Tel Dan

Tel Dan – Compromise in Worship

In our recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land we visited Tel Dan, an ancient city in the northeast corner of Israel. It was originally called Leshem and Laish. After the Philistines forced the tribe of Dan from central Israel, they relocated to this area and renamed it Tel Dan. Along with the city of Bethel it was here where Jeroboam placed and worshiped the golden calf.

Tel Dan

Where the alter would have stood at Tel Dan.

Jeroboam’s Sin

This account is found in the 12th chapter of 1Kings: “Then Jeroboam built Shechem in mount Ephraim, and dwelt therein; and went out from thence, and built Penuel. And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David: If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of Yahweh at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their sovereign, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah,” verses 25-27.

Jeroboam compromised out of fear– he was afraid of losing the people, his position, and in the end his life. He realized that if the people went back to Jerusalem to worship Yahweh that they would also return to Rehoboam. For Jeroboam this wasn’t something he could bear. So how did he prevent it from happening?

Beginning with verse 28: “Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy mighty ones, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan. And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan. And he made an house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi,” vv. 28-31.

Jeroboam did the unthinkable; he made two idols for Israel to worship. To prevent the people from going back to Rehoboam, Jeroboam compromised Yahweh’s worship.

Amazingly, we still find this being done today. For 2,000 years the Church has compromised worship for self-preservation, numbers, and other self-seeking interests. As shown through history, it’s very hard for mankind to remove self from the equation and to simply follow Yahweh as He commands.

Even believers are susceptible to such compromise. This is why we must always be on guard against false doctrine and the traditions of man. When we do it Yahweh’s way, sacrifices will be made. While some are willing and able to do this, the reality is that most are not.

Beyond the idols Jeroboam also made priests of the lowest of the people. As for the qualifications of ministers, the Bible says that they must meet a high standard. In 1Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:6, the Apostle Paul says that a bishop or elder must be blameless. James in his epistle also states that ministers will receive the heavier condemnation or judgment.

Tel Dan

Where the King’s throne sat at the city entrance. (2 Kings 23:8)

Consequently, one of the worst things we can do is to compromise leadership, as did Jeroboam. This compromise will negatively impact the body of Messiah. As goes the leadership, so goes the assembly. For this reason we must ensure that our worship and those who minister before us meet the standards of our Father’s Word.

Continuing on, we find that Jeroboam made one more fatal mistake. “And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in Bethel, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made: and he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made. So he offered upon the altar which he had made in Bethel the fifteenth day of the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, and burnt incense,” verses 32-33.

In addition to setting up idols and making priests of those unqualified, he also changed Yahweh’s worship. Instead of observing the Feast of Tabernacles in the seventh month, he moved it to the eighth month. The people worshiped on a day that Yahweh never appointed. In other words, instead of doing it Yahweh’s way, they did it man’s way.

 

Modern Jeroboams

The sad reality is, we find many cases of apostasy in today’s worship, including: Sunday worship, man’s holidays (e.g. Easter, Halloween, Christmas), Trinity, Rapture, and the list goes on. The Bible shows that Yahshua and His Apostles observed the true seventh-day Sab-bath along with the annual Feast days, as appointed and as established by Yahweh. Like Jeroboam, the Church com-promised the truth from the beginning, and for 2,000 years since.

This is why we at YRM strive to strip away the traditions of man and to simply worship Yahweh according to His Word. We all have a choice; we can follow the example of Jeroboam and compromise our Father’s worship or we can worship Him as He commands.

 

Solomon’s Negligence

What many don’t realize is that Jeroboam’s compromise began with Solomon’s negligence, as seen in 1Kings 11:4-9: “For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other mighty ones: and his heart was not perfect with Yahweh his Elohim, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the elohim of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. And Solomon did evil in the sight of Yahweh, and went not fully after Yahweh, as did David his father. Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their mighty ones. And Yahweh was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from Yahweh Elohim of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice.”

When Solomon took the throne he was humbled and sincerely desired to follow Yahweh. He prayed to Yahweh for wisdom. Because his motives were noble and pure, Yahweh blessed him with incredible wisdom along with great wealth and abundance.

The Bible says that Solomon was the wisest man and that his wisdom exceeded even those in the east and Egypt. Besides the Messiah, Solomon was likely the wisest man in the Bible.

Even though he possessed incredible wisdom in the end he still forsook Yahweh. When he was old his wives turned his heart away from Yahweh and to other mighty ones.

The Bible says that he allowed and promoted the worship of Ashtoreth, Chemosh, Molech, and other pagan gods.

Through Solomon we find that wisdom alone is not sufficient; we must also have a heart of obedience. As believers we should realize that we’re also susceptible to this type of influence and deception.

What was the result of Solomon’s apostasy? “And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other mighty ones: but he kept not that which Yahweh commanded. Wherefore Yahweh said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant. Notwithstanding in thy days I will not do it for David thy father’s sake: but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son. Howbeit I will not rend away all the kingdom; but will give one tribe to thy son for David my servant’s sake, and for Jerusalem’s sake which I have chosen” (1Kings 11:10-13).

Because of Solomon’s sin Yahweh would tear apart the kingdom of Israel during the reign of his son, Rehoboam. Because of Yahweh’s love for David he could have one tribe, i.e., Judah. Rehoboam actually received two tribes, i.e., Judah and Benjamin, along with a portion of the Levites.

We pay a penalty when we deviate from our Father’s Word. In the case of Solomon, his sin impacted not only him but also an entire nation. Sin can do the same to families and to an assembly or body of believers. When we choose not to follow Yahweh’s righteous standards we will suffer the consequences.

This is why it’s important that min-isters follow the standards established by Yahweh. Nothing will cause more problems than when the requirements of leadership are lowered.

This is also true for parents. If a father or mother doesn’t have right virtue and character, this deficiency will negatively impact families and likely future gener-ations.

 

The Sons of Aaron Rebel

The Bible provides us another case of compromise in the tenth chapter of Leviticus: “And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before Yahweh, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from Yahweh, and devoured them, and they died before Yahweh. When Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that Yahweh spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace,” verses 1-3.

Instead of worshiping the way Yahweh commanded, Nadab and Abihu took it upon themselves to change worship. For that Yahweh consumed them with fire. Consider this: these were the sons of the High Priest. If anybody would have been faithful to Yahweh’s Word, logic would say that it would have been these two men. But that wasn’t the case.

Moses told Aaron after Yahweh killed his sons that Yahweh would be sanctified by them that came near. In other words, those who minister before our Heavenly Father must be especially careful to follow Him.

In truth, this principle applies to all positions of leadership. Consider again the impact of Solomon and Jeroboam – because of their negligence the entire nation suffered. This is one reason why the Torah commanded that the king write a copy of the Law. Not even the king of Israel was above Yahweh’s divine commandments. So whether it’s a civil or religious position, both must hold to the Word of Almighty Yahweh and be a person of virtue and character.

The simple truth is this: when more is given, more is expected! This is why James states that a minister will receive the greater condemnation.

 

Making a Separation

The Apostle Paul in 2Corinthians 6:14-16 shows that as believers we must make a distinction in worship: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Messiah with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of Elohim with idols? for ye are the temple of the living Elohim….”

Here Paul conveys the great contrast between believers in the Messiah and the world. He states emphatically that we are to make a distinction in worship. When we follow Yahweh closely, the separation will come automatically.

One of the most frequently asked questions of the Ministry is: Can we worship in the common titles in lieu of the actual names of the Father and Son? While it’s our desire to promote fellowship within the body, we cannot support worship outside the Truth that is diluted with compromise. The fact is, both the titles “Lord” and “God” have questionable etymological roots. More importantly, the Bible mandates that the Names of Yahweh and Yahshua are key to proper worship.

Those baptized into Yahshua’s Name represent Yahweh’s temple. The Old Testament allows no room for compromise regarding worship in the temple (or tabernacle). Since believers now represent His temple, this same policy applies to us today. As Yahshua’s disciples, we must make a distinction between the holy and the common.

The Church has gone astray in a myriad of ways, solidifying error into tradition. Tradition often proves hardest for believers to deal with. It’s difficult to go against the majority, but if we desire to follow our Heavenly Father without compromise, there is no other choice.  Either we do it His way or we do it man’s way; it’s not possible to please both. If we try, we will not succeed with either.

 

One Man Against 400

Elijah or EliYah (meaning, “My El is Yah”) was a prophet who knew the cost of worshiping Yahweh. In 1Kings 18:20 we find him all alone against 400 prophets of Baal: “So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together unto mount Carmel. And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if Yahweh be Elohim, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word,” verses 20-21.

Before we consider what Elijah says here, it’s important that we understand the events which led up to this point. Prior to this passage, Elijah prayed to Yahweh that it would not rain upon the land. This was in response to the sin of King Ahab and Jezebel. Yahweh answered his prayer and three years of drought followed. Through the prophet Obadiah Elijah then calls a meeting with King Ahab.  He asked that the king, along with the prophets of Baal, meet him at Mount Carmel. Elijah’s plan was to show the power and supremacy of Almighty Yahweh.

In verse 21 the stage was set. All of Israel was gathered at Mount Carmel including King Ahab and the prophets of Baal. The test for supremacy was simple: take a bull as a burnt offering, place it upon wood, and see which mighty one world consume the burnt offering.

First up was the 400 prophets of Baal; they danced, chanted, and cut their own flesh in their futile attempt to call down the power of their mighty one. Needless to say, nothing happened except that they made a mockery of themselves and the one they worshiped.

Next up was the prophet Elijah. Before praying, he asked that four barrels of water be poured on the sacrifice and wood. This man wanted to show beyond a shadow of doubt who reigned supreme. After this was done he prayed to Yahweh and at that very that moment the fire of the Almighty came down from heaven and consumed both the water and burnt offering.  Seeing this the people of Israel fell upon their faces and said, “Yahweh, he is the Elohim.” Then they killed the 400 prophets of Baal.

Let’s now return to verse 21. In this passage Elijah asks the people how long they will flip-flop between two opinions? How long will you continue to compromise worship?

As the people of Israel had to choose, we too must choose whether we’re going to worship Yahweh as He commands or to compromise His Word. We know from this story that the people of Israel chose Yahweh, but only after Elijah gave a demonstration that they would not soon forget.

Understand that this question is just as relevant to us as it was then. Whom do we serve today?  Are we faithfully following our Father in heaven or are we allowing ourselves to compromise His truth?

 

The Cost of Total Commitment 

Another man fully devoted to his Father in heaven was Joshua, the son of Nun. In Joshua 24:15 we find just how resolute Joshua was. It reads, “And if it seem evil unto you to serve Yahweh, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the mighty ones which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the mighty ones of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve Yahweh.”

We find here Joshua’s resolute devotion to His Father in heaven. Regardless of what the people of Israel chose, we see that this man was going to stay the course. Joshua is one of the best examples of personal commitment in all of Scripture. No matter who or what, nothing was going to distract this faithful servant from his focus and service to his Father Yahweh.

What about us, is our Father in heaven the first focus in our lives? Are we going to follow Him no matter what? At the beginning of this passage, Joshua said to the people, choose you this day whom you will serve.

Even though the truth is not a democracy, we see that we still have a choice. We can choose to serve Him or to reject Him. We can worship as He commands or we can compromise and follow man, as Israel did with Jeroboam.

Are we going to demonstrate the character of Joshua by fully committing to Yahweh or are we going to compromise?  Our Heavenly Father is calling out a select people; He wants the cream of the crop. If we’re found worthy, it’s going to be because we followed Him without compromise and deviation. This is the only path that will ensure His blessings and the prize of everlasting life in His Kingdom.

For more info on our Trip to Israel please check out this video: https://youtu.be/FPxIXBdQmJ0

Xmas

Joy to the World? – The Origins of Xmas

Joy to the World? – The Origins of Xmas

The stealthy Xmas season begins early with a few retail displays appearing in September, and then roars to a manic climax the third week of December. The holiday consumes Western society like a mountain forest fire. Even atheists are pulled enthusiastically into the gift-exchanging vortex.

If Xmas is the celebration of the Savior’s birth, what is Santa Claus doing as  master of ceremonies? What of the strange mix of the profane and the religious all gift-wrapped in one package? Was St. Nick present at the manger, along with Rudolf and Blitzen, holly and mistletoe?

Did the Apostles prepare for each December 25 by buying gifts for one another? Did those who followed Yahshua pass greeting cards to one another on December 25 and sing carols to Him amid falling snowflakes? Did first-century parents tell their children not to be naughty but nice for Santa’s sake, who could satisfy their coveting?

christmas-snake, pagan Christmas, is Christmas pagan,For all of these traditions and customs to have such allure they must be rooted somewhere in Scripture, right? Not so fast.

Many would be surprised to discover that the word “Christmas” is missing from Scripture.  Not a single passage tells us to observe the birthday of the Savior, either.

It is time to take an honest look at this celebration and ask the hard questions. In Jeremiah 10:2 we are admonished, “Learn not the way of the heathen.” Then in verses 3-5 the Father in heaven rebukes those who take trees from the forest and set them up as objects of veneration.

Your salvation hinges on whether you choose the truth of the Bible or go along with the world’s masses as they indulge in the deception of profane practices. Paul admonished, “Wherefore come out from among them and be separate, says Yahweh, and touch not the unclean thing and I will receive you,” 2Corinthians 6:17.

You may respond, “But how can I deprive the children of this holiday?” If there is no Creator in heaven, then it doesn’t matter. You can have as good a time as the Babylonians who worshiped nonexistent “gods” and who actually started the whole holiday under another name.

But if there is a Heavenly Father then you cannot do both – you cannot mix pagan practices with the holy. The Eternal Yahweh said, “Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness?” 2Corinthians 6:14. You cannot fool yourself that you’re really observing Christmas because of the birth of Yahshua the Messiah.

The fact is, Christmas is firmly anchored in a winter solstice festival of ancient pagans, which we will see.

Christ-mass

Cristes-masse was a Catholic mass that grew out of a feast day established in the year 1038. The Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1946 edition, candidly says, “Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the church.”

For the first 300 years the religious writers are silent regarding the Christmas observance. An Armenian writer of the eleventh century states that a Christmas-like festival was first celebrated in Constantinople in 373. In Egypt the Western birthday festival was opposed during the early years of the fifth century, but was celebrated in Alexandria as early as 432.

In 1644 the English Puritans forbad any merriment or religious services by Act of Parliament on the grounds that Christmas was a heathen festival. They were so opposed to its observance that they ordered a fast on December 25.

But why didn’t the early converts celebrate Christmas? To answer that, we must go back to the great mother of pagan worship – Babylon. The founder of the Babylonish system was Nimrod, grandson of Ham, one of Noah’s three sons.

Genesis 10:9 says, “Nimrod was a mighty hunter before Yahweh.” The word before means “in defiance of.” Nimrod set up his own kingdom based on a man-ruled government and worship of himself.

An entirely pagan religious system grew out of worship of this “hero.” Gradually, through trade, influence of Babylon spread to other nations as they incorporated its government and religious system.

Mother and Child Reunion

The universal mother and child theme, which has been passed down over the centuries through many different cultures and which remains strong today, had its start with the Babylonian Semiramis.

Babylon had mother-child worship, as did ancient Egypt, India, Rome, and Germany through Celtic paganism (Egypt, Bunsen, vol. 1, p. 444; Hindoo Mythology, Kennedy, p. 49; Dymock’s Classical Dictionary; Babylon Mystery Religion, p. 13).

The husband of Semiramis was Nimrod, who built the wicked city Nineveh, while his father Cush was responsible for the tower of Babel in opposition to Yahweh (Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, p. 26).

When Nimrod died, Semiramis immediately proclaimed that her husband had become deified and was resurrected to life through Tammuz. According to The Encyclopedia of World Religions, Tammuz was the god of vegetation. Every year a festival was held at which his “death” and “resurrection” were celebrated.

To depict his resurrection, the Babylonians believed that an evergreen tree sprang out of a dead tree stump. The old stump, or yule log, symbolized the dead Nimrod, and the new evergreen was Nimrod resurrected in Tammuz (Babylon Mystery Religion, p. 152). Green holly, popular at Christmas, has long been a symbol of eternal life and it played an important role in portraying the rebirth of Nimrod, seen as the “Unconquerable Sun.”

Winter Solar Festival

Was Yahshua born on December 25?  Historians have long theorized that His birth was in the autumn and not in the dead of winter, as the sheep were still in the open fields.

“It was an ancient custom among Jews of those days to send out their sheep to the fields and deserts about the Passover (early spring), and bring them home at commencement of the first rain,” Adam Clarke Commentary, vol. 5, p. 370.

From the middle of November to the middle of April is the rainy season in the Mideast. Because of the cold, dampness, and sometimes snow, shepherds take their flocks into sheepfolds at night (Daily Life in the Time of Jesus, by Henri Daniel-Rops).

Ezra 10:9 speaks of those in Jerusalem sitting outside in early December and shivering in the freezing rain. Yahshua considered the severity of the winter in Judea when, in His prophecy of the end times (Matt. 24:20), said, “Pray that your flight be not in the winter…”

How, then, did December 25 become the birthday of the Messiah? Alexander Hislop explains: “Long before the fourth century, and long before the Christian era itself, a festival was celebrated among the heathen at that precise time of the year, in honor of the birth of the son of the Babylonian queen of heaven; and it may fairly be presumed that, in order to conciliate the heathen, and to swell the number of the nominal adherents of Christianity, the same festival was adopted by the Roman Church, giving it only the name of Christ” The Two Babylons, p. 93.

The Catholic Encyclopedia confirms the merger. “The well-known solar feast of Natalis Invicti [The Nativity of the Unconquered Sun] celebrated on 25 December, has a strong claim on the responsibility for our December date,” vol. 3, p. 727.

Mithraism’s Mark

Recall that the Roman world was originally pagan, totally steeped in heathen customs and practices. They loved festivals and would organize a banquet at the slightest pretext. Chief among these was the Feast of Mithras, celebrating the deity’s birthday on December 25. Mithraism was merely a spinoff of the ancient Babylonian worship of Tammuz.

In Egypt it was believed that Osiris (Tammuz) was born on December 25. Often portrayed as brilliant as the sun, the deity Mithras was known as “The Invincible Sun,” or “The Sun of Righteousness.” Mithraism promised immortality to its faithful.

Further details on the relationship between December 25 and sun worship are brought to light in The Golden Bough (p. 416): “In the Julian Calendar the twenty-fifth of December was reckoned the winter solstice, and it was regarded as the Nativity of the sun, because the day begins to lengthen and the power of the sun to increase from that turning point of the year. Now Mithras was regularly identified by his worshipers with the Sun, the Unconquered Sun, as they called him; hence his nativity also fell on the twenty-fifth of December.”

The merger of Mithraic beliefs with the customs and traditions surrounding the birth of the Savior was largely because Mithraism was popular at the time of the Messiah’s birth.

“Between 1400 B.C.E. and 400 C.E., Persians, Indians, Romans, and Greeks worshiped Mithras. He was particularly important in the Roman Empire in the 2nd and 3rd centuries,” Encyclopedia of World Religions, p. 94. The pagan feast of the Saturnalia, which the Romans celebrated in honor of the deity Saturn from December 17 to 24, eventually encompassed the Feast of Mithras. Many of the practices of Christmas trace to the Saturnalia celebration.

A Beckoning Blend

How, then, did these rank, pagan festivals of sun worship become entwined with the worship of the Savior of men? The same way December 25 came to be accepted. The New Schaff Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge explains:

“The pagan Saturnalia and Brumalia were too deeply entrenched in popular custom to be set aside by Christian influence. The recognition of Sunday (the day of Phoebus and Mithras as well as the L-rd’s Day) by the emperor Constantine as a legal holiday, along with the influence of Manicheism, which identified the Son of [Yahweh] with the physical sun, may have led Christians of the fourth century to feel the appropriateness of making the birthday of the Son of [Yahweh] coincide with that of the physical sun“The pagan festival with its riot and merrymaking was so popular that Christians were glad of an excuse to continue its celebration with little change in spirit or in manner. Christian preachers of the West and the Nearer East protested against the unseemly frivolity with which [Yahshua’s] birthday was celebrated, while Christians of Mesopotamia accused their Western brethren of idolatry and sun-worship for adopting as Christian this pagan festival.

“Yet the festival rapidly gained acceptance and became at last so firmly established that even the Protestant revolution of the sixteenth century was not able to dislodge it,” p. 48.

Merely to placate the heathen and bring them into the church, the pagan festival of Christmas was adopted. In other words, they could have both their cherished old Saturnalia as well as their new faith – merely cloaked in a different name!

The Church Slowly Absorbs Xmas

But it took nearly 400 years before the church began to accept Christmas into its calendar. It wasn’t without objection and it wasn’t until the end of the fourth century that it was declared official, The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 3, p. 725. A great amount of confusion initially surrounded this merger of the Saturnalia with the nativity.

The people were confusing sun worship with worship of the Son of Yahweh.

But whether the masses adopted the celebration of Xmas or not, the fact remains that nowhere in the Bible is the command to observe the Savior’s birthday. The early converts would have nothing to do with it. In fact, His precise date of birth is obscured because Yahweh never intended His birth to be a cause for celebration.

Yahweh punished ancient Israel for becoming involved in heathen rituals (see 2Kings 17:9-23; Acts 7:39-43). He commands not to celebrate the Savior’s birth, but to remember Yahshua’s death at Passover,

Will your Heavenly Father look the other way if you indulge in the same kinds of false festivals that Israel was forbidden to keep?

 By Alan Mansager Xmas Xmas Xmas Xmas Xmas Xmas Xmas

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Holy days of the Bible

Hijacking the Holy Days

Why does it seem foreign to most churchgoers to keep the holy days of the Scriptures? For the early followers of Yahshua the Messiah, doing so was the only thing to do. But in just a few hundred years everything changed in one of the most dramatic transformations in history. New Testament Sabbath worship was switched to the first day of the week, while pagan-centric observances (Christmas Ect…) replaced the annual Holy Days and festivals of the Bible. The early converts to the New Testament religion were Jews. Only later did Peter and the Apostle Paul take the Truth to the Gentiles, Acts 2, 9:15.

“Initially, the faith in the Messiah was a completely Jewish faith. All the believers were Jewish: even the writers of the New Testament were Jewish: the Apostle Paul [Heb. Sha’ul] himself being a Jewish rabbi. Both the New Testament and history record that these Messianic Jews continued to be Jews, remaining highly loyal to their land, people, and [G-d]-given laws,” Faith and Doctrines of the Early Church, p. 35. In time, Gentile converts became the majority and they began to influence the new faith. “Eventually, a strong ‘de-Judaizing’ process set in which would not only strip the faith of its Jewish roots but would also lead the majority into an apostate form of Christianity. Until this ‘de-Judaizing’ process set in, both the Hebrew and Gentile Christians had observed the Sabbath and had observed the time of the Passover in memory of the [L-rd’s] suffering and sacrifice. It was at this time, Passover, that the early Christians had observed the L-rd’s Supper, ”ibid., p. 36.

In an effort to distance themselves from the Jews and to gain new converts from paganism, later converts found more affinity in observing a different “Passover” known as Easter. Easter, a Babylonian fertility rite named after the pagan deity Astarte, is just one example of the baggage brought in by converts from paganism. Another is Sunday, the venerable day of sun worship.  Aided by Roman Bishops Sixtus (116-125 CE) and Victor (189-199), as well as Emperor Constantine, replacement observances like Sunday worship and Easter became firmly rooted and continue to overshadow the true biblical Holy Days of worship even today.

The Apostle Paul foretold that this apostasy would happen, Acts 20:29-30. “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” One needs only to look up today’s pseudo-religious holidays like Easter and Christmas in most any encyclopedia to be appalled at their origins and history. Almighty Yahweh calls the seven annual Holy Day observances found in Exodus 12 and Leviticus 23  “My Feasts.” He says they are a “statute forever throughout your generations, in all your dwellings,” Leviticus 23:14.

Who is man to change Yahweh’s specifically commanded times and laws? (Dan. 7:25)

More info on Yahweh’s Feast Days >>

Haloween pagan origins

Unhallowed Halloween

The annual rite of Halloween is bigger than ever  –  especially among adults. But it’s lots of harmless fun, they say. Harmless? Let’s look below the surface of Halloween to see what lurks there in this age-old mask-erade.

Every October 31 children across the land learn how extortion works through one of the world’s most popular of ancient pagan festivals.

We know it as Halloween, which is a contraction of the words “Hallowed” and “evening” (Halloween). But there is nothing hallowed about this night.

“Trick or treat!” the bantam, masked marauders cry as they go from door to door coercing goodies from mostly compliant residents. Along with blackmail, the chance to deface private property and get away with it is also a part of the “hallowed evening.”

Not Just for Children Anymore

Visit many office buildings and department stores on October 31 and you’ll see adult employees dressed in silly or grotesque costumes sporting painted faces and hair.

They are psyching up for the Hal­loween party that night – when they’ll have a chance to act foolishly with impunity. This high holy day of the ancient heathens has zoomed to the top of the holiday charts.

But is Halloween just a harmless time of frolic and fun for the whole family, where everyone can don hideous costumes and glorify blood, gore, and thinly veiled murder? Actually, it tacks another nail in the coffin of wholesomeness and decency in an increasingly decadent society. The popularity of this holiday should concern anyone who professes a belief in the Scriptures.

Night of the Walking Dead

Rooted in Druidic demon worship 2,000 years old, Halloween continues to cast its noxious spell on modern society.

The ritual was not known as Hal-loween when the Celts of pre-Christian Ireland and Scotland observed it on November 1. For them it was the Feast of Samhain (pronounced Sa-ween), Lord of the Dead. This was also the beginning of the Celtic new year, a time to give thanks to the sun god for the harvest.

But it was also a foreboding time when the ancients believed the souls of the dead walked abroad, mingling with the living and playing malicious tricks. The Celts thought that the sinful souls who died during the year had been transferred to the bodies of animals. Samhain judged these souls and decreed the form in which their existence was to continue – as animal or human. Through gifts and sacrifices these souls could be freed to claim a heavenly reward.

The ghosts of the dead that were thought to collect around houses of the living were greeted with banquet-laden tables to feed the spirits. When the feast was over, villagers donned masks and costumes to represent the souls of the dead and paraded to the outskirts of town to lead the ghosts away to avoid any calamities the roving ghosts may cause them in the event they were displeased by a lack of sufficient sustenance.

Such calamities included the death of livestock, souring milk, and spoiling food.

Often food was set outside for the spirits so that they would leave the house untouched. The trick-or-treat custom re-enacts these ancient superstitions.

Amid all of this the Druids were offering sacrifices to the sun god. “It was common for horses to be sacrificed since they were sacred to the Sun god. There were also human sacrifices. Men, mostly criminals, were imprisoned in wicker and thatch cages shaped like animals or giants. The Druid priests set fire to the tindery cages and the men were burned to death. “In the Middle Ages in Europe black cats were still being thrown to the flames in wicker cages, for they were thought to be the friends of witches or even transformed witches,” Celebrations, The Complete Book of American Holidays, p. 258.

From Samhain to All Saints’ Day

So how did “Halloween” fit with the church? The celebration in the Roman Catholic Church that was later to merge with Samhain was known as All Saints’ Day. All Saints’ Day originated in the 7th century when the Pantheon at Rome was wrested from the barbarians, made into a cathedral, and renamed the Church of the Blessed Virgin and All Martyrs.

Thus, from honoring all gods (which is the meaning of the Greek word “pantheon”) the Pantheon became the center for glorifying all saints. (Funk and Wagnalls Encyclopedia, vol. 1, p. 363).

This day that honored all the “hallowed” or holy saints was first observed on the evening of May 13, and was known as the Allhallows festival. The day was officially sanctioned in 835 by Pope Gregory IV after it was moved to Novem­ber 1 to coincide with Samhain. It began on the evening of October 31, and therefore was called All Hallows Eve.

Without forcing the pagans to drop their pagan practices and accept the Bible, the Roman church simply made room for the barbarians and their heathen rites.

Just as it confiscated the pagan Pantheon for its own use, the Roman church incorporated the customs of Samhain to further its mission of converting the known world to Catholicism. The merged celebrations made strange bedfellows: one in respect of evil spirits, the other honoring so-called saints.

One writer noted, “The three days between October 31 and November 2 see pagan and Christian celebrations intertwined in a fascinating way. All Hallows Eve, usually called Halloween, is followed by All Hallow’s Day, which is also All Saints Day, and the three-day period is a perfect example of superstition struggling with religious belief,” Year of Festivals, p. 76.

Can we mix light with darkness? “But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to dev­ils, and not to Elohim; and I would not that you have fellowship with devils. You cannot drink the cup of the Mas­ter, and the cup of devils: you cannot be partakers of the Master’s table, and of the table of devils,” 1Corinthians 10:20-21.

The joining of the two celebrations spawned an odd hybrid of beliefs about what was supposed to happen in the spirit world. Souls in purgatory appeared as witches and toads to persons who had wronged them. Halloween fires now were used to comfort souls in purgatory and people prayed for them while holding burning straw in the air.

Even the idea of trick-or-treating by evil spirits took on an acceptable church flavor: costumed children went around on All Souls’ Day offering to fast for the departed souls in return for money or an offering.

As the Celts converted to the new religion, they did not forget their stories of the dead traveling to the afterworld on Halloween. Rather, exhibitions of this night became more evil and the observance adopted even more malicious overtones.

That Leering Jack-o-lantern

In America it’s a pumpkin, but in Europe it was often a turnip, large beet, potato, rutabaga or even a skull with a candle in it. The fearsome face of the fat jack-o-lantern represented the god of the dead, Samhain, who would drive off less powerful evil spirits abroad that night.

As glimmering lights flickered over an English marsh or an Irish bog, people imagined dead souls had returned to earth. They would place the jack-o-lantern on posts and in windows to ward off the spirits of the dead on Halloween.

The word is an abbreviation of “Jack of the Lantern.” Jack is another name for joker or Satan. In the Irish tale, a man named Jack was fond of playing tricks on the devil. Annoyed, the devil tossed Jack a burning coal from hell and with that in his lantern Jack was forever condemned to wander the earth. The jack-o-lantern keeps alive demonic superstition.

Witches and Black Cats

Witches were thought to be possessors of magic. The word “witch” comes from the Old English wicce (feminine of wicca), or “sorceror.” Witches, who worship the deities of nature, have living talismans or symbols through which they derive their dark powers. They invoke evil spirits to enter the bodies of their talismans. Some witches have dogs, owls, snakes or swine for their talismans, but the most common are cats.

Cats have been closely associated with mystery religion from the Egyptians to the Norse. Celts had a particular fear of cats, believing they were humans who had been changed into feline form by evil powers. The black cat particularly was connected to demonic powers.

Black cats are the chief idol of the goddess of Wicca, Diana. In legend, she turns into a black cat to commit incest with her brother, Lucifer.

Eventually the Druids themselves came to be regarded as witches. Witch hunting during Halloween became al­most a national pastime in the colonial years of our nation. Today Halloween is regarded as the highest “sabbath” for practicing witches.

Witchcraft is demonic worship in diametric opposition to the worship of Yahweh. Yahweh minces no words about it. He told Israel through Moses, “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live” (Ex. 22:18). He says in Deuteronomy 18:10, “There shall not be found among you any one that makes his son of his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch.”

How can a True Worshiper allow his son or daughter to dress up in imitation of a witch or warlock, knowing how Yahweh condemns witchcraft? We are commanded to avoid even the appearance of evil (1Thes. 5:22).

Why Witches Fly

The broomstick is a symbol of the male organ, on which the witch mounts and leaps high around the fields to “teach” the crops how high to grow (ABC’S of Witchcraft, pp. 48-49). The notion of flying witches relates to the fact that witches believed they could fly great distances to their feasts by smearing their bodies with ointments containing drugs. The drugs gave them psychedelic “trips” making them think they flew. (Ibid., pp. 142-146).

Shrouded in Blackness

Orange, black, and red, the devil’s colors, are the colors associated with Halloween…,” so says the Good Housekeeping Book of Entertainment on page 168. Black prefigures black magic and demonic influence. The black of night is when these forces of evil are busiest, using the cover of darkness for their sinister works.

Yahweh warns, “Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from Yahweh, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who sees us? and who knows us?” (Isa. 29:15)

In John 3:19-20 Yahshua said, “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that does evil hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.”

How much time should any Bible believer give to a rite that is observed in the dark and that revels in the colors, symbols, and practices of Yahweh’s adversary, Satan the devil?

Of Skulls and Skeletons

The skeleton is a form of the god of the dead, or the witches’ “horned god.” The Dictionary of Satanism by Wade Baskin says under “skull worship”: “Skulls play an important role as sacred relics and as objects of worship among primitives. “Among Polynesians and Melanesians, skulls of ancestors are worshiped in order to establish connections with the spirits of the dead. Like the head of Osiris in Egypt, the skulls of ancestors may also serve as titular deities. The head or its parts, each of which may stand for the whole, can be used as magical food or as a means of increasing the fertility of the soil.”

Isaiah tells us what Yahweh thinks of courting death and the dead: “When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their Elohim? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?” (Isa. 8:19-20, NIV).

Fire Rites… and Wrongs

Being that Halloween is a Celtic new year’s festival, many of its surviving rituals trace to the Celtic feast. The fire rite was practiced in many areas around the world on the night before the new year. The old fire was allowed to go out and a new one was kindled – usually a sacred fire from which the fires of the village were relit. The fires were thought to rejuvenate the waning sun and aid in banishing evil spirits. The Druids built hilltop fires to celebrate important festivals. (Celebrations, the Complete Book of American Holidays, pp. 258-259).

Ghosts and witches feared fire, it was thought, and so fire became the best weapon against evil spirits. Witchcraft was punished by burning at the stake, fire being used as a means of purification. The light that fires gave off was a sign of sacredness.

Apple Bobbing

Popular at Halloween parties is apple bobbing. It was a means of divination with the Druids and survives in cultures influenced by the Celts.

Because the apple is also a common love charm, the practice of apple bobbing seems to have been associated with the selection of a lover (see The Folklore of American Holidays).

Selling Out to Sin

People have always been tempted to compromise their faith by selling out to the dominant culture and its practices. For those who are satisfied with less than total truth, the concessions come easier.

Today we witness Easter egg hunts on church lawns, Christmas trees in church vestibules, and Halloween parties in church basements (on the pretext of keeping the children off unsafe streets and away from tainted Halloween candy).

“But it’s for the children,” goes the argument. “We really just do it for them.” What children practice they also learn. Why would we introduce pagan falsehoods to them? How can we instill in them a desire for righteousness if we let them revel in ancient customs of evil on Halloween and pass them on to their children?

How can we promote healthy, decent values while allowing children to don hideous masks of vile creatures or deformed humans – with the underlying themes of murder, mayhem, and death?

Can we live a lie? Can we mix the holy with the profane and expect Yahweh to bless us? “Learn not the way of the heathen!” He thunders in Jeremiah 10:2. Come out from among them and be separate, and touch not the unclean thing, Paul writes in 2Corinthians 6:17.

Halloween has no redeeming value. It is one huge trick on an ignorant and indifferent society, and another victory for the forces of darkness.

Almighty Yahweh gives us a final warning about demonism and witchcraft: “For all that do these things are an abomination unto Yahweh… You shall be perfect with Yahweh your Elohim” (Deut. 18:12-13).

Become right before Yahweh. Drop the empty, senseless, heathen observances of man and resolve to begin keeping the true Holy Days our Father has commanded in His Word. Discover what true blessings and deep fulfillment can be when you begin to comply with His will and live your life His way.

by: Alan Mansager

Passover vs Easter

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Yahshua the Messiah said in John 17:17, “Sanctify them in the truth your word is truth.” This powerful statement sets the standard for all who would be True Worshipers, those sanctified or set apart by the truth of Almighty Yahweh’s pure Word. They know the truth and have been set free by it, John 8:32. It is their goal to follow the narrow pathway of truth and righteousness and leave the broad way of lawlessness, sin and error. They follow the instruction of the Apostle Peter in 2 Peter 3:17-18 where he said, “Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Sovereign and Savior Yahshua Messiah. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.”

As seekers of truth, we must constantly be on guard against the errors that have been put forth by law-loathing men. One such error that has caused many to lose their spiritually secure position is the doctrine of Easter.

Origin of Easter

Surprisingly, Christian history is very candid about the origin of Easter. The ancient records clearly show that it originated from paganism and that it was substituted for the Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread observances. Let’s take a look at some of the verifying evidence.

Nelson’s Bible Dictionary explains, “Easter was originally a pagan festival honoring Eostre, a Teutonic (Germanic) goddess of light and spring. At the time of the vernal equinox (the day in the spring when the sun crosses the equator and day and night are of equal length), sacrifices were offered in her honor. As early as the eighth century, the name was used to designate the annual Christian celebration of the resurrection of Chr-st. The only appearance of the word Easter (KJV) is a mistranslation of pascha, the ordinary Greek word for ‘Passover’ (Acts 12:4).”

This source agrees completely with the Catholic Encyclopedia, which states, “[Easter] The English term, according to the Ven. Bede (De temporum ratione, I, v), relates to Estre, a Teutonic goddess of the rising light of day and spring, which deity, however, is otherwise unknown, even in the Edda (Simrock, Mythol., 362); Anglo-Saxon, eâster, eâstron; Old High German, ôstra, ôstrara, ôstrarûn; German, Ostern. April was called easter-monadh.”

Why did Easter become a substitute for Passover and who had the authority to make such a drastic change? Certainly not the Apostles. The Apostolic congregation in Jerusalem and all other locations always observed Passover and never Easter. The Apostle Paul in his first epistle to the Corinthians wrote about the Passover observance, exhorting them to keep the feast.

“Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Messiah, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1 Cor. 5:7-8; NKJV).

Paul had instructed the Corinthian brethren in the proper observance of Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread that follow it. He never switched the Biblical observances to Easter or even intimated or envisioned such a thing for the future.

Eastern Bishops Disagree

A controversy developed in the 2nd century C.E. concerning when to observe Passover. A Catholic Encyclopedia article, “Easter Controversy,” quotes Eusebius, a 4th century writer on church history: “We read in Eusebius Hist. Eccl., V, xxiii): ‘A question of no small importance arose at that time [i.e. the time of Pope Victor, about A.D. 190]. The dioceses of all Asia, as from an older tradition, held that the fourteenth day of the moon, on which day the Jews were commanded to sacrifice the lamb, should always be observed as the feast of the life-giving pasch.’”

The eastern believers were, at this time, still observing Passover on the 14th of Abib (the first scriptural month). In a letter from Polycrates (the head of the eastern bishops) to Victor the bishop of Rome, Polycrates insisted that they observe the ancient tradition that was passed on to them by a long line of bishops all the way back to the Apostles.

They refused to observe any day for Passover other than the 14th of Abib. For their refusal to break from keeping Passover and switch to the unscriptural Easter, Victor, bishop of Rome, excommunicated the eastern bishops.

The Roman Church had taken a sharp turn from the narrow way of truth and started down the slippery slope’s broad way to destruction. The church had no scriptural mandate or authority to make such a switch. Yahweh Word tells us that the Passover observance is everlasting. “This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to Yahweh; throughout your generations you shall observe it as an ordinance for ever… You shall observe this rite as an ordinance for you and for your sons for ever” (Ex. 12:14, 24: RSV).

The correct opinion of the eastern bishops, as well as the truth put forth in the sacred Scriptures, had no effect upon those who favored the pagan Easter over Passover. The controversy continued for the next 135 years when, at the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE, Emperor Constantine imposed his view that all the various congregations should observe Easter, on Sunday, in opposition to the Jews whom he held responsible for the Messiah’s death.

Once again we read in the Catholic Encyclopedia, “The text of the decree of the Council of Nicaea which settled, or at least indicated a final settlement of, the difficulty has not been preserved to us, but we have an important document inserted in Eusebius’s ‘Life of Constantine’ (III, xviii sq.). The emperor himself, writing to the Churches after the Council of Nicaea, exhorts them to adopt its conclusions and says among other things: ‘At this meeting the question concerning the most holy day of Easter was discussed, and it was resolved by the united judgment of all present that this feast ought to be kept by all and in every place on one and the same day. . . And first of all it appeared an unworthy thing that in the celebration of the Jews, who have impiously defiled their hands with enormous sin. . . for we have received from our Saviour a different way. . . And I myself have undertaken that this decision should meet with the approval of your Sagacities in the hope that your Wisdoms will gladly admit that practice which is observed at once in the city of Rome and in Africa, throughout Italy and in Egypt. . . with entire unity of judgment,’” “Easter Controversy.”

At this time in his life Constantine was a sun worshiper. It is understandable that he would give his support for this “Sun”-day observance.

Why the break from thousands of years of tradition and embrace Easter over Passover? In a bid for new converts, Roman Church leaders integrated heathen customs of the masses with their worship. Their disdain for anything they deemed Jewish was clear as well, making certain that the church calendar never had Easter fall on the same day as the Passover. Apparently they forgot that Yahshua the Messiah and all the Apostles were Jews who kept the Passover as an example for us. They had forgotten what Yahshua told the Samaritan woman in John 4:22, “You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.”

Easter’s Pagan Past

baal-eastervspassoverAs shown, the Easter celebration was originally a heathen fertility rite for the worship of the female deity Eostre or Estre. The pagan celebrations attached to this deity were quite offensive to True Worshipers.

In the book The Two Babylons, Alexander Hislop provides eye-opening information about Easter and its pagan practices.

In chapter three, section two, we read, “Then look at Easter. What means the term Easter itself? It is not a Christian name. It 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. That name, as found by Layard on the Assyrian monuments, is Ishtar. The worship of Bel and Astarte was very early introduced into Britain, along with the Druids, “the priests of the groves.” Some have imagined that the Druidical worship was first introduced by the Phoenicians, who, centuries before the Christian era, traded to the tin-mines of Cornwall. But the unequivocal traces of that worship are found in regions of the British islands where the Phoenicians never penetrated, and it has everywhere left indelible marks of the strong hold which it must have had on the early British mind. From Bel, the 1st of May is still called Beltane in the Almanac; and we have customs still lingering at this day among us, which prove how exactly the worship of Bel or Moloch (for both titles belonged to the same g-d) had been observed even in the northern parts of this island.”

Hislop links Easter to Astarte, Beltis (the queen of heaven), Ishtar and Bel (or as known to the Israelites, Baal). Astarte and Baal were two of the most reprehensible idols that the Israelites worshiped. These idols competed with Yahweh as Elohim. In 1Kings Chapter 18, the story of the Prophet EliYah and his competition with the priests of Baal and Asherah shows how serious a threat they were to the true worship of Yahweh. Ancient Israel’s proclivity for leaving the worship of Yahweh for the abominable worship of Baal and Asherah continues today in the rites of Easter.

Hislop describes how these ancient pagan traditions became part of the Easter celebration. “Such is the history of Easter. The popular observances that still attend the period of its celebration amply confirm the testimony of history as to its Babylonian character. The hot cross buns of Good Friday, and the dyed eggs of Pasch or Easter Sunday, figured in the Chaldean rites just as they do now. The ‘buns,’ known too by that identical name, were used in the worship of the queen of heaven, the g-ddess Easter, as early as the days of Cecrops, the founder of Athens—that is, 1500 years before the Christian era. ‘One species of sacred bread,’ says Bryant, ‘which used to be offered to the gods, was of great antiquity, and called Boun.’ Diogenes Laertius, speaking of this offering being made by Empedocles, describes the chief ingredients of which it was composed, saying, ‘He offered one of the sacred cakes called Boun, which was made of fine flour and honey.’”

The prophet Jeremiah took a strong stand against these abominations: “The children gather wood, the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven (Jeremiah 7:18).” He then goes on to describe in more detail the pagan practices which have been attached to Easter. The Jewish people of Jeremiah’s and Ezekiel’s day had incorporated sun worship into the worship of Yahweh. We have already read of their worship of the Queen of Heaven and Tammuz, but Yahweh also showed Ezekiel other abominations that were going on.

After revealing the women weeping for Tammuz, Yahweh said to Ezekiel, “Have you seen this, O son of man? Turn yet again, and you shall see greater abominations than these. And he brought me into the inner court of Yahweh’s house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of Yahweh, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of Yahweh, and their faces toward the east; and they worshiped the sun toward the east,” Ezekiel 8:15-16.

As the sun rose in the east the Jewish leaders were turned to face the east, worshiping the rising sun. Judah was corrupting the true worship of Yahweh by introducing false, paganistic sun worship into their fellowship.

Yahweh’s temple was built facing eastward just as the tabernacle in the wilderness faced east. This positioning was for a purpose. Sun worshipers would begin their daily worship by facing the rising sun in the east. Yahweh’s temple and tabernacle faced the east so that a True Worshiper would turn away from the rising sun in the east to face the temple or the tabernacle in the west. This was a symbol of repentance. One had to turn away from sun worship to the True Worship of Yahweh.

Such is the status of those steeped in paganistic Easter sunrise worship today. One must turn, repent of such things, and shift to the True Worship of Yahweh. “Rome, pursuing its usual policy, took measures to get the Christian and Pagan festivals amalgamated.” The Two Babylons.

These revolting customs were ushered in by the Roman Catholic Church without even the slightest admission of wrongdoing. Once again we quote the Catholic Encyclopedia in the article “Easter.” “Because the use of eggs was forbidden during Lent, they were brought to the table on Easter Day, coloured red to symbolize the Easter joy. This custom is found not only in the Latin but also in the Oriental Churches. The symbolic meaning of a new creation of mankind by J-sus risen from the dead was probably an invention of later times. The custom may have its origin in paganism, for a great many pagan customs, celebrating the return of spring, gravitated to Easter.” Concerning the Easter rabbit, the Catholic Encyclopedia says in the same article: “The Easter Rabbit lays the eggs, for which reason they are hidden in a nest or in the garden. The rabbit is a pagan symbol and has always been an emblem of fertility” (Simrock, Mythologie, 551).

How sad it is that mainstream Christianity has left the truth to follow the fables of ancient paganism. The Apostle Paul warns Timothy of such happenings in 2Timothy 4:3-4, “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” The facts speak for themselves. The Easter celebration has more to do with pagan fertility rites than it does with Yahshua’s death and resurrection as the Son of Yahweh.

No Mandate for Resurrection Celebration

Nowhere in the Scriptures exists a command or example for observing the Savior’s resurrection. He indeed was slain, buried and resurrected, but it is not a matter to be celebrated after the ways of the pagans. The resurrection is not justification for devising our own observance, nor is it grounds for Sunday worship. There are, however, clear mandates for observing the day of His death.

The Scriptural way we remember the Savior’s resurrection is through our own baptism. Paul wrote in Romans 6:3-5: “Know you not, that so many of us as were baptized into Yahshua the Messiah were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Messiah 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.”

Paul repeats to the Colossians that the believer is “buried with him in baptism, wherein also you are risen with him through the faith of the operation of Elohim, who has raised him from the dead,” (Col. 2:12). As we come up out of the watery grave into a new life in the Savior, we portray His rising from the tomb and changing to spirit.

Lent: Loaned from the Heathens

Another custom linked with Easter is Lent. The word is derived from the Old English lencten, meaning spring. Today it is the 40 weekdays from Ash Wednesday until Easter, reserved by churchianity for penitence and fasting.

Most of the self-denying practice of fasting during Lent has given way to giving up something—usually something that should be given up anyway, like tobacco or drinking to excess. But where did this custom of Lent originate? The Two Babylons explains, “The forty days’ abstinence of Lent was directly borrowed from the worshipers of the Babylonian goddess. Such a Lent of forty days, ‘in the spring of the year’ is still observed by the Yezidis or Pagan Devil-worshipers of Koordistan, who have inherited it from their early masters, the Babylonians….Such a lent of forty days was observed in Egypt…held expressly in commemoration of Adonis or Osiris, the great mediatorial god,” pp. 104-5.

Osiris’s counterpart is the Greek Demeter and the Babylonian Tammuz—both deities of fertility and life. As Hislop observes, “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, which was celebrated by alternate weeping and rejoicing…To conciliate the Pagans to nominal Christianity, Rome, pursuing its usual policy, took measures to get the Christian and Pagan festivals amalgameted, and, by a complicated but skillful adjustment of the calendar, it was found no difficult matter, in general, to get Paganism and Christianity—now far sunk in idolatry—in this as in so many other things, to shake hands,” p. 105.

Yahweh’s Salvation Plan in His Observances

Observance of Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread holds the key to understanding Yahweh’s plan of salvation. It was never Almighty Yahweh’s intention to link His Son’s death and resurrection to a pagan festival in honor of a fertility idol. Instead, Almighty Yahweh ordained the observance of Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread to point toward the salvation that comes through His Son.

By dying on Passover day and being resurrected during the Days of Unleavened Bread, Yahshua became the Savior of mankind. Yahweh never tells us to observe the Savior’s resurrection. Nor is Easter commanded anywhere in the Scriptures. We never see Yahshua or His disciples coloring and hiding eggs, eating hot-cross buns, or worshiping the rising sun. Nor did it ever happen among the Savior’s apostles even after His death and resurrection. The simple, verifiable fact is that Easter is man-made, not Yahweh inspired.

Yahshua’s death to pay the penalty for our sins is memorialized by the Passover, and this observance is explicitly commanded, honored, and kept throughout the Bible. The New Testament included. The Scriptures are the inspired Word, 2Timothy 3:16. The words were breathed by Yahweh as if He were talking face-to-face with us, which is the meaning of inspiration in this passage. If He commands us to keep certain days at certain times then we simply have no authority to do anything differently.

Yahweh’s feasts fulfill their intended purpose of pointing to Yahshua’s redemptive work. As True Worshipers we must do as the Apostle Paul taught in 1Corinthians 5:7-8, “Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Messiah, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (NKJV).

Choosing the Passover Lamb

As sanctified believers we must choose Yahshua as our Passover lamb. In order to find salvation we must recognize him as the Lamb of Yahweh who takes away the sin of the world, John 1:29. Without Passover, Yahshua could not have fulfilled the Scriptures which pertain to His Messiahship. To reject Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread is to reject Yahshua as the Messiah. Let us look at some of the crucial scriptures that prove this point. First, as the Lamb of Yahweh, Yahshua fulfilled the scriptures regarding the first Passover observance in Egypt. The Passover Lamb of Exodus chapter 12 prophetically points to our Savior as the Lamb of Yahweh. Let us look at this passage and learn how Yahshua fulfilled it. “Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat” (Ex. 12:3-4).

Just as the lamb was selected on the 10th day of the month, so the Lamb of Yahweh was selected by the Jews to be their offering on the same day. In Christianity this is referred to as Palm Sunday. This event actually took place on the weekly Sabbath that preceeded the Passover. We read about this in Matthew 21:6-11, “The disciples went and did as Yahshua had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Yahshua sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of Yahweh! Hosanna in the highest!’ When Yahshua entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, ‘Who is this?’ The crowds answered, ‘This is Yahshua, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.’”

The people were totally unaware that they were in fact choosing Yahshua as their Passover Lamb. Four days after this occurred some of the same people who heralded Yahshua’s entrance into Jerusalem were crying out for His death. How ironic!

We next learn how the Passover lamb was to be killed on Passover day (Abib 14) and how its blood was to be applied to the lintel and side posts of the door of the house where the lamb was eaten (Ex. 12:5-7). Prophetically this points to Yahshua’s suffering and death on Passover day. Consider Yahshua’s suffering.

Yahshua began the day (scriptural days begin at sundown) by gathering with the Apostles to eat the Passover. “They left and found things just as Yahshua had told them. So they prepared the Passover. When the hour came, Yahshua and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, ‘I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.’” It was at this time that he humbled Himself as a servant and washed His disciples feet thereby giving us the example of humility (John 13:1-20).

Then Yahshua instituted the new Passover meal and emblems. He gave His disciples unleavened bread to represent His Body and the juice of the grape to represent His shed blood. “While they were eating, Yahshua took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, ‘Take it; this is my body.’ Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, and they all drank from it. ‘This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,’ he said to them. ‘I tell you the truth, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it anew in the kingdom of Yahweh’’ (Mark 14:22-25).

After discoursing and praying with His disciples, they all departed to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. Here is where His suffering as the Passover Lamb began. All of those events took place on Passover day. From the time that Yahshua began to sweat drops of blood in the garden of Gethsemane until His death on Golgotha, Yahshua shed His blood as atonement for sin. He fulfilled the scriptures regarding the Passover Lamb and proved Himself to be the Lamb of Yahweh who takes away the sin of the world.

His blood was upon the torture stake just as the blood of the Passover lamb was placed upon the side posts of the Israelite’s dwellings. To separate Yahshua’s sacrifice from Passover and to relink it with Easter is a sacrilege of immense proportion and an insult to Yahshua. The observance of the Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread was ordained by Almighty Yahweh in perpetuity as the memorial of Yahshua’s death and resurrection.

“So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to Yahweh throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance…So you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this same day I will have brought your armies out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as an everlasting ordinance… And you shall observe this thing as an ordinance for you and your sons forever” (Exodus 12:14, 17, 24; NKJV). Through Yahshua’s sacrifice we are freed from the bondage of Egypt (sin—Heb. 11:25).

Yahshua ordained that His followers observe Passover with the new emblems of His body and blood. “For I received from the Master what I also passed on to you: The Master Yahshua, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Master’s death until he comes” (1Cor. 11:23-26).

More Evidence Against Easter Sunday Resurrection

One of the main arguments put forth to support Easter is the erroneous belief that the Messiah was resurrected at sunrise on Easter Sunday morning. The truth is revealed by a close examination of Matthew 28:1-2. Here we read, “In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of Yahweh descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.” (KJV)

Notice the underlined words in the passage. In Strong’s Concordance Greek Dictionary of the New Testament this is No. 2020— epiphosko (ep-ee-foce’-ko); a form of NT: No. 2017; to begin to grow light: It has been translated in the KJV as: begin to dawn, draw on. This word is used twice in the New Testament, here and in Luke 23:54. There we read, “And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on” (KJV). Again it must be pointed out that the scriptural (Jewish) day begins and ends at sundown. In Luke 23:54 the statement “and the Sabbath drew on” obviously means that it was close to sundown. The same can be said about Matthew 28:1, “as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week.” Once again, this would refer to sundown. That being the case, Yahshua was resurrected when the earthquake took place at the end of the weekly Sabbath and not Sunday morning at sunrise.

This is very significant because it further proves that we must observe the Days of Unleavened Bread. Concerning Yahshua’s resurrection, we read in 1Corinthians 15:20-23, “But Messiah has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Messiah all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Messiah, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.”

The Messiah is the first of the firstfruits of the resurrection from the dead. As such, by being resurrected at the end of the weekly Sabbath, He was presented to Almighty Yahweh as the firstfruit wave sheaf. The wave sheaf of cut barley was waved, as an offering, by the priest on the day after the weekly Sabbath which fell during the Days of Unleavened Bread.

Consider Leviticus 23:9-14, “Yahweh said to Moses, ‘Speak to the Israelites and say to them: “When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest. He is to wave the sheaf before Yahweh so it will be accepted on your behalf; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath. On the day you wave the sheaf, you must sacrifice as a burnt offering to Yahweh a lamb a year old without defect, together with its grain offering of two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil — an offering made to Yahweh by fire, a pleasing aroma — and its drink offering of a quarter of a hin of wine. You must not eat any bread, or roasted or new grain, until the very day you bring this offering to your Elohim. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live.’”

No Wave Sheaf on Easter

Yahshua the Messiah is our spiritual, firstfruit wave sheaf offering. After His resurrection from the tomb, He presented Himself to Almighty Yahweh on the day after the weekly Sabbath and thus gave new significance to the wave sheaf offering. As the High Priest after the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 7:15-17; Psalm 110:4), Yahshua also would have offered a physical wave sheaf to Yahweh. He must have still been holding it when He was met by Miriam Magdalene, as she assumed that He was the gardener.

“But Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Yahshua’s body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. They asked her, ‘Woman, why are you crying?’ ‘They have taken my Master away,’ she said, ‘and I don’t know where they have put him.’ At this, she turned around and saw Yahshua standing there, but she did not realize that it was Yahshua. ‘Woman,’ he said, ‘why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?’ Thinking he was the gardener, she said, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.’ Yahshua said to her, ‘Miriam.’ She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, ‘Rabboni!’ (which means Teacher). Yahshua said, ‘Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my Elohim and your Elohim.’” Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: ‘I have seen the Master!’ And she told them that he had said these things to her” (John 20:11-18).

Yahshua would not let Miriam touch Him at this time because He had not yet ascended to His Father to present Himself as the first fruits offering.

Once again, the scriptures are very clear in showing the significance of Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread. Yahshua, as our spiritual, first fruits wave sheaf, presented Himself to Almighty Yahweh as our offering. Because He has been resurrected from the dead, we have hope for our own resurrection when Yahshua returns.

The Apostle Paul declared this in Romans 6:3-11: “Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Messiah Yahshua were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Messiah was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was impaled with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Messiah, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Messiah was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to Yahweh. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to Yahweh in Messiah Yahshua.”

Obviously from these Scriptures Yahshua was not resurrected on Easter Sunday morning. He was resurrected at the end of the weekly Sabbath just before sundown. As the first day of the week began, He cut the firstfruits wave sheaf and, as Yahweh’s High Priest, He offered it. Then, He ascended up into the heavens and presented Himself as our spiritual wave sheaf, the first of the firstfruits of the resurrection, before Almighty Yahweh our Father. To reject the Days of Unleavened Bread, and especially the wave sheaf offering day, in favor of Easter is to reject Yahshua as our resurrected Messiah. Our hope of the resurrection lies in Yahshua’s fulfillment of the scriptures in regard to the Lamb of Yahweh that takes away the sins of the world.

Three Days and Three Nights Mystery

It is truly ironic how mainstream worship has abandoned Yahshua’s Messiahship by embracing the observance of Good Friday and Easter. Despite all the great miracles that our Savior preformed that showed that He was the Messiah, He stated that there was only one sign that would prove Him to be the Messiah. That sign was that He would spend three days and three nights in the grave. Let’s consider this as found in Matthew 12:38-40: “Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, ‘Teacher, we want to see amiraculous sign from you.’ He answered, ‘A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.’”

No matter how you count it, it is impossible to get three days and three nights from a late Friday afternoon death and burial to a Sunday morning resurrection. Appendix 144 of Dr. Bullinger’s The Companion Bible states the following: “The fact that ‘three days’ is used by Hebrew idiom for any part of three days and three nights is not disputed; because that was the common way of reckoning, just as it was when used of years. Three or any number of years was used inclusively of any part of those years, as may be seen in the reckoning of the reigns of any of the kings of Israel and Judah. But, when the number of ‘nights’ is stated as well as the number of ‘days,’ then the expression ceases to be an idiom, and becomes a literal statement of fact.”

This is a surprising statement in light of what is taught by most. All the confusion comes about because Christianity has mistakenly believed that the day after the Passover (Abib 14) was the weekly Sabbath. In fact, it was the first high holy day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This can be verified in John 19:31, “The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the torture stake on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.”

The error that the day after the Passover impalement was the weekly Sabbath disappears upon examining Yahweh’s command concerning the Feast of Unleavened Bread in Leviticus 23:6-8, “And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to Yahweh; seven days you must eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it. But you shall offer an offering made by fire to Yahweh for seven days. The seventh day shall be a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it” (NKJV).

How clear the sequence of days becomes when you understand that the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is a high holy Sabbath day like the weekly Sabbath. We have already learned that, according to Matthew 28:1-2, our Savior was resurrected at the end of the weekly Sabbath. Now, by counting backwards three days and three nights, we learn that Yahshua died on a Wednesday afternoon and was placed in the tomb just before sundown. Wednesday at sun down would have begun the first high holy day of the feast. Friday was the preparation for the weekly Sabbath and the weekly Sabbath was a holy day.

We count the three days and the three nights as follows: Wednesday just before sundown to Thursday just before sundown—day one, Thursday just before sundown to Friday just before sundown—day two, and Friday just before sundown to Sabbath just before sundown—day three. This completely agrees with what is found in Matthew 28:1-2. Yahshua was resurrected from the tomb when the earthquake took place toward the end of the weekly Sabbath.

When it comes to the question of Easter or Passover the simple facts speak for themselves. Christianity openly admits to having taken an ancient pagan fertility celebration and applied its meaning and customs to the resurrection of the Messiah. This is totally contrary to what is found in the Bible and opposes what was taught and observed by our Savior, the Apostles, and the saints of the New Testament.

After examining the Scriptures concerning Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread, it is clear that Almighty Yahweh intended for these days to be celebrated by all True Worshipers in remembrance of Yahshua’s death and resurrection as the Lamb of Yahweh. The true meaning of the plan of salvation can only be fully understood by the observance of Yahweh’s sanctified feast days. Yahshua is the first of the first fruits. Because He died and was resurrected according to the Scriptures we have a hope of being in the first resurrection when He returns at His second coming. The apostle wrote, “Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the good news I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this good news you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Messiah died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1Cor. 15:1-4).

Those who believe in Yahshua as the Messiah will remain in the truth of His Word and will be found worthy as His disciples. All sincere followers of truth will be in the first resurrection when Yahshua returns. They have gained freedom from the false teachings of this world. Because they have chosen to follow the teaching of Yahshua, they observe Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread rather than the pagan feast of Easter. “To the Jews who had believed him, Yahshua said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’” (John 8:31-32).

True Worshipers must hold to the teachings of our Savior. Yahshua’s life, death, and resurrection are based upon the truth of Yahweh’s Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread and not upon the pagan customs of a fertility rite.

For more info on Easter, Please check out our free booklet: Easter the Fertility of it All

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A Bible lesson on paganism in the church

Sargo’s Surprise

A candid discussion with an ancient Babylonian

Sargo, the Babylonian, lounges by the Hanging Gardens, day­dreaming of the far distant future. What will the 21stcentury be like, he wonders. “What if I could go to those future lands spoken of in the legends, to see how people live 4,000 years from now?” he fantasizes,chomping on a pork chop.

“Will the great god Bel have allowed the people to be powerful? Will Earth Mother Beltis have protected them through the years, and will Ishtar have blessed them with many children to sacri­fice? Or will future faiths have forgotten our Babylonian beliefs?”

No, Sargo, you would be pleasantly surprised to know that were you alive today you would not feel all that uncomfortable or unfamiliar with the state of religion in the 21st century. In fact, you may even be moved tell the modern church­goer, “You worship much like I do.”

Sargo, your Babylonian beliefs have become the standard for nearly all the world’s religions. They are evident the world over in a wide variety of religions and practices.

Hindus practice it, still keeping your sacred cow sacred, and still honoring the Trin­ity – except they changed the names to Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. They haven’t lightened up on your belief in immortality of the soul, either, just gave it their own spin in the wheel of samsara.

Your story of Nimrod and Tammuz taught them well. In fact, the Hindu doctrine of reincarnation is a hot item in parts of Europe and America. It’s called New Age. I know, Sargo, it is not new. I realize they should give credit where credit is due. After all, you Babylonians are the true masters of all things heathen.

The fastest growing religion today is Islam. It was started by a man, just as Nimrod founded your faith, Sargo. Mohammed gleaned many of his be­liefs from Judaism and another religion called Christianity. You’ll find essentials of your revered Babylonian mys­teries in these religions as well.

Your notion of a gloomy, dark world where evil people go at death and burn forever still is very much alive. Here again lives that immortal soul idea you are so famous for. Your faith in many deities has an outlet in some faiths today with their venera­tion of saints.

Sargo Would Be Very Comfortable

What day is it? you ask. This is Mon­day, Sargo. You get it? Mon-day/Moon Day, the day your forefathers set aside for moon worship. It still comes right af­ter Sunday, the day your ancients wor­shiped the sun-god Shamas.

All the other days of the week still reflect heathen worship, like Tuesday, the day the deity Tiu was hon­ored. And Wednesday, named after Woden, a Celtic deity who came later in Europe. Then there’s Thor’s day (Thursday), Frigg’s day (Friday), and of course, Saturn’s day (Saturday).

No, Sargo, most people today don’t worship the planets as you Babylonians did, but they do read horoscopes where they seek their futures from the stars – in the same manner your fathers did.

Fortune-telling by the stars is so popular today that even a former First Lady consulted an astrologer before advising her husband.

I believe in the Bible. The Bible con­demns prophesying through the stars.

And the Bible doesn’t name the days of the week either, it only numbers them, except for the seventh, which is called the Sabbath.

What’s the Bible, you ask? It’s the Book inspired by the true Almighty Yahweh and on which Christianity is claimed to be based. Christianity is a major religion that has spread around the world. Its worshipers claim to wor­ship the true Heavenly Father.

You may be surprised that they call Him God. Yes, that’s right. It’s not a name. And I agree that it is rather odd that Christianity seems to be the only major religion in all of history that doesn’t honor the One it worships by name.

Pardon me? …Oh of course, their Mighty One does indeed want to be called by His Name, just as you do yours. He said over and over in His inspired Word that His Name is Yahweh, and even sealed it in the Third Commandment. But THEY don’t think it is important.They say, “He knows who I mean.”

I agree, it IS very strange – and very confusing. But there are many as­pects about this faith that you would find familiar, Sargo.

For instance, if you could see its temples, called churches, you would recognize the tall spires most of them have … Yes, you’re right. They are a carryover of the Asherah you had in Babylon. This is what a scholar says about the asherah:

“Originally a tree, symbolical of the ‘tree of life,’ it was an object of rever­ence and veneration. Then came the perversion of the earlier idea which simply honoured the origin of life; and it was corrupted and debased into the [male] organ of procreation, which was symbolized by the form and shape given to the Asherah. It was the phal­lus image of Isaiah 57:8, and the im­age of the male, Ezekiel 16: 17.” (Com­panion Bible, Appendix 42)

Babylonian Days Prosper

This religion worships on the venerable day of the sun, just as you and your forefathers did, Sargo, when you wor­shiped sun deities. Strangely, their own Bibles command that they worship on the seventh day, not the first day of the week (Ex. 20:10). But because they wanted to break clean from another faith known as Judaism, they decided on their own to change their day of worship.

They chose Sunday because that is the day their converts from pagan Babylonian religions were accustomed to keeping holy. A king even enforced it. His name was Constantine. And they have been observing Sunday ever since.

But there is much more.

They observe a holiday each year in honor of your goddess Ishtar. It still sounds similar: Easter. Many of them even are aware that Ishtar was the Babylonian queen deity of love and fer­tility, yet they still paint and hide eggs, symbols of life and reproduction, and flood this observance with rabbits, also symbols of fertility.

They claim they observe it because the Savior was resurrected on Sunday morning, although Scripture says He was already gone by the time Sunday sunrise rolled around. Anyway, they still honor where this obser­vance really comes from – with your now symbolic rabbits and eggs.

You Babylonians certainly were big on worship of sex. But is that something to be proud of, Sargo? The big paradox is that the Bible condemns mixing these rites with True Worship. “Learn not the way of the heathen,” Jeremiah 10:2 reads, but they continue practicing your pagan traditions of worship anyway. They cite something about do­ing it for the children’s sake.

In Ezekiel, the One they seek to worship says He will have no mercy on those who practice sunrise worship rites:

“And He brought me into the inner court of Yahweh’s house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of Yahweh, between the porch and the altar, were about 25 men, with their backs toward the temple of Yahweh, and their faces toward the east: and they worshiped the sun toward the east… and they put the branch [asherah] to their nose… Therefore shall I deal in fury…” (8:16- 18)

Modern Holly Folly

Amazing, isn’t it, how all these rites of your influential heathen faith are so entrenched in today’s worship? But I’ve barely scratched the surface, Sargo. Where your religion really shines today is in the annual extravaganza called Christ­mas.

The biggest promoters are the merchants, who have kept this observance alive and growing in order to reach their annual sales quota. They claim to make half of their annual sales in the last two months of the year before Christmas, when gifts are exchanged and people go into debt for the next year. So they start Christ­mas advertising in September.

The Bible prophesies that the mer­chants of the earth will “have waxed rich through the abundance of her [Babylon’s] delicacies,”Revelation 18:3. Amazingly accurate, isn’t it? Never so accurate as in this the biggest shopping extravaganza the world has ever seen.

You’ll be more amazed at how Christmas rites are so very like those in ancient Babylon.

Some practices may have changed cosmetically through the years as they left Babylon and diffused through the Mithraic cults and into northern Eu­rope, but the essence still shines through.

For instance, you know about the myth of Nimrod, symbolized by a tree, and how he became deified and was “reincarnated” after being cut down. Well, the fable is still celebrated in De­cember with a yule log. At Xmas the burning log represents the glowing sun­ god Mithras returning to the skies af­ter the winter solstice.

In Egyptian worship Nimrod reap­peared as the palm tree. In Rome and northern Europe he was the fir or evergreen that is always green and seemingly immortal.

One source put it this way, “Now the Yule Log is the dead stock of Nimrod, deified as the sun-god, but cut down by his enemies; the Christmas tree is Nimrod redivivus – the slain god cometo life again,” The Two Babylons, p. 98. It continues, “This entirely accounts for the putting of the Yule Log into the fire on Christmas-eve, and the appearance of the Christmas-tree the next morning,” p. 97.

You pagans were always quite con­cerned when your source of life, the sun, appeared less and less each day at the end of the year. At the winter sol­stice, about December 25, you cel­ebrated the return of the unconquered sun as it made its cyclical appearance once more and promised springtime re­newal of life from the dead of winter.

In honor of the solar deity, even though they may not realize it, people at Christmas today decorate their ever­green trees with bulbs and balls sym­bolic of the returning sun, as well as to honor the renewal of life. Then they stand back and virtually worship this tree idol, placing gift offerings beneath it.

Yes, Sargo, without hesitation you could say that Christmas is indeed a gift from you sun-worshiping Babylonians. Some people today still claim December 25 is the day the Savior was born,but many know bet­ter.

In her book, All About American Holidays, Maymie R. Krythe writes, “The exact date of [the Messiah’s] birth is not known; and during the first two or three centuries little note, apparently,was taken of the anniversary. For church officials opposed such celebra­tions as savoring of paganism,” p. 254.

Early American colonists detested the Christmas observance, realizing its true origins. Associated Press writer Peter Coy writes, “Celebrating Christmas in Mas­sachusetts three centuries ago was risky: Anyone who took the day off from work could be fined 5 shillings. When George Washington crossed the Delaware River the night of Dec. 25, 1776, he could count on catching the Hessian soldiers drunk and sound asleep after a day of carousing. But, for Washington’s men, Christmas was just another day. And it wasn’t until 1836 that the first state – Alabama – de­clared Christmas a holiday.”

Christmas is also rooted in the Ro­man Saturnalia, a sister heathen festival in honor of Saturn, deity of agriculture. According to Funk and Wagnall’s Standard Refer­ence Encyclopedia, “The customs of the Saturnalia were later, in Christian times, blended with those on January 1, the celebration of the New Year, when it was also the practice to give presents, and much of the traditional merrymak­ing of the Christmas season seems to have developed from the earlier pagan festival,” Saturnalia, p. 7825.

Passing on the Mysteries?

You see, Sargo, other cultures also borrowed from your mysteries, and ours borrowed from and built on theirs as well as yours. The Roman counterpart to your Tammuz was Mithras, the sun deity. He supposedly hatched from an egg on De­cember 25.

Because Mithraism was one of the last of your mystery cults to reach the West, it became a rival of Christianity, with which it was contemporary. Many of the practices of Mithraism were picked up by Christian worshipers.

The book, The Golden Bough, says about the blending of Mithraic rites with Christmas nativity customs, “In the Julian Calendar the twenty-fifth of De­cember was reckoned the winter solstice, and it was regarded as the Nativity of the sun, because the day begins tolengthen and the power of the sun to in­crease that turning point of the year. Now Mithras was regularly identified by his worshipers with the Sun, the Uncon­quered Sun, as they called him; hence his nativity also fell on the twenty-fifth of December,” p. 416.

What is the harm in observing holidays your forefathers began? you ask. Well, Sargo, your pagan back­ground allows for the worship of nu­merous “gods.” Naturally, these “gods” don’t mind sharing your worship be­cause they don’t exist.

But Almighty Yahweh does exist, and because of Him you exist. He says that if you seek salvation – to live for­ever in His Kingdom – then you must obey and worship only Him.

Here are His exact words: “I am Yahweh: that is My Name: and My glory will I not give to another, neither My praise to graven images,” Isaiah 42:8. He also said through the Apostle Paul, “Take heed unto yourself, and unto the doctrine: continue in them: for in doing this you shall both save yourself, and them that hear you,” 1Timothy 4:16.

We can’t compromise True Wor­ship, Sargo. The Roman Empire toler­ated many different religions because they did not understand truth, and what they were really after anyway was political unity. So they forfeited truth whenever expedient to appease their subjects. And compromise is what began the fall of man in Eden.

You see, being a follower of the one true Mighty One Yahweh means enjoying a close, father-child union with Him. He actually lives in us by His Holy Spirit power. He says, “You are the Temple of the living Elohim; as Elohim has said, ‘I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their Elohim, and they shall be My people.’ Wherefore, ‘come out from among them, and be separate,’ says Yahweh, ‘and touch not the unclean thing,’ “ 2Corinthians 6:16-18.

If I worship other deities in the popular customs, even though main­taining that I’m really worshiping the true Creator Yahweh, then I can no longer be a son of Yahweh. He makes that clear. It’s like giving up my fam­ily and all it stands for and going to live at the neighbor’s house.

What would you think if your child did that to you, Sargo? It is the same with the Father Yahweh, the only true Mighty One of the universe. When we accept false worship and we compromise the truth, it is the same as leaving our Father.

Think about that, Sargo.

by Elder Alan Mansager

What the Bible says about Easter

Easter- The Fertility of It All

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Is Easter in the Bible?

 Egg-laying rabbits; hot cross buns; Lent and ham dinners; sun-centered worship — why the strange customs? Why the strange name, “Easter”?   

On an early Sunday morning in April dad gets up and stumbles in the darkness searching for his best suit. He swallows a quick juice and heads off to the church. There he joins 20 of his friends gathered outside. As they look to the eastern sky they become enraptured by the brilliance of the dawning sun. Someone begins to sing a hymn. Others join in, faces glowing as they respond in adoration of the warming rays of the yellow orb.

Back home mother drives the chill from the house as she warms the oven. The smell of baking dough will spread to the bedrooms, beckoning awakening children to join her in making sugary crosses on toasty cakes.

A fat ham roasts in the oven. Dad’s mouth waters as he anticipates returning home and dining on the ritual offerings he has come to savor each spring. But first one more prayer with hands stretched upward in praise as the vernal sun rises to jumpstart the life-cycle of another new year.

As he heads home he notices many others celebrating the return of spring in groves of trees that line the road.

The year is 500 years before the Messiah. Prophets like Isaiah and Jeremiah conveyed Yahweh’s disdain for a celebration that not only has survived millennia, but even blossomed into one of the major celebrations of Christianity today—Easter.

Easter takes its name from a deity of the Chaldeans known as Astarte or Ishtar. “Her presence was thought to guarantee fertility, and in her absence the land, humans, and animals could not reproduce,” Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature.

Easter a Phantom Observance

But is Easter in the Bible? Can we find the word Easter? Only in Acts 12:4 in the King James Version. It is a mistranslation of the Greek Pasch or Passover.

Barnes Notes says about the KJV’s changing the term Passover to Easter: “There was never a more absurd or unhappy translation than this. The original is simply after the Passover.”

Here’s how other versions translate Acts 12:4:

New Living Translation:
“… Herod’s intention was to bring Peter out for public trial after the Passover.”

International Standard Version
“…planning to bring him out to the people after Passover season.”

New American Standard Bible
“…intending after the Passover to bring him out before the people.

American Standard Version
“…intending after the Passover to bring him forth to the people.

Bible in Basic English
“…his purpose being to take him out to the people after the Passover.

Douay-Rheims Bible
“…intending, after the pasch, to bring him forth to the people.

English Revised Version
“…intending after the Passover to bring him forth to the people.

World English Bible
“… intending to bring him out to the people after the Passover.

Young’s Literal Translation
“… intending after the passover to bring him forth to the people.

New International Version
“…Herod intended to bring him out for public trial after the Passover.”

New King James:
“… intending to bring him before the people after Passover.”

New Living Translation:
“… Herod’s intention was to bring Peter out for public trial after the Passover.”

Notice the preceding verse 3 of Acts 12: “These were the days of unleavened bread.” What connection does the Feast of Unleavened Bread have with Easter? None. What does Easter have to do with the Feast of Unleavened Bread? Nothing. But the Passover and Feast of UB have a lot to do with each other. In the law the Feast follows the Pass-over on the 15th of Abib.

The early New Testament believers in Acts were still observing the Old Testament’s Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread! Never did Yahshua the Messiah or His apostles or any of the Jews of their day observe Easter.

Easter today is known in other languages by words that link it directly to Passover: French­ Paques; Italian-Pasqua; Spanish­ Pascua; Dutch- Pasen. The word for Easter sounds similar in each of these languages. The problem is, it doesn’t sound at all like “Easter” but like the original and Scriptural “Passover.”

Its absence in the ancient manuscripts shows that the Easter celebration was completely missing in New Testament worship. This fact has not escaped even secular sources. The New Werner Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica says, “There is no trace of the celebration of Easter as a Christian festival in the New Testament or in the writings of the apostolic fathers,” vol. VII, p. 531.

It wasn’t until 800 years after Yahshua that an observance of His resurrection was ever called Easter.

Nelsons Illustrated Bible Dictionary says on p. 317, “Easter was originally a pagan festival honoring Eostre, a Teutonic [Germanic] goddess of light and spring. At the time of the vernal equinox, sacrifices were offered in her honor. As early as the 8th century the name was used to designate the annual Christian celebration of the resurrection of Messiah.”

The word “Easter” is a renaming and completely unauthorized replacement of the Passover. The Eleventh Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica makes this short and eyeopening statement: “The name Easter (German Ostern) like the names of the days of the week, is a survival from the old Teutonic mythology. According to Bede, it is derived from Eostre or Ostara, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring, to whom the month answering to our April, and called Eostur-monath, was dedicated.”

Historically, Easter is the celebration of the ancient queen of heaven, Ishtar, the Babylonian goddess of fertility, love, war, and sex. Her beau was the Babylonian Tammuz (Greek Adonis). She is the same goddess worshiped throughout the Near East and Mediterraneanworlds almost from the beginning of recorded history. She was variously known as Inanna, Innin, Astarte, Ashtar, the Greek Aphrodite, and the Roman Venus.

Solar Survivals a Heathen Legacy  

Virtually all heathen religions of antiquity worshiped the sun. In Ezekiel’s day Judah had incorporated sun worship into their own worship of Yahweh. Yahweh was no more happy with their doing that than He is with admixing the same practices today and calling it a “Biblical” observance. We have no authority to make our own worship. Doing so is making Yahweh into our image.

We read that this idolatry consumed ancient Judah in Ezekiel 8: “Then he brought me to the entrance to the north gate of the house of Yahweh, and I saw women sitting there, mourning for Tammuz. He said to me, ‘Do you see this, son of man? You will see things that are even more detestable than this.’

“He then brought me into the inner court of the house of Yahweh, and there at the entrance to the temple, between the portico and the altar, were about twenty-five men. With their backs toward the temple of Yahweh and their faces toward the east, they were bowing down to the sun in the east.”

The sun-worship services of the backslidden Israelites, with their women participating in the rites of Astarte worship (Easter) and weeping for Tammuz was detestable to Almighty Yahweh. Little angers our Father in heaven more than embracing the idolatry of the heathen nations.

No Commemoration for the Resurrection 

Nothing about memorializing Yahshua’s resurrection is commanded anywhere in the Bible. The proper observance of Yahshua’s death is the Passover, for which we have plenty of commands and examples in both Old and New testaments. Yahweh instructs, “These are the feasts of Yahweh, even holy convocations, which you shall proclaim in their seasons. In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is Yahweh’s Passover,” Leviticus 23:4-5. Nowhere is man given authority to alter this observance or morph it into something else.

Early believers observed the Passover according to the command. Ultimately the Roman church instituted Easter. “The Passover, ennobled by the thought of [the Messiah] the true Paschal Lamb, the first-fruits from the dead, continued to be celebrated and became the Christian Easter” (Britannica).

In the Passover-to-Easter transformation, the first act was to change the day on which Passover was observed. The Britannica notes, “A difference as to the time of its observance speedily sprang up between Christians of Jewish and Gentile descent, which led to a long-continued and bitter controversy, and an unhappy severance of Christian union.”

Some of the early churches stuck with the Biblical command for the 14th of Abib. They were called Quartodecimani and were regarded as heretics.

Others couldn’t decide which day of the week they would observe the “holy day” and did as they saw fit. “In the words of Epiphanius, ‘Some,’ he writes, ‘began the festival before the week, some after the week, some at the beginning, some at the middle, some at the end, thus creating a wonderful and laborious confusion,’ ” Ibid.

It finally took a papal decree of Pius I to settle the issue. And thus we have the modern Easter falling on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox.

They Couldn’t Stick with Scripture

It would be bad enough to keep an arbitrary day named and observed for a pagan deity in honor of the Savior. But the atrocity doesn’t stop there.

The many trappings of the Easter rite sank the participant further into the abyss of idolatry. As the Roman Church grew it encountered heathen nations who held tena-ciously to their idol worship and man-made customs. The Roman church recognized that to amalgamate these peoples into its church-state, it would need to make an easy crossover for them. Rather than forcing the pagans to drop their worship altogether, the church found it expedient to recognize as much as possible their heathen rites in its own ecclesiastical calendar.

This blending of beliefs is explained by James G. Frazer in his book, The Golden Bough: “Taken altogether, the coincidences of the Christian and the heathen festivals are too close and too numerous to be accidental. They mark the compromise which the church in the hour of its triumph was compelled to make with its vanquished yet still dangerous rivals. The inflexible Protestantism of the primitive missionaries, with fiery denunciations of heathendom, had been exchanged for the supple policy, the easy tolerance, the comprehensive charity of shrewd ecclesiastics, who clearly perceived that if Christianity was to conquer the world it could do so only by relaxing the too rigid principles of its founder, by widening a little the narrow gate which leads to salvation.”

With those carryovers came the inclusion of the idol-rooted customs of eggs, rabbits, hot cross buns, ham dinners, bonfires, lent, and sunrise services all used in pagan worship.

Each of these was related either to sun worship, fertility worship of pagan deities and worship of life itself or, as in the custom of eating swine, a snub of the Jews they disdained.

Easter hams get their origin from the corn goddess and counterpart to Astarte, Demeter, whose mascot was the pig.

The heathens believed that by eating what represented their god, in this case, swine that they were literally partaking of their god.

What does Yahweh think of those who practice such things each year? Note Isaiah 65:3-5. “A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick;Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine’s flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels; Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.”

None of Easter’s traditions can be found in connection with pure worship of the Bible. Not Lent. Not Good Friday. Not Easter itself.

It is no coincidence that Easter involves symbols of eggs and rabbits, historically representing fruitful reproduction. Consider Easter’s bizarre melding of two powerful symbols of fertility — egg-laying rabbits. It’s a powerful example of the whole absurdity of using this observance to celebrate Yahshua’s resurrection.

The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1909 ed., has the following admission: “A great many pagan customs, celebrating the return of spring, gravitated to Easter. The egg is the emblem of the germinating life of early spring…The rabbit is a pagan symbol and has always been a symbol of fertility.”

The egg became associated with Astarte or Venus, when she hatched from a giant one that fell from heaven. The egg to the ancient represented the entire universe, which engenders everything. It is round, like the world, and is the universal principle of new life. The mystic egg was venerated in most paganistic nations of the world: Greece, Egypt, Persia, Babylon, India, Japan, and Phoenicia.

Lent on Loan from the Ancients

The 40-day, pre-Easter “fast” known as Lent is an appendage of the mythologies of Greece and Rome. But as with much of false worship, the custom of Lent was original with Babylonian paganism.

“From Arnobius we learn that the fast which the pagans observed, called ‘Castus’ or the ‘sacred’ fast, was, by the Christians in his time, believed to have been primarily in imitation of the long fast of Ceres, when for many days she determinedly refused to eat on account of her ‘excess of sorrow,’ that is, on the account of the loss of her daughter Proserpine, when carried away by Pluto, the god of hell,” Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, p. 105.

Because the early Roman church had no direction from Scripture on the observance of Lent, its first steps with the custom were faltering. “Originally, even in Rome, Lent with the preceding revelries of the Carnival, was entirely unknown; and even when fasting before the Christian Pasch was held to be necessary, it was by slow steps that, in this respect, it came to conform with the ritual of paganism,” The Two Babylons p. 106.

At first, Lent was only half as long as the present 40 days. Hislop explains, “But at last, when the worship of Astarte was rising into the ascendant, steps were taken to get the whole Chaldean Lent of six weeks, or forty days, made imperative on all within the Roman Empire of the West,” pp. 106-107.

Each year before Easter we see people walking around with palm ash in the shape of a cross smudged in the middle of their foreheads. They are marking the 40 days from Ash Wednesday to Easter. It’s a time supposed to be spent in penitence and fasting, and is a practice completely missing from the Scriptures.

Cakes for a Pagan’s Deity

Mother’s making of hot cross buns for Easter traces to worship of the goddess Astarte or Easter. Jeremiah the prophet underscored this abomination in speaking Yahweh’s denunciation of these same heathen practices of his day: “See not what they do in the cities of Judahand in the streets of Jerusalem? 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 deities, that they may provoke Me to anger,”Jeremiah 7:18.

In Jeremiah 44:19 is another stinging rebuke of those who offered to the pagan goddess. The prophet says in one of the succeeding verses, “Yahweh could no longer bear, because of the evil of your doings, and because of the abominations which you have committed; therefore is your land a desolation, and an astonishment, and a curse, without an inhabitant, as at this day,” verse 22. He continues, that because His people rejected His laws and statutes, a curse would befall them.

Various pagans have depicted Astarte differently, but always in connection with procreation. Her worship is alive and well today in the symbols and customs of Easter.

Passover: the Right Observance for Today

Yahweh tells us in Proverbs 14:12 that even if we think we are serving Yahweh in ways that seem okay to us, that those ways are still wrong and carry an ultimate penalty. “There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

The masses just blindly fall into this observance each year because everyone else is just blindly falling into it. Unless something drastic happens to a person, he will continue traditional ways just as his parents did and their parents did and their parents did. And he won’t ever question why! We truly are slaves to habit, to custom, to routine, to convention and to ritual.

Our Creator has prescribed the only way He wants to be worshiped, and we as His creation have no authority to change anything. “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways,’ says Yahweh.”

Passover is the memorial commemorating the death of the Savior for the sins of mankind. Through His death, which paid the ultimate penalty for us, we can have everlasting life. That is the message Yahweh wants us to hold on to. And we do so every year when we partake of the Passover memorial emblems.

Easter has nothing in common with the Passover. We find no command anywhere in the entire Bible to observe the resurrection of the Savior. We are enjoined to remember the day of His death, however, with Passover. At its core Easter is nothing more than the perpetuation of the practice of pagan rites and rituals. And Yahweh warns not to learn such ways.

In 1Corinthians 10:14-22 is the apostle’s warning against profaning the Passover and its significance by other practices and other symbols not given in the Word:

“Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry. I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of the Messiah? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of the Messiah? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread. Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to Yahweh: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.Ye cannot drink the cup of Yahweh, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of Yahweh’s table, and of the table of devils. Do we provoke the Sovereign to jealousy? are we stronger than he?”

Now that you know the truth, you have a decision to make. Continue on in ways of ultimate destruction or return to the faith once delivered to the saints, Jude 3. That faith includes the true days commanded in the Word – His Feasts and Sabbath. You are being called to make a choice, which is truly a life or death decision. Choose life.

Watch: “Pagan Origins of Easter” below

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Easter in the Bible

In Search of the Scriptural Easter

In Search of the Scriptural Easter

With the Christmas extrava­ganza now a distant memory, churches are busily gearing up for their next big obser­vance—the celebration of the Savior’s death and resurrection.

As with Christmas, Easter is an­other major celebration featuring an odd blend of religious, mythical, and profane themes: chalices and chocolate, crosses and croissants; bonnets and bunnies, hymns and hams; Son worship and sun worship.

The unstudied may think it pe­culiar that Yahweh would require His people today to eat unleavened bread for a week following the Pass­over. Yet they find nothing weird about observing the Savior’s resur­rection by searching church lawns for painted eggs … allegedly laid by rabbits!

It is time to conduct our own search­ for the scriptural Easter to see whether there even is one.

One Verse in a Version – Proof of Scriptural Easter?

A peculiar fact jumps out immedi­ately. In a careful examination of the entire Bible we discover that the word “Easter” exists in only one verse: Acts 12:4. In the King James Version it reads, “…intend­ing after Easter to bring him forth to the people.”

But now notice how nearly all other versions trans­late this very same passage:

“ … intending to bring him before the people after Passover,” The New King James Bible.

“ … intending after the Passover to bring him out before the people,” New American Standard

“ … Herod intended to bring him out for public trial after the Pass­over,” New International Version

“ … with the intention of produc­ing him to the people after Passover,” James Moffat

“ … intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people,” Revised Standard

“ …intending to bring him out to the people after the Passover,” New Revised Standard Version

“ … Herod’s intention was to deliver Peter to the Jews for execution after the Passover,” Living Bible

“ …intending to bring him out to the people after Passover,” Modern Language Bible

“ … meaning to produce him in public after Passover,” New English Bible

“ … intending after the Passover to bring him forth to the people,” The Webster Bible

“ … purposing after the Passover to bring him forth to the people,” The Amplified New Testament

“ .. .intending to bring him out to the people after the Passover,” The New Berkeley Version in Modern En­glish

“ .. .intending, after the pasch, to bring him forth to the people,” Douay­-Rheims (Catholic).

In this last version, “pasch” is simply the near Greek word for the Hebrew Pass­over, Pascha. “Passover” is found 28 times in the King James New Testa­ment, Easter only once. Clearly a translation anomaly exists with the KJV. The idea of a “Scriptual Easter” is simply not true.

As the King James Newberry Refer­ence Bible shows in a side column note on Acts 12:4, the word “Easter” in the King James should have been “Passover” (Newberry includes the Greek letters for “Pascha”).

Amazing, isn’t it? Easter is the second biggest religious celebration of the Bible-professing world, yet, its only scriptural evidence is one erroneously translated word!

Apostles Not Easter Dye Hards

But that’s not all. You don’t have to hunt long to discover that no one in the Scriptures ever observed Easter. Rather, even in the New Testament the Apostolic Assembly continued with the Bibli­cal Holy Days commanded in Exo­dus 12 and Leviticus 23. Our Savior died at Passover as the ultimate Passover sacrifice, a fact the Apostle Paul clearly explains in lCorinthians 5:7.

The Eleventh Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica confirms this simple and astounding fact, “There is no indication of the obser­vances of the Easter festival in the New Testament or in the writings of the apostolic Fathers … The first Chris­tians continued to observe the Jewish festivals, though in a new spirit, as commemorations of events which those festivals had foreshadowed” (“Easter,” vol. 8. p. 828).

The commanded Old Testament Feast days were the ONLY annual observances that the early New Testament Assembly recognized. This fact should speak volumes to every Bible-believer today about the importance of honoring those same observances commanded to Israel.

Writing in Bible Review, Delbert Achuff, Jr., a retired Episcopal minister, noted what would happen if Yahshua were to return to earth to observe modern worship: “He would probably be amazed at what the worshipers accredited to Him. The accretions from having passed through several cultures would puzzle this peasant Jew who said He came ‘to fulfil the Law, not to destroy it’ (Matt. 5:17).St. Paul too is understood in a whole new light when seen as a Jew who is a member of the new sect, defending his new understandings of Torah and relationship with [Yah­weh]. Later he calls it the New Cov­enant, but the word (b’rith in the He­brew) is meaningless if one does not know the Old Covenant.”

Theologians cite Acts 2 as the start of the New Testament Assem­bly. But they neglect the reason that the Apostles and disciples were gath­ered that day. It was in observance of the command in Leviticus 23 to keep the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost)—one of the seven annual holy days!

Nowhere can we find a Biblical injunction to observe the Savior’s res­urrection as a special holiday. The command was and always will be to keep the memorial of His death at Passover. This being the case, where did “Easter” originate?

Thank the Babylonians

Yahshua told His disciples that the poor we would always have with us. The same thing can be said of hea­then worship, at least until Yahweh’s righteous Kingdom is established on earth.

The link between Easter and pa­ganism is so obvious no one could miss it. For starters, take the name. “Easter” even sounds like its name­sake—Eastre, the Saxon deity of dawn, spring, and fertility. One au­thority notes, “Easter is a word of Saxon origin and imparts a goddess of the Saxons, or rather, of the East, Estera, in honor of whom sacrifices being annually offered about the Pass­over time of the year (spring), the name became attached by association of ideas to the Christian festival of the resurrection, which happened at the time of the Passover,” Cyclope­dia of Biblical, Theological, and Eccle­siastical Literature, “Easter,” p. 12.

In his Dictionary of Word Origins” Joseph Shipley writes, “Easter. This is from Anglo Saxon Eostre, a pagan goddess whose festival came at the spring equinox. The festival was called Eastron(plural of Eastre). The Christian festival of the resurrection of [Messiah] has in most European languages taken the name of the Jew­ish Passover (Fr. Paques, It. Pasqua, from Latin pascha … ); but in English the pagan word has remained for the Christian festival,” p. 131.

Before she.was Eastre, the idol was called Ishtar (pronounced by the Assyrians and Babylonians as we do Easter).

John in Revelation tells us that Babylon is the mother of all false worship, and Revelation 14:8 says that Babylon caused all nations to partake in her spiritual unfaithfulness. Our society didn’t escape Babylon’s influence regarding the Easter observance, ei­ther.

Ishtar (a.k.a. Semiramis) was the wife of Nimrod, the priest-king and founder of Babylon. She was the first “deified woman” (Alexander Hislop, ­The Two Babylons, p. 304). The Greeks worshiped her as Aphrodite and the Romans as Venus, goddess of love.

Queen of Heaven

Jeremiah condemns worship of this heathen queen mother in a rite that includes a practice remarkably simi­lar to Easter:

“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 mighty ones, that they may provoke me to anger” (Jer. 7:18).

“Cakes” is the Hebrew kavvan, meaning a sacrificial cake, which was “used in worship of Ishtar,” The New Brown, Driver, and Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon, p. 467.

Scriptural EasterThese “cakes” survive as today’s hot cross buns—an Easter tradition on which are marked crosses, the symbol for woman. In hieroglyphics the cross is a symbol for life. This ancient queen of heaven was the mother of life, the heathen believed.

Also prominent in the Easter cel­ebration is the egg. The 1994 winter Olympics opened with a ceremony featuring a huge egg, ancient pagan symbol of life. Mithras, the sun god, supposedly hatched from a cosmic egg.

Pagan mythology says a mystic egg of the Babylonians fell from heaven into the River Euphrates. Once fish had pushed it ashore it hatched and out came Astarte—Eas­ter (Venus). Hence, the egg became a symbol of Astarte or Easter (The Two Babylons, p. 109).

The egg soon figured into Chris­tian Easter worship. According to Hislop, “A form of prayer was even appointed to be used in connection with it, Pope Paul V teaching his superstitious votaries thus to pray at Easter—‘Bless, O L-rd, we beseech thee, this thy creature of eggs, that it may become a wholesome suste­nance into thy servants, eating it in remembrance of our L-rd J-sus Chr-st,’” p. 110.

Peter Cotton-tale

Imagine honoring Abraham Lincoln with Bingo parties. Or celebrating the first moon walk with a fishing derby. It makes as litte sense to observe the resurrection of the Savior with choco­late rabbits that lay colored eggs. Tradition has melded two entirely dif­ferent observances, intermixed them to produce the strangest of crossbreeds—not unlike remember­ing the Savior’s birth with Santa Claus, reindeer, and evergreen trees.

To understand why the rabbits, we need to go back again to a more ancient festival that in the apostate church merged with Passover to be­come the Easter hybrid.

“Although Easter is a Christian festival, it embodies traditions of an ancient time antedating the rise of Christianity,” says Funk and Wagnalls Standard Reference Encyclopedia. This source goes on to describe Eastre, the Teutonic goddess of spring and fertil­ity, to whom was dedicated “Eastre monath,” corresponding to April. “Her festival was celebrated on the day of the vernal equinox, and traditions associated with the festival survive in the familiar Easter bunny, symbol of the fertile rabbit, and in the equally familiar colored Easter eggs originally painted with gay hues to represent the sunlight of spring” (“Easter,” Ibid, p. 2940).

In its effort to join heathen with Bible believer, the early church ac­commodated many pagan obser­vances, finding common dates on which to merge. Easter and Passover is one example. Try as they could, however, they could not detach the pagan dates from the pagan rites and rituals.

Scriptural Caution

The Easter sunrise service is com­mon today. But how many who par­ticipate realize the ancient worship they are really keeping alive—adora­tion of the sun-god? Ezekiel gives this sobering account of what Yahweh thinks of this cus­tom employed in worship of Him:

“Then said he unto me, Have you seen this, O son of man?  turn yet again, and you shall see  greater abominations than these. And he brought me into the inner court of Yahweh’s house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of Yahweh, between the porch and the altar, were about five  and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of Yahweh, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped  the sun toward the east. Then he said unto me, Have you seen this, O son of man?  Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled  the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose. Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them” (Ezek. 8:15-18).

Passover is the only legitimate and commanded observance in honor of our Savior’s death. He kept it with His disciples just before He was impaled, and He said He would observe it again in the coming Kingdom. What better certification for an observance can we get? No Scriptural mandate exists for an annual observance of His resurrection. Let alone the idea of a Scriptual Easter.

Yahweh will one day teach man­kind that He is the only true Mighty One. All will learn—through pain of plague, if necessary—that pagan abominations will not be tolerated. And man will one day discover what True Worship is all about and what blessings can be his if he will simply be obedient not to traditions of the world—but to the Word.

by Alan Mansager

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biblical feasts

The Amazing Biblical Feasts

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Refreshing autumn breezes bring cool, crisp days and the invigorating promise of another wonderful Feast of Tabernacles. Families from around the world are gathering enough belongings for an eight-day stay in the Golden City of Jerusalem, where Yahshua the Messiah now reigns. Many are already en route. Vast crowds are coursing along roadways, singing praises and anticipating the coming days with unspeakable joy.

The atmosphere is much like jubilant Israel leaving Egypt to keep a Feast for Yahweh (Ex. 5:1).

The “old days” of the 21st century, when obedient celebrators numbered only in the few thousands, pale in comparison. Those keeping the Feasts back before the Kingdom came to earth could never have fully appreciated this breathtaking drama — everyone from across the planet obediently going in an unending stream to Jerusalem!

Finally, after millennia of ignorance, persistent resistance, tired old excuses, procrastination and indecision, people everywhere are traveling to the place where Yahweh commands all people to be in this seventh Biblical month. They are coming to keep the great Feast of Tabernacles, the highlight celebration of the year.

Their happiness is indescribable! And why shouldn’t they be joyful? At long last, an entire world is being blessed of Yahweh for submitting to His laws and commands. After millennia of human rebellion, suffering and misery, universal gladness and peace reign under the righteous law of the King of the universe! Man’s hollow holidays are no more. Now all worship will be Yahweh’s way.

If you think this is some fantasy from the imagination of some movie script writer, you had best think again.

Human Misrule Soon Ending

What you have just read is as real as tomorrow – and nearly as close. It is a description of the millennial Kingdom of Yahweh come to earth. Thousands of years of human chaos and injustice will have ended. Finally the earth will be cleansed of the rebellion and sin that began in the Garden of Eden and continued through 6,000 years of misery and pain.

In the Kingdom ruled by Yahshua, men will no longer have the opportunity to ruin their lives and the lives of others through defiance of the Creator and His laws. Yahweh will at last take full control, and everyone will obey Him!

In the first year of Yahshua’s millennial reign, in the seventh month, people from around the world will fulfill what the prophets of old foretold. The scene will be the same everywhere – one dwelling after another will be vacant for eight days while residents of cities everywhere leave home for the annual Feasts.

Miraculously for the travelers, the typical problems and hindrances will disappear as quickly as they crop up. Priestly guides will assist them along their way to the great city to worship the King, Yahweh of Hosts. This kingdom of righteous priests will be composed of True Worshipers who were obedient to Yahweh in our day, before Yahshua returned, and were taken up in the first resurrection when Yahshua came to earth to gather His elect.

Now in the thousand-year reign, they assist Yahshua the Messiah in governing the nations of the earth. They teach how to obey the laws and statutes of Yahweh, just as they themselves had to learn back in a time when few cared about seriously following the Scriptures in their lives. This was a promise foretold in Revelation 2:26-27: “And he that overcomes, and keeps my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.”

Isaiah gives us a glimpse of these resurrected individuals serving as Kingdom priests: “And your ears shall hear a word behind you saying, ‘This the way, walk you in it,’ when you turn to the right hand and when you turn to the left,” 30:21. You can be one of those teachers if you are obedient now.

Feast Prophecies Fulfilled

Biblical laws, including the Feasts, will be enforced everywhere by the greatest Power in the universe – Yahweh Himself.

Zechariah prophesied, “And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, Yahweh of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles” (Zech. 14:16). The prophet Isaiah makes it clear that immediately after the return of Yahshua, once He subdues the earth and establishes His Kingdom, that people will start keeping the Feasts at Jerusalem. Everyone will either comply or die: “For by fire and by his sword will Yahweh plead with all flesh: and the slain of Yahweh shall be many,” Isaiah 66:16.

Further down in the passage we read, “For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory” (v. 18). And where will they go? Isaiah continues: “And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto Yahweh out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says Yahweh, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of Yahweh” (verse 20).

This scene will be replayed many times throughout the year as one by one each of the annual observances of Leviticus 23 will be faithfully followed by people around the world. “And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, says Yahweh.”

Those who rebelled against Yahweh and refused to keep His Feasts will have their own infamous epitaph: “And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh” (Isa. 66:23-24).

All the scoffers, including those who today strenuously resist the keeping of so-called “Jewish” Feasts, are going to be either humbled or eliminated. It is their choice. Millions will be forced to admit that Yahweh’s people were right when they kept His appointed days. Many will be ashamed of themselves for once ridiculing the ways of Yahweh and dismissing His annual Feasts.

Cast Off the Prophetic Blinders

Remarkably, a key fact usually overlooked is that Yahweh’s Feasts prophetically foreshadow His plan of salvation for mankind! Paul in Colossians 2:16 explains the prophetic importance of these times: “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Messiah [or, as it should read, “but the body of Messiah”].

Along with some of the other Old Testament commandments, Paul is referring here to Yahweh’s days of worship, like the Sabbath and Feasts. Before we delve into the prophetic message, it is important that we dispel a common misconception. Many interpret Paul as saying here that we are no longer obligated to observe these days. In other words, we are not to be judged on our freedom from these old and archaic commandments.

Is this the message Paul is conveying? Not in the least. He says that we are not to allow those outside the body of Messiah, those not in the assembly, to judge us on the worship of our Father in Heaven. Only the Body of Messiah is to judge, Paul says, because they themselves honor these days. They have the right and permission to correct others in the way of their observance.

In verse 17 we also find Paul confirming that these days are a shadow of things to come. What does he mean? He’s referring to the prophetic nature of Yahweh’s Worship. He understood that these days were more than times of worship; that they were also of prophetic value. As we will discover, each of these times prophetically foreshadow a special event in our Father’s plan of salvation for mankind.

Redemption through Blood

Let us examine each of the seven annual observances that Yahweh calls “My Feasts,” Leviticus 23:2.

The first annual observance that we find in the Word illustrates Yahweh’s redemption. Leviticus 23:5 reads, “In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is Yahweh’s Passover.”

The word “even” comes from the Hebrew ereb and means dusk or sundown. In Biblical times the day began at sunset. We find that the Passover is to be kept at the beginning of the 14th day of the first month.

The name of this first month is “Abib.” In the Hebrew language this word literally means, “young ears of grain” and was the month that began the barley harvest.

On this night the death angel went through the land of Egypt and killed the firstborn within those homes that did not apply the blood. Even in the Old Testament it was through the blood that redemption was found. It was on this night that Israel won their freedom from slavery.

What about the New Testament? What symbolism do we find there for the Passover? In 1Corinthians 5:7 the Apostle Paul sheds light on the meaning of this very special time: “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Messiah our passover is sacrificed for us:”

Paul is describing here the Passover and the role that the Messiah played in its fulfillment. Through his death he fulfilled the Passover. Today He represents the Passover lamb found in the Old Testament.

In John 1:29, John the Baptist stated, “Behold the Lamb of Yahweh, which taketh away the sin of the world.” The main purpose for Yahshua’s coming to earth was to shed his blood for the sins of mankind. He also came to set an example for us to follow, but if not for his sacrifice none of us would have the opportunity we have now.

Only through our Savior, Yahshua the Messiah, do we find forgiveness and a complete washing away of our sins. If not for his death we would have no atonement and no salvation and would be alienated from our Father in Heaven. Only through our Savior’s death are we reconciled to our Father. This was again the main focus and reason for the Passover – it was had the shedding of blood for the redemption of His people.

Yahshua’s Resurrection

The Feast that directly follows the Passover is Unleavened Bread: “And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto Yahweh: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto Yahweh seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein,” Leviticus 23:6-8.

This Feast lasts seven-days and includes holy gatherings on the first and last day. The phrase “holy convocation” comes from the Hebrew qodesh miqra and refers to a sacred or called-out meeting. Based on verse 2, this meeting belongs to the one who established these days in the beginning, and He is Yahweh, our Father in heaven.

The Israelites began traveling out of Egypt on the first day of this Feast. Scripture says that they left Rameses on the 15th day of the first month. While they had won their freedom on the night of the Passover, they physically departed on the first day of this Feast.

We are commanded to abstain from leavening or yeast during this time. The Israelites left Egypt in haste and were unable to leaven their dough. Accordingly, we are to abstain from leavening.

Leavening often represents wickedness, malice, false beliefs, hypocrisy, corrupt politics, and sin. When Israel left Egypt, they left the sin of Egypt and the world behind.

This appointed observance also holds agricultural significance. It was during this Feast that Israel would offer the wave sheaf or firstfruits of the barley harvest to Yahweh. This wave sheaf prophetically points to Yahshua the Messiah. In 1Corinthians 15:20-22Paul explains: “But now is Messiah risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Messiah shall all be made alive.”

Paul states here that the Messiah represents the first fruits of those resurrected. Our Savior was the first among mankind to be resurrected to eternal life. So through his resurrection the Messiah fulfilled the firstfruits sacrifice that was offered during this Feast.

Do you see how the Old and New Testament harmonize? The concept of the Old Testament as a dead book could not be further from the Truth. Ask yourself, what Bible did the Messiah and his Apostles use? To the surprise of many, it wasn’t the New Testament; Yahshua and his Apostles used the Old Testament as their source for truth. The New Testament wasn’t canonized until 325 CE. This means that there was no official New Testament until 300 years after the Messiah. It was not even written until after Yahshua was resurrected.

What else do we learn from Paul? He says again in verse 22, “For in Adam all die, even so in Messiah shall all be made alive.” Only through Yahshua the Messiah do we find everlasting life. There is nothing we can do to earn salvation! This is a reference to His Second Advent, when He returns to establish his Father’s Kingdom here on earth. Understand that all of this was foreshadowed by the firstfruits that were offered during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. As with the Passover, this Feast also has prophetic meaning in the New Testament

The Giving of the Law and Spirit

The next Feast to discover is the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost: “And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto Yahweh…And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be an holy convocation unto you: ye shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations,” Leviticus 23:15-16, 21.

To establish this Feast, Israel was to count seven complete Sabbaths. This count began on the morrow of the weekly Sabbath that fell during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, meaning a Sunday start of the count. This is where the Jews derive the name Shavuot, which in the Hebrew language means weeks. We also see that this day is a holy convocation.

This special appointment is also tied to agriculture; it represents the time of the wheat harvest. Because wheat had more value than barley, in some ways this was a greater harvest than the previous barley reaping. We also know that on this day in the Old Testament that they prepared two leavened loaves that were presented or waved before Yahweh as a firstfruits offering.

Many speculate as to what these loaves symbolized. Some maintain that they signify the Old and New testaments; others believe that they typify Jew and gentle. It’s also possible that they correspond to the giving of the Law in the Old Testament and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the New. How do we know that the Law was given on this day in the Old Testament? We don’t have absolute proof, but what we do know is this: (1) according to Rabbinic belief the Law was delivered on this day and (2) the Bible does show that Israel was at Mount Sinai during this time, Exodus 19:1.

Assuming that the Law was given on the Feast of weeks, something else of significance occurred in the New Testament. Acts 2:1-4tells us that the Holy Spirit was poured out on this day. It reads, “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

The Apostles were obediently observing the day of Pentecost or as we find in the Old Testament, the Feast of Weeks. A key question is, why were they still observing an Old Testament Feast Day, especially after the Messiah’s death? Aren’t we told that the Feasts are no longer necessary, that they are old and archaic and of no value in the New Testament?

On the contrary. These days that Yahweh our Father in heaven commanded in the Old Testament are of as much value today as they were then. The disciples were there to worship Yahweh in one accord on His Feast Day according to His command.

We see here Yahweh poured out His Holy Spirit upon those gathered. Those who were present received the gift of tongues. “Tongues” comes from the Greek glossa and means “a known language.” This word refers to an actual, known language.

We now learn that the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost foreshowed the outpouring of Yahweh’s Holy Spirit. Why would our Father select an Old Testament Feast during which to provide this heavenly gift? The fact that He poured out His Spirit on this day shows unequivocally that these times still have meaning and purpose in the New Testament.

Yahshua’s Glorious Return

The next Feast we find in the word is the Feast of Trumpets: “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation. Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto Yahweh,” Leviticus 23:24-25.

Notice that this Feast falls on the first day of the seventh month. Why is this important? The Biblical month begins with the crescent moon, which while not a Sabbath or high day, is a time of fellowship and worship. Now the seventh month is also a special time since it holds four of the seven Holy Days. So not only does this Feast coincide with the new moon, but also ushers in one of the most important months of the Biblical year.

How was this day observed in the Old Testament? First, it was a day of blowing of trumpets. Second, it was a holy convocation. And third, it was a day on which Israel was to abstain from work.

In the New Testament this observance foreshadows one of greatest end-time events; the Second Coming of Yahshua the Messiah and the first resurrection. Paul in 1Thessalonians 4:15-18 offers prophetic insight into this event:

“For this we say unto you by the word of Yahweh, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Master shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Master himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of Elohim: and the dead in Messiah shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Master in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Master. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”

Our Savior will first descend from heaven with a shout, the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of Elohim. The trumpet is symbolic of this Feast. So most likely Yahshua’s second advent will take place on the Feast of Trumpets.

As Yahshua descends, the dead in Messiah will rise to meet him in the clouds. After that those who are yet alive will be changed to spirit essence and will meet the Messiah in the air and forever be with Him. Imagine this day happening in our lifetime! Imagine being changed from flesh to spirit? Can you fathom being with our Savior forever? This is the promise that this day foreshadows.

Paul explains this transformation in more detail: “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality,” 1Corinthians 15:51-53.

Paul mentions a trumpet here in connection with Yahshua’s coming and the resurrection of the saints. In fact, he refers to the last trumpet, likely symbolizing this Feast.

At this time the believer will be changed instantaneously. They will go from corruptible flesh to incorruptible spirit essence; from mortal to immortal. As we find in the Greek, the chosen will receive unending existence in a state of deathlessness.

This promise of Yahshua’s coming and of the resurrection is a prophetic foreshadowing of this Feast and one reason that this time is so important to understand and observe.

Atonement and Removal of Sin

The Day of Atonement follows Trumpets. This day is special for many reasons; notwithstanding the fact that Israel found forgiveness from their sins on this day.

Leviticus 16:29-30 states: “And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourns among you: For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before Yahweh.”

The Day of Atonement, or as it is called in Hebrew, Yom Kippur, is observed on the 10th day of the 7th month. Israel was explicitly commanded to afflict their souls by fasting on this day. A scriptural fast is to abstain from both food and drink to show complete honor and devotion to the One we worship.

On this day Israel also found atonement or cleansing from their sins. “Atonement” comes from the Hebrew kaphar and is a primitive root meaning “to cover.” From the New Testament we find that the sacrificial system in the Old was only able to cover sin — it could not wash away or completely remove sin.

While many believe that this day foreshadows Yahshua’s death and our atonement, it possibly foreshadows something entirely different. The challenge with Yom Kippur symbolizing Yahshua’s death is that it was on the Passover that Yahshua died and shed His blood for mankind. In other words, this prophetic fulfillment occurred with the Passover.

This being the case, reason dictates that this Feast must foreshadow something other than Yahshua’s death.

On this observance in the Old Testament we read that Israel took a scapegoat and laid upon it all the sins of Israel. What’s intriguing about this scapegoat is that it wasn’t sacrificed, like the Messiah in the New Testament. Instead, a fit man was to take the scapegoat into the wilderness, removing it from the camp. This scapegoat might foreshadow Satan the Devil. In the apocalypse of John, or more correctly Yahshua, we find that Satan will be cast into a bottomless pit for the duration of the one-thousand year millennial Kingdom.

“And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season,” Revelation 20:1-3.

Just as a fit man took the scapegoat into the wilderness, here a mighty angel will cast Satan into a bottomless pit where he will remain for the duration of the 1000-year millennial Kingdom. This prophetically seems to correspond to what we find with the Old Testament scapegoat. This also chronologically occurs after the return of Yahshua the Messiah, likely occurring on the Feast of Trumpets.

In essence, the scapegoat in the Old Testament prophetically foreshadows the removal of Satan from mankind at Yahshua’s Second Coming. Once Satan is bound the millennial Kingdom begins, which is symbolized by the Feast of Tabernacles.

Taste of the Kingdom

We find a description of this appointed time in Leviticus 23:34-35, 41-43: “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto Yahweh. On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein…And you shall keep it a feast unto Yahweh seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations: you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. You shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am Yahweh your Elohim.”

This Feast is similar to the Feast of Unleavened Bread; it too is seven days in duration. It begins on the 15th day of the 7th month and includes a holy convocation on the first day. During this time we are commanded to stay in booths, a word derived from the Hebrew sukkah meaning a temporary dwelling. If you are able to physically travel, staying at home during this feast is not an option.

This special appointment represents the one-thousand year span in which our Savior will reign over the earth with those from the first resurrection. During this time Yahweh’s commandments will govern this world, meaning all of mankind. The main purpose of the coming kingdom will be to restore righteousness to the earth and to prepare it for the day our Father Yahweh Himself will establish His throne at the golden city, New Jerusalem.

In the Old Testament we find a prophecy about this kingdom. “But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of Yahweh shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of Yahweh, and to the house of the Elohim of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of Yahweh from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of Yahweh of hosts hath spoken it,” Micah 4:1-3.

In Scripture “mountain” represents a Kingdom or nation. Here Yahweh’s kingdom will be established or exalted above all other kingdoms of the world. His commandments will also go out to all nations. Unlike today, Yahweh’s Word will be the guiding light and standard of morality. No longer will man dictate what is moral or not moral, what is proper or not, what is politically correct or not. Instead Yahweh’s Word will be that measure. His laws will be the constitution of the world. Since Yahweh’s laws will govern everywhere in the future, should we not be obeying them now? Especially since we know that the Messiah and His Apostles also observed and kept them in the New Testament.

We also learn here that men will no longer engage in war. Instead new uses will be found for weapons of war. After this, every man will sit under his own vine and fig tree. Not only will Yahweh’s laws finally be observed on this earth, but we also find that mankind will go back to an agricultural life, similar to the Garden of Eden.

In the kingdom, life will change drastically. No longer will the world be plagued by widespread immorality, like abortion; no longer will we see the atrocities of war; and no longer will man be free to live a life of sin without immediate consequences.

Final Judgment

The remaining Feast the Bible calls the Eighth Day or the Last Great Day, is described in Leviticus 23:36: “Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto Yahweh: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto Yahweh: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein.”

This Feast immediately follows the seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles. Possibly its most significant aspect is marking the end of Yahweh’s days of worship. This Feast likely foreshadows the last and final judgment of mankind. As the Feast of Trumpets symbolizes Yahshua’s Second Coming and the first resurrection, the Last Great Day foreshadows the final judgment of man and the redemption of the faithful.

John on the island of Patmos provides a prophecy of this final judgment: “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before Elohim; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and the grave delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire,” Revelation 20:11-15.

This time is known as the Great White Throne Judgment and the second death and will be final for the unrepentant. Except for those in the first resurrection, which Scripture declares will be exempt (Rev. 20:3), all of mankind will stand before the great judgment seat?

What will be the standard by which Yahshua will judge mankind? Verse 12 says that all will be judged based on their works. Many believe that because of Yahweh’s grace that we shouldn’t be concerned about works. Many even view works as bad, being a form of legalism. Our views and opinions must conform to Scripture, however. Scripture says that all mankind will be judged based on their works, and how they lived here on earth. The standard will be the Scriptures and how they measured up. Yahweh gave His Scriptures to live by and will judge on how closely we followed them.

Scores of the Chagrined and Brokenhearted

Millions will wish they had taken the teaching of the Feasts seriously back when keeping the Biblical observances and obeying the other laws was a free choice that relatively few took to heart. Had they done so, their blessings would have been far greater at their resurrection. They could have been among the priests ruling in Yahshua’s Kingdom.

Ezekiel’s prophecy about those who rebelliously serve their own lusts and desires stood as a Biblical warning for thousands of years: “Then shall you remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations” (Ezek. 36:31).

And what about those who perhaps in ignorance do not obey the Feast command in the Millennial rule of Yahshua? The prophet Zechariah says: “And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, Yahweh of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain” (Zech. 14:17). Famine! Death! One will either keep the Feasts of Leviticus 23 or one will suffer awful plague.

In keeping the Feasts, which revolve around the harvest seasons, we rejoice in the abundance of the earth’s produce. Anyone refusing to do so in the Millennial reign will suffer just the opposite – starvation resulting from drought. Those who stubbornly resist will also feel the sting of the rod of iron administered by those who have been resurrected to priesthood and who rule under Yahshua, as we have seen.

It’s Your Choice Now

The entire planet will be in harmony with Yahweh once more, as it started out in the Garden of Eden. All of nature will return to an Edenic harmony and consequent beauty as earth’s people’s submit to their Creator in a way that hasn’t been seen since Adam and Eve before their rebellion.

It will be His way or no way. No excuses. No questioning. No compromising. No promises of “some other time, I’m too busy right now” when the Feasts roll around. No more “maybe next year when I’m ready.” Yahweh will accept nothing short of immediate, complete obedience from everyone. One will either submit or suffer the wrath of the Mighty One of the universe! This tells us volumes about how important He views His commanded observances.

What would you do in that day? Resist…or humbly comply? The important question is, what are you doing NOW, knowing that Yahweh’s Feasts are so imperative that they will soon be enforced around the world? Do you want to be in that Kingdom reign, or suffer from no rain as you are forced to learn Yahweh’s ways at that time?

‘But I’m Not Jewish’

Those who misconstrue the Bible’s clear command to keep the seven annual Feast days, as well as the weekly Sabbath, counter Yahweh’s mandate with the rationale, “I’m not a Jew. Those observances are for Jews.”

First, realize that the Feast days were given to Moses on Mount Sinai to pass on to Israel (see the Book of Leviticus, along with the last verse, which reveals that Moses was given all the law, not just the Ten Commandments on Sinai). Israel was composed of 12 tribes, only one of which was known as the Jews, the tribe of Judah. The 11 other tribes were not Jews, but Hebrews, who were collectively known as Israel. All 12 tribes stood at the base of Mt. Sinai to receive Yahweh’s laws and agreed to His covenant,Exodus 19:1, 5-6. Therefore, the requirement was given to more than the Jews. The entire nation of Israel received the statutes and judgments and the Jews were just a fraction of the 12-tribed Israelite nation.

The Scriptures make it clear that we are to become spiritual Israelites. That means we do what Israel did and live by the same laws Israel did. Paul wrote, “Who are Israelites?” Then he answers his own question, “To whom pertains the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of Yahweh, and the promises” (Rom. 9:4).

The original covenant was made with Israel and no one but Israel. What most fail to understand is that Yahweh is still working with and through Israel. Others have a part in the promises only by special adoption, as Paul reminds us.

Yahshua’s disciples clearly understood this fact. Just before His ascension they approached Him and asked, “Master, will you at this time restore again the Kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6) They did not comprehend His timetable, but they did understand that He was working with those known as Israel. Others who want a part in the salvation promise must become spiritual Israelites (Rom. 9 and11) and abide by the same covenant agreement Yahweh made with Israel. That agreement included obedience to all of Yahweh’s laws given at Sinai – including the Ten Commandments and Feast days.

Yahweh’s Worship, Yahweh’s Days

Yahshua never changed the core terms of the covenant agreement with Israel when He came to earth. He said He did not come to destroy the law but to fulfill it, Matthew 5:17. Fulfill means to meet the law’s requirements. What Yahshua did was to open the way for those outside of Israel to come into the same promise by taking hold of the same covenant Yahweh made with Israel – now it’s a RENEWED covenant commonly known as the “New Testament.” The basic terms of that covenant are still the same: obedience to His laws (see Hebrews 8, Romans 7:1, Acts 24:14).

Another reason that the argument, “They’re Jewish Feasts,” falls flat is found in many passages, including Leviticus 23:2: “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of Yahweh, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.” This verse in the law tells us exactly whose Feasts they really are: the Feasts of Almighty Yahweh.

Prior to listing each of the seven annual appointments, Yahweh declared this important introduction, “These are the feasts of Yahweh, even holy convocations, which you shall proclaim in their seasons” (Lev. 23:4). If these Feasts are just for Jews, then in the Millennial Kingdom only Jews will be required to observe them. But we have seen that in the Kingdom the whole world will be keeping them at their appointed times.

After Moses finished cataloging the Feasts in Leviticus 23, we find this: “And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the feasts of Yahweh” (v. 44). Notice that Moses spoke to all of Israel, not just to the Jews, and he declared to them the “Feasts of Yahweh,” not the “Feasts of the Jews.”

Only later in the New Testament did they begin to be referred to as Feasts of the Jews because the Jews were the one Israelite tribe still faithful in keeping them. The rest of the Israelites were derelict, being scattered throughout other nations and taking up heathen holidays, as we find in James 1:1; 1Peter 1:1, and John 7:35.

To keep the Feasts or not to keep them — that is the choice set before each of us today. It is our decision, and the appropriate consequences will follow our choice. Bear in mind that when Yahshua returns, ALL will comply or face plague (Zech.14:16-19). May you make the right choice, pleasing your Father in heaven and gaining His favor for the blessings of an eternity.

Is new years in the bible?

Two Faces of New Year’s

Is New years in the bible?

When Roman Emperor Julius Caesar declared January 1 as the world’s New Year’s day based on a duplicitous deity, the connection could not have been more apropos. Specifically, the god he worshiped was two-faced, a fitting metaphor of the flip-flopping that marked New Year’s day through the centuries.

Caesar’s idol was named Janus, from which we get our month January. The emperor thought his deity would be the suitable portal to the new year, as one of his faces looked forward to a new year, the other backward.

That’s the sanitized version of New Years. The messy and convoluted history of the January 1 New Year’s observance reveals chronological confusion amid political intrigue, race hatred, and fuzzy math—all in an attempt to improve upon the Biblical calendar as inspired by our Creator.

Ancient Cultures Kept New Year’s

The January 1st new year is an on-and-off tradition. Surprisingly, January 1 has been celebrated as a holiday by Western nations for only about the past 400 years. The earliest record of a new year celebration is believed to have been in Mesopotamia, c. 2000 B.C.E., and was celebrated around the time of the vernal equinox in mid-March.

A variety of other dates tied to the seasons were also used by various ancient cultures. The Egyptians, Phoenicians, and Persians began their new year with the fall equinox, and the Greeks celebrated it at the winter solstice.

The early Roman calendar designated March 1 as the new year. The calendar had just ten months, beginning with March. That is why the name September means seventh in Latin but is actually the ninth month. October means eight but is actually the 10th. November means 9th but is the 11th. December means 10th but is the 12th month of the secular year.

January Joins the Calendar

The first time the new year was celebrated on January 1st in Rome was in 153 B.C.E. In fact, the month of January did not even exist until around 700 B.C.E., when the second king of Rome, Numa Pontilius, added the months of January and February.

February was the end of the year, making the new year a spring event. The new year was moved from March to January because that was the beginning of the civil year, the month that the two newly elected Roman consuls—the highest officials in the Roman republic—began their one-year tenure. But this new year date was not always strictly and widely observed, and the new year was still sometimes celebrated on March 1.

Is new years in the bible?In 46 B.C. E. Julius Caesar introduced a new, solar-based calendar. The old calendar had become out of sync over the years. This new Julian calendar began the new year with January 1. Within the Roman world, January 1 would become the consistently observed start of the new year. Sacrifices were made to Janus, gifts and visits were exchanged, along with masquerading and feasting.

Not everyone found this observance acceptable. The early Catholic Church condemned the festivities as paganism. “Participation in the ordinary New Year’s Day observances as well as in the Saturnalia of December was from the first discouraged by the Church. Christians were expected to spend the day in quiet meditation, reading of Scripture and acts of charity” (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Ed., Vol. 19, p. 594).

During the Middle Ages, the Church remained opposed to celebrating New Years. But as Christianity became more widespread, the early church began melding its religious observances and dates with other pagan celebrations of the day, and New Year’s Day was no exception. New Years is still observed as the Feast of the Savior’s Circumcision by a few modern denominations.

In 567 the Council of Tours abolished January 1 as the beginning of the year. At various times and in various places throughout medieval Christian Europe, the new year was celebrated on December 25; March 1; March 25 (the Feast of the Annunciation, when the Angel Gabriel announced to Mary she would have a divine Son); and Easter. March 25 was the usual date among Christians in early medieval days.
After William the Conqueror became King of England on December 25, 1066, he decreed that the English return to the January 1 new year established by the Roman pagans. This move ensured that the commemoration of the Messiah’s supposed January 1 circumcision would align with William’s coronation, thus tying the English and Christian calendars and his own coronation into one neat bundle. William’s innovation was eventually rejected, and England rejoined the rest of the Christian world and returned to celebrating New Years Day on March 25.

January 1 Again in Vogue

In 1582, Pope Gregory’s calendar reform restored January 1 as new year’s day and synchronized the seasons with the months, which had gotten far out of harmony. This is still the calendar in use today. Although most Catholic countries adopted the Gregorian calendar almost immediately it was only gradually accepted among Protestant countries. The British, for example, did not adopt the reformed calendar until 1752. Until then, the British Empire — and their American colonies — still celebrated the new year in late March or early April.

New Year’s Rites

The giving and receiving of gifts at New Year’s has an ancient past. The Persians exchanged eggs at the beginning of the year. Gift exchanging at New Year’s is a custom strong in Europe. “The Druids distributed as New Year’s gifts branches of the sacred mistletoe. In Anglo-Saxon and Norman England New Year’s gifts were common, ”Britannica. Roman pagans found a different method of observance— drunken orgies—a ritual they believed constituted a personal re-enacting of the chaotic world that existed before the cosmos was put in order by the gods.
However, gift-giving was not always in vogue at the new year observance. Sometimes bloodletting was more the case. Julius Caesar celebrated his first January 1 New Year by ordering the violent routing of revolutionary Jewish forces in the Galilee.

At the 1577 New Year’s inauguration of the second great Roman calendar (Gregorian) Pope Gregory decreed that all Roman Jews, under pain of death, must listen attentively to a compulsory Catholic conversion sermon given in Roman synagogues after Friday night services. On New Year’s Day 1578 Gregory signed into law a tax forcing Jews to pay for the support of a “House of Conversion” to convert Jews to Christianity. On New Year’s 1581 Gregory ordered his troops to confiscate all sacred literature from the Roman Jewish community. Thousands of Jews were murdered in the campaign. Throughout the medieval and post-medieval periods, January 1 was reserved for anti-Jewish activities: synagogue and book burnings, public tortures, and murder.

Yahweh’s Biblical Calendar

The true Biblical calendar is based on the growing season, with the first month called Abib, which is rooted in the green barley grain. This calendar eliminates the need to perpetually adjust month lengths, add leap years and intercalate a 13th month in order to synchronize the lunar and solar cycles.

Here is how Yahweh told us to determine the start of the year: “This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb…And you shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it between the evenings.”Exodus 12:2-3, 6. This is the Passover lamb.

Which is this first month when the Passover was observed? “Observe the month of Abib, and keep the Passover unto Yahweh your Elohim: for in the month of Abib Yahweh your Elohim brought thee forth out of Egypt by night,” Deuteronomy 16:1. Abib means green ears (of barley). When the barley grain comes to a harvestable age, then you have Abib. No need to juggle solar and lunar cycles, as they take care of themselves under the Bible’s calendar.

In Yahweh’s calendar, the first day of the year was observed by watching for the first visible crescent of the Abib moon. This “new moon” starts every month (moonth).

Most secular and some religious calendars base their new year on the vernal equinox. The vernal equinox is that instant when the sun is directly above the earth’s equator while going from the south to the north (for the northern hemisphere). It is the time that most believe starts spring. Those who employ the vernal equinox point to Genesis 1:14, claiming that the sun, moon, and stars set the Feasts. It is true that the sun divides day from night and establishes the seasons, while the new moon sets the beginning of months. Yet, nowhere in the entire Bible does the vernal equinox establish Abib. Nowhere in the Bible is there even any mention of the vernal equinox. To say that Genesis 1:14 refers to the vernal equinox is reading what isn’t there.

Abib is a condition of grain as much as a time of year. The King James Version has led some astray in the way it translates moed inExodus 13:10, Numbers 9:2, 3, 7, and 13. The KJV uses “season” in these verses, causing some to believe that the command is specifically for springtime, and therefore must involve the vernal equinox. In reality, the Hebrew moed simply means “set time” or “appointed time.” Yahweh has set Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread by the criteria of the crops, not by a purely astronomical reckoning known as the vernal equinox.

The vast majority of Jews gradually got away from actually looking for the green ears of barley, going instead by a calculated calendar that involved the vernal equinox. This was done for the sake of convenience. But Yahweh tells us that His growing cycle reveals the proper month for His Feasts.

Is new years in the bible?

When the Roman church deliberately acted to separate Easter from Passover, it ruled in 325 C.E. in the Council of Nicaea that Easter would fall on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox. This setting of an observance was entirely man-made and appropriately applied to a man-made holiday called Easter. The Roman church on its own volition, therefore, bestowed a legitimacy to the vernal equinox as a calendar marker where it had none before — at least not in any kind of Biblical context. Among heathens, it was a different story.

Vernal Equinox Anciently

The vernal equinox had great significance among historic pagans and their calendars. Note the following:

• “Easter, too, celebrates the victory of a god of light (J-sus) over darkness (death), so it makes sense to place it at this season. Ironically, the name ‘Easter’ was taken from the name of a Teutonic lunar Goddess, Eostre (from whence we also get the name of the female hormone, estrogen). Her chief symbols were the bunny (both for fertility and because her worshipers saw a hare in the full moon) and the egg (symbolic of the cosmic egg of creation), images which Christians have been hard pressed to explain. Her holiday, the Eostara, was held on the Vernal Equinox Full Moon. Needless to say, the old and accepted folk name for the Vernal Equinox is ‘Lady Day.’ Christians sometimes insist that the title is in honor of Mary and her Annunciation, but Pagans will smile knowingly.” – Lady Day: The Vernal Equinox, by Mike Nichols.

• “The vernal equinox has long been a significant event in the lives of agricultural peoples as it symbolizes nature’s regeneration, fertility, growth and bounty. The word equinox comes from Latin and means “equal night” (German Tag und Nachtgleiche). On this day, night and day each last twelve hours. The Vernal Equinox used to be considered the beginning of the Pagan New Year. It was a time of joy called forth by the resurrection of the ‘Light of the World’ (sun god) from the underworld of the winter, from where he arose to join his goddess Eostre.”– by Ruth Reichmann, Max Kade German-American Center, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis.

• “Babylonians and Assyrians placed greater importance on the Equinoxes than the solstices. The most important festival in Babylonia was the New Year, which occurred at the Spring equinox. This was the akitu, a twelve-day ceremony in which the King, as the son and representative of the divinity, regenerated and synchronized the rhythms of nature, cosmos, and human society.”– Tales of the Vernal Equinox, by Robin DuMolin

• “Modern Pagans also celebrate the universal principle of Resurrection at the Equinox – which is named for Eostre, a Pagan goddess. She is the goddess of Spring to whom the offerings of cake and colored eggs were made at the Vernal Equinox. Rabbits, especially white ones, were sacred to her, and she was believed to take the form of a rabbit. She is also said to be the goddess of the East, that being the direction of rebirth. Since the sun rises in the East, she is linked with the sunrise. Traditional Easter services stem from this association.” Ibid. “Easter is supposed to be derived from Anglo-Saxon Eostre, the name of the Norse goddess whose festival is celebrated by the pagans at the vernal equinox.” – A Book About the Bible, George Stimpson, p. 180.

• “Ostara, also known as The Spring or Vernal Equinox, the Festival of Trees, Alban Eilir, Ostara, the Rites of Spring, and the Rites of Eostre, occurs between March 19 and 21 and marks the first day of true Spring. Day and night are equal on this day, hence the name Equinox. It is observed by Pagans throughout the world.” –from The Witches’ Web

• “Pagans revere the G-d and G-ddess through rituals or ceremonies of various kinds. Pagans of the western traditions celebrate eight festivals or Sabbats each year. They comprise the four solar quarters i.e. the two solstices (longest and shortest days) and the two equinoxes (day and night are the same length) plus four Celtic seasonal festivals. All these mark important events in the cycle of life. They are: Ostara (Easter), the spring equinox, 21st March: Return of the sun from the south, springtime proper. Some celebrate a holy union between G-d and G-ddess.” – from What Do Pagans Do?

The secular New Year’s observance is significant beyond a collection of quaint, heathen customs. Scripture records Yahweh’s displeasure whenever anyone fiddled with His holy calendar to devise different observances. The coming Beast of Daniel 7 is an unsettling case in point. This individual, who will pose as the true Messiah, will be empowered by Satan himself. Note especially his actions: “And he shall speak great words against the most high and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time,” v. 25.

This anti messiah will enforce his own calendar on the world, making his own celebrations that honor only himself exclusively. The world is already accustomed to alternate days of worship. His actions will prove to be the definitive calendar crime of all time and he will pay eternally.

Watch “The Pagan Origins of New Years” below: