The God Kind
The Plan of God Outline
Bible Truth Articles
Free Literature Library
Free Bible Software
Contact Us

 

~SHOULD CHRISTIANS OBSERVE EASTER?~ Author unknown


There are many other biblical types which come clear in one's thorough study of the deep symbolism of the Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread.  Pharaoh is a type of Satan the devil; his two magicians, Janes and Jambres, are symbolic of the beast and false prophet; Moses and Aaron, who continually say, "Let my people go," are symbolic of the prophesied "two witnesses" (Revelation 11), who will warn the beast and the false prophet just prior to Christ's second coming.  Leaven is used as a type of sin; the eating of "unleavened bread" for seven days signifies taking Jesus Christ into our lives, and overcoming our carnal human nature by the power of God's Holy Spirit.  Thus, in this first important holy day season of the sacred year, God revealed to the ancient Israelites rich symbolism which has great meaning to the very purpose of human lifeand which reveals, in large measure, what is our final, glorious destiny! 

But, instead of remaining faithful to these deeply significant annual holy days of God, the Israelites quickly descended back into idolatry.  Idolatry, condemned of God in the first two of the Ten Commandments, is evil and a horrible abomination in God's sight for several reasons. First, it puts inanimate, nonexistent, pagan "gods" (which are nothing more than the figment of the imagination of demented, ignorant, savage peoples) in place of God! 

Such imagery blots out from superstitious minds the truth of God! It is a substitute, a counterfeit, which God calls the "image of jealousy."  As the Creator, as well as our Protector and Provider, like a husband to the church (described as His bride), God is "very jealous" over His people. 

The reason our English words idolatry and adultery are so similar is because they stem from the same original word.  God terms idolatry "spiritual adultery." In many analogies in the Bible, imagery and worship are directly spoken of as "adultery." 

Read Revelation 17 and 18, where the great fallen woman (symbolizing a great, universal false church) is said to be "committing fornication" with the kings and rulers of the world! 

The Pagan Holidays 

Today, millions upon millions of professing Christians gaily go about the business of observing so-called Christian holidays, not realizing they are nothing but modern versions of ancient, pagan idolatries!  As the millions celebrate these days, they do so in abysmal ignorance of their origin, their true symbolism, and ignorant of the fact that such days obscure God's annual holy days.  

How Was Easter Substituted for the Passover? 

It was many centuries before the apostate church was finally able to stamp out the celebration of the Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread! 

Actually, they never succeeded in stamping it out entirely, and history proves there were scattered remnants of God's true church observing the Passover, the Days of Unleavened Bread, and the other annual days all down through the centuries just as there are latter-day remnants of God's true church observing those days today! 

Do you remember our earlier quotation from The Catholic Encyclopedia, in which they mentioned the "controversy of the Quartodecimans"?  The Quartodeciman controversy raged throughout the Mediterranean world for literally centuries.  "Quartodeciman" is merely another word for "fourteenth"! The controversy stemmed from the insistence that the early New Testament Church of God ought to follow the custom of Jesus Christ of Nazareth in observing the Passover on the fourteenth of nisan, the first month of the year, according to God's sacred calendar. 

The "universal church" gradually began adopting pagan customs and traditions, and began insisting upon standardizing the date for the observance for the spring festival. 

The masses of pagans who were being "converted" into this new religion brought with them their ancient customs of the celebration of life, sexual reproduction, fertility and worship of the sun. Their gods and goddesses were Isis, Osiris, Astarte, Ashtaroth, Ishtar, Tammuz, and others. Apostate church leaders reasoned these pagans had to be accommodated. 

History absolutely proves that pagan customs and ceremonies were allowed and merely given Christian names.  Finally, those who insisted on continuing to observe God's annual holy days were put out of the apostate church! 

Notice! "The first council of Nicea (325) decreed that the Roman practice should be observed throughout the church. But even at Rome the Easter term was changed repeatedly. Those who continued to keep Easter with the Jews were called Quartodecimans (14 Nisan) and were excluded from the church" (The Catholic Encyclopedia, article "Easter," emphasis added). 

Interestingly, The Catholic Encyclopedia subtly inserts the word Easter in its article under that term, even though the writer of the article knew no one would keep "Easter with the Jews," for the Jews never recognized this pagan custom. The Catholic Encyclopedia continually refers to the Passover as "Easter." Note some further quotes from the same source: 

"Easter eggs: The symbolic meaning of a new creation of mankind by Jesus risen from the dead was probably an invention of later times. The custom may have its origins in paganism, for 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 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). 

"The Easter fire is lit on the top of mountains (Easter mountain, Osterberg) and must be kindled from new fire, drawn from wood by friction; this is a custom of pagan origin in vogue all over Europe, signifying the victory of spring over winter. The Bishops issued severe edicts against the sacrilegious Easter fires, but did not succeed in abolishing them everywhere. The Church adopted the observance into the Easter ceremonies, referring it to the fiery column in the desert and to the Resurrection of Christ; a new fire on Holy Saturday is drawn from flint, symbolizing the Resurrection by the Light of the World from the tomb closed by a stone" (ibid). 

What a shocking admission! Notice that even the Catholics admit that the origins of Easter, and even the name itself, are totally pagan! The rabbit is a pagan symbol! It is an emblem of fertility!  Easter fires, lit on the top of mountains, are "customs of pagan origin!" 
"The church adopted the observance into the Easter ceremonies"! Could anything be plainer? Let's continue with the same source: 

First phase [of the Easter Controversy]: 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 [Passover], contending that the fast ought to end on that day, whatever day of the week it might happen to be. However, it was not the custom of the churches in the rest of the world to end it at this point, as they observed the practice, which from apostolic tradition has prevailed to the present time, of terminating the fast on no other day than on that of the resurrection of our Saviour. Synods and assemblies of bishops were held on this account, and all with one consent through mutual correspondence drew up an ecclesiastical decree that the mystery of the resurrection of the Lord should be celebrated on no other day but the Sunday and that we should observe the close of the paschal fast on that day only. [No such fast is mentioned in the Bible.] 

"A letter of Saint Ireneus is among the extracts just referred to, and this shows that the diversity of practice regarding Easter had existed at least from the time of Pope Sixtus (c. 120). Further, Ireneus states that St. Polycarp, who, like the other Asiatics, kept Easter on the fourteenth day of the moon, whatever day of the week that might be, following the tradition which he claimed to have derived from St. John the apostle, came to Rome (c. 150) about this very question, but could not be persuaded by Pope Anicetus to relinquish his Quartodeciman observance. The question thus debated was therefore primarily whether Easter was to be kept on a Sunday, or whether Christians should observe the holy day of the Jews, the fourteenth of Nisan, which might occur on any day of the week. Those who kept Easter with the Jews were called Quartodecimans" (ibid., emphasis added). 

Again, it must be noted in this lengyour quotation from The Catholic Encyclopedia that they have subtly substituted "Easter" for the "Passover." What Polycarp observed "like the other Asiatics" was not easter! It was the passover, on the fourteenth of Nisan, as all the apostles had kept it. That they admit he kept a great event "on the fourteenth day of the moon, whichever day of that week that might be, following the tradition which he claimed to have derived from St. John the apostle"absolutely proves that the festival Polycarp (who was a student of John) kept was not "Easter," but the Passover! 

In the final paragraph of the quotation, the distinction is subtly drawn between "Christians" and "Jews." Another obvious and flagrant misapplication of terms is the final quote: "Those who kept Easter with the Jews were called Quartodecimans." Nonsense! They were called Quartodecimans because they kept the Passover and absolutely shunned the pagan "Ishtar" (pronounced "Easter") being adopted by an apostate, increasingly pagan church! 

Notice further: Second Phase: The second stage in the Easter controversy centers round the council of Nicea (A.D. 325).The emperor himself [Constantine], writing to the churches after the council of Nicea, 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 this most holy feast we should follow the practice 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 Egypt with entire unity of judgment.' From this and other indications we learn that the dispute now lay between the Christians of Syria and Mesopotamia and the rest of the world. The important Church of Antioch was still dependent upon the Jewish calendar for its Easter" (ibid., emphasis added). 

Remember, these lengyour quotations are from The Catholic Encyclopedia! Constantine was a reformed sun-worshiper! When he embraced "Christianity" he embraced the so-called Christianity of the leading bishops who had already gone apostate! He did not embrace the Christianity practiced by those who were "holding fast to the faith once delivered to the saints," and who tenaciously refused to change the observance of one of the most important annual holy days Jesus Christ ever hallowed, the passover! 

Notice, in the quotation above of Constantine's exhortation to the churches after the Council of Nicea, that he, too, showed disdainful contempt for "the Jews" (who are accused of having "impiously defiled their hands with enormous sin") and repudiates the "practice of the Jews," meaning the observance of the Passover (the Lord's Supper, as the apostle Paul began to refer to it) on the fourteenth of Nisan, as it had been observed for centuries! 

At the end of the quotation concerning the development of keeping Easter in the Catholic Church, the encyclopedia admits "the important Church of Antioch was still dependent upon the Jewish calendar for its Easter." Again, a confusion of terms may be misleading to readers. By no stretch of the imagination were the converted brethren in Antioch, in Syria, who were dependent upon "the Jewish calendar" (meaning Abib, or Nisan, 14), keeping "Easter." By tenaciously adhering to the fourteenth of Nisan, it is clear they were observing the Passover! 

Notice now the next quotation: "Third Phase: It was to the divergent cycles which Rome had successively adopted and rejected in its attempt to determine Easter more accurately that the third stage in the paschal controversy was mainly due. The Roman missionaries coming to England in the time of St. Gregory the Great found the British Christians, the representatives of that Christianity which had been introduced into Britain during the period of the Roman occupation, still adhering to an ancient system of Easter-computation which Rome itself had laid aside" (ibid., emphasis added).  

What a fantastic admission! 

Here we read of "Roman missionaries" arriving in the British Isles from Rome, yet discovering Christians in the British Isles adhering to the very same system of determining the date for the Passover as had always been observed by the early New Testament church!  Few have stopped to speculate on where all the other apostles mentioned in the Gospels went. Most disappear from sight, and the Bible quickly begins concerning itself with the ministries of, first, the apostle Paul, and then to some extent Peter and John. But what ever happened to Thomas, Simon the Canaanite, Mathias (who replaced Judah Iscariot), Andrew (Peter's brother), James the son of Alpheus (not the son of Zebedee), Bartholomew, and others? 

Jesus plainly said He would "send them to the lost sheep of the house of Israel"! Is it strange, then, that peoples in faraway lands had been converted to true Christianity, and were observing God's annual holy days on precisely the correct dates, which actually created a controversy with Roman missionaries? 

Now, under the article "Councils" in The Catholic Encyclopedia, notice one of the most important purposes for the Council of Nicea: 

"The First Ecumenical, or Council of Nicea (325) lasted two months and twelve days. Three hundred and eighteen bishops were present. Hosius, Bishop of Cordova, assisted as legate of Pope Sylvester. The Emperor Constantine was also present. To this council we owe the Creed of Nicea, defining against Arius the true divinity of the Son of God...and the fixing of the date for keeping Easter (against the Quartodecimans)." 

Hot-Cross Buns

 Have you ever eaten a "hot-cross" bun? 

At Easter one may go to the local bakeries, or the bakery counters of supermarkets, and see them by the dozen. They are served in restaurants and cafeterias.  The little rounded buns, with their quaint little sugar-coated crosses, evoke memories of childhood; and to unsuspecting professing Christians the tiny crosses are believed to represent the "cross of Christ."  How shocking to discover that hot-cross buns find their origins in paganism! 

Notice what history has to say about the origin of "hot-cross buns": 

"It is quite probable that it [the word bun] has a far older and more interesting origin, as is suggested by an inquiry into the origin of hot cross buns. These cakes, which are now solely associated with the Christian Good Friday, are traceable to the remotest period of pagan history. Cakes were offered by ancient Egyptians to their moon goddess; and these had imprinted on them a pair of horns, symbolic of the ox at the sacrifice of which they were offered on the altar, or of the horned moon goddess, the equivalent of Ishtar of the Assyro-Babylonians. The Greeks offered such sacred cakes to Astarte [Easter] and other divinities. This cake they called bous (ox), in allusion to the ox-symbol marked on
it, and from the accusative boun it is suggested that the word 'bun' is derived.Like the Greeks, the Romans eat cross-bread at public sacrifices, such bread being usually purchased at the doors of the temple and taken in with them, a custom alluded to by St. Paul in I Cor. x.28. At Herculaneum two small loaves about 5 in. in diameter, and plainly marked with a cross, were found. In the Old Testament are references made in Jer. vii.18-xliv.19, to such sacred bread being offered to the moon goddess. The cross-bread was eaten by the pagan Saxons in honor of Eoster, their goddess of light. The Mexicans and Peruvians are shown to have had a similar custom. The custom, in fact, was practically universal, and the early church adroitly adopted the pagan practice, grafting it on to the Eucharist. The boun with its Greek cross became akin to the Eucharistic bread or cross-marked wafers mentioned in St. Chrysostom's liturgy. In the medieval church, buns made from the dough for the consecrated Host were to be distributed to the communicants after mass on Easter Sunday. In France and other Catholic countries, such blessed bread is still given in the churches to communicants who have a long journey before they can break their fast" (The Encyclopedia Britannica, eleventh edition, article "bun"). 

Interesting reading, isn't it? But how many of your friends and relatives have ever taken the time and trouble to simply go to a public library and read such shocking admissions! 

Remember, this is not someone's "church doctrine" you are reading; it is not the clever arguments of someone trying to confuse your mind and "trap" you into observing some strange customs! Instead, you are reading direct quotations from historians!  That certain Easter customs have pagan roots is a matter of authoritative, historical fact! 

Almighty God soundly condemns the entire practice in the Bible! 

Of course, if there is no God the plaintive cries of "I don't see what difference it makes," or "Why should we take away such joyous occasions from the children?" seem to make sense.  But, since there is a God, and since that Eternal Creator God is righteously angry at instilling pagan customs in the minds of our children.  It does make a difference!  God says: "To him that knoweth to do good, and does it not, it is a sin." Once you know the truth, you become responsible for it. It is knowledge that, while readily available in any number of historical sources, is not known by the vast majority of humankind! Millions of churchgoing professing Christians are blissfully ignorant of these startling facts! 

Now, you know!


Your Creator, your Abba...wants to know what you are going to do with this knowledge and while you're thinking about it, allow me to remind you of some Scripture verses:

Ephesians Chapter 5 

1 Be you therefore followers of God, as dear children;
8 For youwere sometimes darkness, but now are youlight
in the Lord: walk as children of light:
9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and
righteousness and truth;)
10 Proving what is acceptable to the Lord.
11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of
darkness, but rather reprove them.
12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which
are done of them in secret.


Godkind web pages created and material written by Jeffrey T. Maehr. Common Law Copyright © 2012. All rights reserved. Reproduction allowed if credit to this website is listed with material. Off site material and some articles authored as stated.