. Prophesying a popular, universal FALLING AWAY from the faith once delivered, to the Thessalonians, Paul stated, "the mystery of iniquity doth already work," (2 Thes. 2:7), only some 30 years after the Church began! He referred to the very "Chaldean Mysteries," of which Easter and Christmas were the two chief festivals!
Second, although Jesus said the gates of hell would never prevail against His Church, yet it is everywhere prophesied thru the New Testament as the "Little Flock" — never as a great, large, popular universal church.
This is the very fact the world does not realize today! Injected into the Church
Nothing illustrates this very fact more vividly, than the actual history of the injecting of Easter into the Western Church.
Here is the quick, brief history of it, from the Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th edition, article on "EASTER":
"There is no indication of the observance of the Easter festival in the New Testament, or in the writings of the Apostolic Fathers. . . . The first Christians [the original TRUE Church] continued to observe the Jewish [that is, GOD'S] festivals, though in a new spirit, as commemorations of events which those festivals had foreshadowed. Thus the Passover, with a new conception added to it, of Christ as the true Paschal Lamb and the first fruits from the dead, continued to be observed."
"Although the observance of Easter was at a very early period in the practice of the Christian Church, a serious difference as to the day for its observance soon arose between the Christians of Jewish and those of Gentile descent, which led to a long and bitter controversy. With the Jewish Christians . . . the fast ended . . . on the 14th day of the moon at evening . . . without regard to the day of the week. The Gentile Christians on the other hand [that is, the beginning of the Catholic church, now substituting pagan for true Christian doctrines] . . . identified the first day of the week with the resurrection, and kept the preceding Friday as the commemoration of the crucifixion, irrespective of the day of the month."
"Generally speaking, the Western Churches [Catholic] kept Easter on the 1st day of the week, while the Eastern Churches [containing most of those who remained as part of the TRUE Christian church] followed the Jewish rule." (That is, observing Passover on the 14th of the first sacred month instead of the pagan Easter.)
"Polycarp, the disciple of John the Evangelist, and bishop of Smyrna, visited Rome in 159 to confer with Anicetus, the bishop of that see, on the subject, and urged the tradition which he had received from the apostle of observing the 14th day. Anicetus, however, declined. About forty years later , the question was discussed in a very different spirit between Victor, bishop of Rome, and Polycrates, metropolitan of proconsular Asia [the territory of the Churches at Ephesus, Galatia, Antioch, Philadelphia, and all those mentioned in Rev. 2 and 3 — the churches established thru the apostle Paul]. That province was the only portion of Christendom which still adhered to the Jewish [the writer should have used the words "true Christian" instead of "Jewish"] usage. Victor demanded that all should adopt the usage prevailing at Rome. This Polycrates firmly refused to agree to, and urged many weighty reasons to the contrary, whereupon Victor proceeded to excommunicate Polycrates and the Christians who continued the Eastern usage [that is, who continued in GOD'S way, as Jesus, Peter, Paul, and all the early true Church had done]. He was, however, restrained [by other bishops] from actually proceeding to enforce the decree of excommunication . . . and the Asiatic churches retained their usage unmolested. We find the Jewish [true Christian Passover] usage from time to time reasserting itself after this, but it never prevailed to any large extent.
"A final settlement of the dispute was one among the other reasons which led Constantine to summon the council at Nicaea in 325. At that time the Syrians and Antiochenes were the solitary champions of the observance of the 14th day. The decision of the council was unanimous that Easter was to be kept on Sunday, and on the same Sunday throughout the world, and that 'none hereafter should follow the blindness of the Jews'. [That is, in plain language, the Catholic church now decreed that none should be allowed to follow the ways of CHRIST — of the TRUE Christian Church!]
". . . The few who afterwards separated themselves from the unity of the church [Roman church], and continued to keep the 14th day, were named 'Quarto-decimani,' and the dispute itself is known as the 'Quartodeciman controversy'."
Thus you see how the politically organized church at Rome grew to great size and power by adopting popular pagan practices; how she gradually stamped out the true teachings, doctrines, and practices of CHRIST, and the true Church, so far as any collective practice is concerned.
It was only by violence and bloodshed, at last, says Hislop (The Two Babylons, p. 107), that the idolatrous festival of the Chaldean goddess Easter came to supersede that which God had ordained to be observed forever!
Hot Cross Buns and Dyed Eggs
But did you know the hot cross buns, and dyed Easter eggs also figured in the idolatrous Chaldean rites, just as they do in Easter observance today?
Yes, these are pagan, too. The "buns," known by that identical name, were used in the worship of the "queen of heaven," the goddess Easter, as early as the days of Cecrops, the founder of Athens, 1500 years before Christ (The Two Babylons, pp. 107-108).
"One species of sacred bread," says Bryant, in Mythology, Vol. 1, p. 373, "which used to be offered to the gods, was of great antiquity, and called Boun."
It will astonish you, but it's true — one of the reasons God drove the Jews into Babylonian captivity was this very idolatry — their whole families joined in this idolatrous worship, in making and offering HOT CROSS BUNS!
Read the entire 7th chapter of Jeremiah. Here is God's stern sentence upon Judah, thru Jeremiah the prophet, "If you really amend your life and doings," God warns them, "I will allow you to remain in this place (Palestine) for all time." But they would not listen. Then "I will cast you out of my sight," says God to Judah. And to Jeremiah He says, "Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah . . . ?
"The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, TO MAKE CAKES TO THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN . . . that they may provoke me to anger. . . . Therefore thus saith the Lord God: Behold, mine anger and my fury shall be poured out upon this place, upon man, upon beast . . . and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched" (Verses 18-20).
The Hebrew word for "cakes" as Jeremiah originally wrote it is "kavvan," and really means "BUNS." The word "bun" seems, says Hislop, to have been derived from this word. This Hebrew word is used nowhere else in the Bible, except Jer. 44:19, where again the same idolatrous worship to the queen of heaven by these hot cross buns is mentioned. Every other place in the Bible where the English word "cakes" is used, a different Hebrew word was used in the original.
Jeremiah was referring to HOT CROSS BUNS — exactly the same kind hundreds of you who read this have been buying and eating at "Easter season"!
The origin of the Easter egg is just as clear. It is recorded in Davies' Druids, p. 208, that the ancient Druids bore an egg as the sacred emblem of their idolatrous order. On p. 207, same history, it is recorded that in the mysteries of Bacchus, as celebrated in Athens, part of the idolatrous ceremony consisted in the consecration of an egg. Hindoo fables celebrate their mundane egg as of a golden color. It has been ancient custom in Japan to make their sacred egg a hard brazen color. In China dyed or painted eggs are used on "sacred" heathen festivals. In the idolatry of ancient Egypt and Greece eggs were used in their religious rites.
WHY do Americans who believe themselves to be Christians, dye eggs at Easter? Do they suppose the BIBLE ordained, or commands, this heathen custom? THERE IS NOT A WORD OF IT IN THE NEW TESTAMENT. Certainly Christ did not start it, and the apostles and early Christians did none of it!
Then WHY SHOULD YOU DO IT TODAY? Why follow heathenism and try to convince yourself you are a Christian? God calls such things ABOMINATION! Easter Was Originally A Pagan Holiday
The word “Easter” here does NOT refer to “Easter” as we know it nor does it refer to the “Passover” as it is wrongly translated in other Bible versions. Though many Christians celebrate “Easter” in remembrance of Christ's resurrection, Easter was originally a pagan festival (etymology of your dictionary should confirm this), which is what Acts 12:4 refers to and not the Passover. We will determine this by looking at the passage.
The Webster's New World Dictionary gives the following etymology (origin and development of a word), for the word “Easter” ...
“originally, name of pagan vernal [spring time] festival ALMOST COINCIDENT in date with paschal [Passover] festival of the church”
SOURCE: Eastre, dawn goddess—Austro, dawn
In other words, Easter was originally a pagan festival celebrated in the spring time. When the King James Bible says “EASTER” in Acts 12:4, it is correct; when the other versions say “PASSOVER” in Acts 12:4, they are incorrect. Again, “Easter” in this passage is referring to a pagan festival.
Further Evidence From The Book Of Numbers
Passover only comes once a year on one day, the 14th of Abib ( Numbers 28:16). After the Passover, then comes the seven days of unleavened bread (Numbers 28:16-17), extending from the fifteenth day through the twentieth day...
Numbers 28:16-17, “And in the fourteenth day of the first month is the passover of the LORD. And in the fifteenth day of this month is the feast: seven days shall unleavened bread be eaten.”
So when Peter was arrested during the days of unleavened bread (Acts 12:3), Passover had come and gone! This evidences 100% that “Easter” is the correct word that should be rendered in Acts 12:4. The Bible says that Herod was going to bring him forth AFTER Easter (which had not come yet). The angel of the Lord rescued Peter in response to the prayers of the church, who were gathered together praying for Peter after they heard that James had been killed. The Bible says in Acts 12:19 that the keepers of the prison were put to death by Herod for Peter's escape from the prison. In acts 12:23 the Holy Spirit struck Herod and He was eaten by worms and died. Herod is in Hell this moment in torments.
Don't listen to the Bible critics who always attack the King James Bible. The very fact that so many wicked people are attacking the King James Bible evidences that it is God's holy, preserved and inspired Word. Thank God for the precious King James Bible, the holy Words of God. My friend, if you are wrong on the Bible you are wrong on Jesus Christ, for He is called the Word of God (Revelation 19:13). John 1:1-3,14 teaches that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
John 1:1-3 and 14, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. ... And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
Jesus is the living Word, and the Bible is the written Word. Philippians 2:5, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” To have the mind of Christ we must abide in the Scriptures. Jesus said in John 5:39, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” Amen and amen!
Please don't get caught up into the modern Bible-correcting movement that's always finding fault with God's Word. Those hypocrites never go soul-winning, never take a stand against sin in American culture, never contend for the Christian faith, never make a difference for God. All they do is critic Bible-believing preachers, critic the inspired King James Bible, critic door-to-door soul-winners, but they never do anything to get lost sinners saved.
“Easter” belongs in the Bible in Acts 12:4. “Passover” is a woeful mistranslation. Now you know the truth! The New International Version (NIV) is perverted and it's homosexual translators in trouble with God for butchering the Words of the living God. The NIV 2011 is even worse!!! Jeremiah 23:36, “And the burden of the LORD shall ye mention no more: for every man's word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the LORD of hosts our God.”