Satan's Sabbaths: Easter

Satan's Sabbaths: Easter

Introduction

What should a true disciple of Jesus think when it comes to "Easter"? Like with Christmas, the majority opinion is that the holiday commemorates another significant historical event, Jesus' resurrection from the tomb. But where did the celebration come from, and what are the implications?

Various Sources on the Celebration 

  • Dictionary of the Bible, Calmet, p. 363: “Easter is a word of Saxon origin; and imports 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 passover; hence we say Easter-Day or Easter Sunday, but very improperly; as we by no means refer to the festival then kept to the goddess of the ancient Saxons.”⁠
  • The Encyclop√¶dia Britannica (1959 Edition), Vol. 4, p. 381: “Like the Greeks, the Romans ate bread marked with a cross . . . at public sacrifices, such bread being usually purchased at the doors of the temple and then taken in with them—a custom alluded to by St. Paul in 1 Cor. x. 28. The cross-bread was eaten by pagan Saxons in honour of Easter, 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 practice, grafting it on to the Eucharist and so giving us the hot crossbun.”
  • The Encyclop√¶dia Britannica, Ninth Edition, Vol. 7, p. 531: “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. The sanctity of special times or places was an idea quite alien from the early Christian mind; too profoundly absorbed in the events themselves to think of their external accidents [nonessentials]. ‘The whole of time is a festival unto Christians because of the excellency of the good things which have been given,’ writes Chrysostom. . . . Origen [urges] in the same spirit . . . The ecclesiastical historian Socrates . . . states with perfect truth that neither Christ nor his apostles enjoined the keeping of this or any other festival. ‘The apostles,’ he writes, ‘had no thought of appointing festival days, but of promoting a life of blamelessness and piety;’ and he attributes the introduction of the festival of Easter into the church to the perpetuation of an old usage, ‘just as many other customs have been established.’ This is doubtless the true statement of the case.”⁠
  • The Golden Bough, Sir James G. Frazer, p. 361: “Taken altogether, the coincidences of the Christian and 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 their 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.”⁠
  • The American Book of Days: “There is no doubt that the Church in its early days adopted the old pagan customs and gave a Christian meaning to them.”
  • The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1909, Volume 5, p. 227: “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 an emblem of fertility.” 
  • The Encyclopedia Americana, 1956, Volume 9, p. 506: “According to the Venerable Bede, English historian of the early 8th century, the word [Easter] is derived from the Norse Ostara or Eostre, meaning the festival of spring at the vernal equinox, March 21, when nature is in resurrection after winter. Hence, the rabbits, notable for their fecundity, and the eggs, colored like rays of the returning sun and the northern lights or aurora borealis.”

Adoption of Easter

A.D. 325, at the Council of Nicaea, proves to be a significant departure from the true Apostolic practice. Again, we look at The Catholic Encyclopedia:

The emperor himself [Constantine] writing to the churches after the council of Nicaea, exhorts, ‘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 ...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 hand with enormous sin... for we have received from our Savior a different way...and I myself [Constantine] have undertaken that this decision should meet with the approval of your sagacity in the hope that your wisdoms will gladly admit that practice which is observed [Easter Sunday] at once in the city of Rome and in Africa, throughout Italy and Egypt... with entire unity of judgement.

Hatred of Jewish doctrine and customs primarily fueled the departure. This means the practice of the Lord Jesus was despised, so they imagined a new tradition and rebranded it "apostolic." Eventually, this fledgling apostasy became "the orthodoxy" when,

Emperor Theodosius (A.D. 78-398) made Christianity the State Religion of the Roman Empire, and made church membership compulsory. This was the worst calamity that has ever befallen the Church. The forced conversion filled the churches with unregenerate people.. Christ had designed to conquer by purely spiritual and moral means. Up to this time conversion was voluntary, a genuine change in heart and life. But now the military spirit of Imperial Rome had entered the Church. The Church had conquered the Roman Empire. But in reality the Roman Empire had conquered the Church, by making the Church over into the image of the Roman Empire. The Church had changed its nature, had entered its great Apostasy [...], had become a political organization in the Spirit and pattern of Imperial Rome, and took its nose-dive into the millennium of Papal abominations. The Imperial Church of the 4th and 5th centuries had become an entirely different institution from the persecuted Church of the first three centuries. In its ambition to rule it lost and forgot the Spirit of Christ.[1]

Eventually, paganism had leavened the lump. The State united with and eclipsed "The Church." The pagan festivals replaced the ones Messiah enjoyed and no doubt expected his later disciples to keep. No doubt, the hatred for others (the Jews, which the Apostles certainly were) and their practices is the root of this departure. Favor for Paul's syncretic methodology allowed the leaven to fester.[2]

Solutions

The solution to the issue of celebrating what's clearly a "christianized" pagan holiday is to understand what the text of Scripture says. Nowhere in the Bible do we see any of the activities we've adopted for this "special" day. Like with Christmas, there are Biblical and historical alternatives. The only acceptable alternative is clearly practiced and sanctioned by Jesus and his disciples in the New Testament Gospels, and that's the Feast of Unleavened Bread. In Matthew 26:17-30, we read,

Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover?[*] And he said, "Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples." And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover. Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve. And as they did eat, he said, "Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me." And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I? And he answered and said, "He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me." "The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born." Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, "Thou hast said." And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is my body." And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink ye all of it;" "For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." "But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom." And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.

There are many interesting things to note in this passage. Most notably is the absence of Easter Eggs and Bunnies, Egg Hunts, and the unclean foods many gluttonous Christians enjoy, namely ham. You'll notice that this took place during the Feast of Unleavened bread on Passover, Abib 14.[3] This isn't anything close to what "The Church" does.

Conclusion 

Easter has been exposed as another pagan feast day that was made into a Christian feast day. The practice didn't develop as organically as one would suppose if it were truly apostolic. There were clearly many reasons it was incorporated, most of which were political. The Empire had to maintain its power, and once means was to mandate the "Christian" religion, thus assuming unconverted pagans. To synthesize the two populations, pagan feast days were assumed and altered. The result was a dispensing of the former apostolic, Biblical feast days. We must do what we see Jesus doing rather than what we've inherited from apostate antichrists.

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[1] Halley’s Bible Handbook, “Paganization of the Church,” p. 760

[2] 1 Corinthians 9:20; Romans 14:14,23; Colossians 2:16

[3] From Forerunner Commentary, David C. Grabbe: "The original Passover instructions clearly stipulate that Passover is a single day—Abib 14—followed by the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread, beginning on Abib 15 (Exodus 12:6-20; Leviticus 23:5-8; Numbers 9:2-5). These original instructions also direct the Israelites to keep the Passover in individual homes rather than at the Tabernacle or Temple—to catch the blood of the lamb in a basin and smear it on the doorposts and lintel of the house (Exodus 12:22)."

[*] In the Gospel of the Ebionites, Fragment 7, we read, "'Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat for the Passover?' To this he replied, 'I do not want to eat the flesh of this Paschal Lamb with you'." Ebionites were the earliest Messianic followers of Jesus, and it's believed Jesus himself was Essene, a vegetarian sect from which the Ebionites are said to spring. In the approved Gospels, we have this detail omitted. But, interestingly, when reading the approved texts, we see that rather than point to the Paschal Lamb as a symbol, Jesus points to bread and wine--a curious thing to do if the lamb is the symbol for Jesus. There is no clear mention of a Lamb, either. Therefore, many today of an Ebionite persuasion such as myself will not use Lamb at the Paschal feast but have the bread and wine. These are the symbols. You'll also be interested to know that there are non-Messianic Jews who also will have vegan seders based on their belief that God never intended for animal sacrifice/ meat eating.