Acts 12:1-4 “EASTER” & CHRIST RESURRECTION 4-23-11
Today I want to talk for a few minutes on the subject of “EASTER.” Let me say before we began that I’m not trying to cause it to rain on any ones Easter parade, but I’m aware of the fact that most people are not aware that this word EASTER comes from pagan religions, there are even Christians that have never thought twice about it.
Easter was not celebrated as a so called Christian holiday until after the "Catholic Nicene council" was convened in 325 AD.
Most of us have been brought up from childhood hearing about Easter, our parents that raised us in a Christian environment talked about Easter, and their parents, and their parents, that’s the way most Americans are and were raised.
Our little children at this time each year hide what they have come to know as Easter eggs that have been boiled and dyed by their parents. I’ll say something about the Easter eggs in a few minuets.
As Christians would never knowingly even consider belittling the RESURRECTION of Christ, but most of us have never gave very much thought as to why “THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST SHOULD BE THOUGHT OF IN CONNECTION TO EASTER”, so I want to point out a few reasons that EASTER is not a good word to use at this most Holy occasion as we remember Christ resurrection.
The word “EASTER” is found one time in our 1611 King James Bible and not any other of the so called Bibles, and let me say that it was intentionally mistranslated from the Greek word pascha, which in reality should have been Passover. It was correctly translated Passover in 28 other locations in the KJV New Testament, but in our text it was put there as EASTER for the specific purpose to inform us that King Herod was a pagan and he was going to wait for the pagan holiday “Ishtar” EASTER to pass, he certainly was not a Christian.
Easter Sunday is said to be the most important religious holiday of what claims to be Christianity, yet the holiday does not have its origin from the teachings of Christ and his apostles, or anywhere else in the Holy Bible.
Ø Listen as I read today’s text found in Acts 12:1-4
1Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. 2And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. 3And because he saw it pleased the Jews; he proceeded further to take Peter also.
(Then were the days of unleavened bread.)**(This is very important) this means that (PASSOVER) was the day before.---the days of “unleavened bread always begun the day after Passover and last for 7 days, so when Herod put Peter in jail Passover had passed and now he was going to wait until the pagan holiday ISHTAR, EASTER was over and then kill Peter.
4And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions (16) of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.
~~~~Not intending after PASSOVER to bring him forth to the people, but after their pagan celebration of EASTER was over.
The Herod mentioned in this chapter is Herod Agrippa I. Agrippa I was the grandson of Herod the Great and his first wife named Mariamne. This Mariamne was a Hasmonean princess and therefore provided the tie between Herod and the Jews. So this Agrippa enjoyed unusual popularity among the Jews.
Easter is steeped in the Babylonian Mysteries, the single most evil idolatrous system ever invented by Satan! All throughout the prophetic Scriptures, we see God declaring His final judgment upon wicked Babylon! Yet, every year, Christian pastors intone "Easter" as though it were Christian.
But many Independent Baptist preachers have begun referring to this day celebrating Jesus’ resurrection as "Resurrection Sunday", in order to separate the day from the pagan celebration.
ISHTAR, called EASTER today, was and is a Pagan holiday. This holiday was celebrated for thousands of years before the birth of Jesus Christ. Easter was a religious celebration to the Pagan "Queen of Heaven", the Mother of life or the Goddess Ishtar, the Goddess of fertility.
In Old Testament celebrations in apostate Israel, we see women angering God because they baked these type of cakes to offer them in worship to the Queen of Heaven.
Jeremiah 44:15-19 Then all the men which knew that their wives had burned incense unto other gods, and all the women that stood by, a great multitude, even all the people that dwelt in the land of Egypt, in Pathros, answered Jeremiah, saying, 16As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the LORD, we will not hearken unto thee.
17But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: for then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil.
18But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine.
19And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven, and poured out drink offerings unto her, did we make her cakes to worship her, and pour out drink offerings unto her, without our men?
A goddess of fertility, the Babylonian title for Ishtar and Ashtaroth (Queen of Heaven)
She is identified with the planet, Venus. Offerings to this goddess included cakes made in the shape of a star." Later pagans used not just the shape of a star, but also the Hot Cross Bun.
Jesus Christ was crucified at the exact time the Passover lambs were being slaughtered for the "Passover" meal, on the day preceding the first day of the "Feast of Unleavened Bread", the fourth day of the week, before sundown. (Wednesday)
After sundown they ate the "Passover" meal. The next day was the first day of the "Feast of Unleavened Bread," a "high day," a special Holy Day Sabbath, the fifth day of the week.
He resurrected on the third day of the "Feast of Unleavened Bread," on the seventh day Sabbath before sundown. Thus, he was in the grave (the heart of the earth) three days and three nights, as he had foretold his disciples.
Matthew 12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
The Pagan customs of Easter eggs and the Easter rabbit are associated with this holiday due to their life giving reproductive characteristics. The inference that the Easter rabbit laid the Easter eggs is an abominable lie and has no place in true Christian worship.
The Babylonians celebrated the day as the return of Ishtar (Easter), the goddess of Spring. This day celebrated the rebirth, or reincarnation, of Nature and the goddess of Nature.
According to Babylonian legend, a huge egg fell from heaven, landing in the Euphrates River. The goddess, Ishtar (Easter) broke out of this egg. Later, the feature of an egg nesting was introduced, a nest where the egg could incubate until hatched. A "wicker" or reed basket was conceived in which to place the Ishtar egg.
The Easter Egg Hunt was conceived because, if anyone found her egg while she was being "reborn", she would bestow a blessing upon that lucky person.
Because this was a joyous spring festival, eggs were colored with bright spring colors.
"Easter" -- Eostre, or Ishtar -- was a goddess of fertility. Since the bunny is a creature that procreates quickly, it symbolized the sexual act; the egg symbolized "birth" and "renewal". Together, the Easter Bunny and Easter Egg symbolizes the sex act and its offspring, Semiramis and Tammuz.
To the pagan religious worshippers, it is a time to celebrate the return of life and reproduction to animal and plant life as well. This is why Ishtar or Easter was chosen to be celebrated at this time of the year,
SPRING when things come to life again, we plant in the spring and the seeds will bring life.
But today this pagan holiday EASTER IS RECOGNIZED AT THE TIME Christians are remembering THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST, the devil has slipped this in on the unsuspecting people of our time, now we see on many, many Church signs at this time of year such things as, “Easter, what the resurrection IS ALL ABOUT”, there’s such a sign as this on 2 churches within a mile of where I live, and one of them is a Baptist Church, people think nothing of it today, most of us have been programmed this way from childhood and think nothing of it,---- Satan is having a laughing good time at the ignorance of our society today,---- I’m sure that if these dear Pastors really were aware of what all this really means that they’d never do it again, but on the other hand perhaps the Pastors may think that it would offend their church members so he won’t say anything about it, if I attended a church that knowingly continued this satanic activity I’d be looking for another church come next Lords day.
Ø The Easter sunrise service is an ancient pagan custom of worship to the Sun God
I suppose that most of us have attended “SUNRISE SERVICES” I have several times years ago, and I’ll assure you that none of the people that attended these Sunrise services ever thought once about worshipping TAMMUZ the SUN god, but that is where the sunrise service originated.
Tammuz was the illegitimate son of Semiramis the wife of Nimrod that we read about in
Gen.10: 9-- Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD. 10And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel—
The legend has it that after the death of Nimrod, Semiramis became pregnant out of wedlock and this is where she is said to picture the Virgin Mary, she is the mother of Tammuz the sun god, NOT JESUS WHO IS GOD THE SON.
Ø Listen as I read about the sunrise service from the Word of God.
Ezekiel 8:16-18 And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD’S house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east.
17Then he said unto me, Hast thou 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.
Jewish commentators of the past have said that it speaks of shocking, low, and degrading religious rites. Perhaps it could be compared with a man “thumbing his nose” today. This is what they were doing to God!
God now expresses His anger—
18Therefore 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.
Easter sunrise service is an ancient pagan custom of worship to the Sun God "Tammuz"
To keep the "Passover" is the first commandment God gave to the children of Israel. He commanded that it be observed forever as a memorial,
Deuteronomy 16:3 --that thou mayest remember the day when thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of thy life.
You and I as the N.T. Church did not come out of Egypt as Israel did; however we have been brought out of the bondage of sin, which is a type of the Egyptian bondage.
Ø Apostle Paul admonished the Church of Corinth with these words,
I corinthians 5:7-8 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ Our Passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness: but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
Thus, by his crucifixion at the time of the "Passover", Christ, the "Passover Lamb" became the final sacrifice for sins of those who would deny themselves and follow him.
Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.
At the last supper Jesus instituted a new way for his disciples to commemorate the "Passover".
Matthew 26:26-28 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.
Christ, as the Lamb of God replaced the Old Testament lamb eaten on Passover evening each year.
Jesus’ sacrifice replaced the need to kill a spring lamb.
Today we partake of the LORDS SUPPER, COMMUNION, in remembrance of His sacrifice for the remission of our sins—both spiritual and physical.
There is no set time, or any amount of times, churches partake of the Lords supper at different times, at the church where I attend we partake of the Lords supper once a month, we do this in remembrance of what He did for us on the cross, He shed His Precious Blood for us, GRAPE JUICE-HIS BLOOD) His Blood washes away our sins, we do this in remembrance of what He endured through the suffering of his Body for us, (his body was bruised for us) He took our punishment in His own Body.
1 Peter 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.