Month 13:20, Week 3:5 (Chamashee/Teruah), Year:Day 5936:374 AM|
Gregorian Calendar: Sunday 31 March 2013
Should Not Have a Demon's Name
Make No Mention of Pagan Gods
"In all that I have said to you, be circumspect and make no mention of ("invoke", NIV ) the name of other gods, nor let it be heard from your mouth" (Ex.23:13, NKJV).
Millions of Christians around the world are today celebrating the resurrection of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) on a day named for a well-known pagan goddess who, as the "queen of heaven" is not only roundly condemned in the Bible (Jer.7:8; 44:17-19,25) but who was, in part, responsible for leading Israel into apostacy. As today's passage clearly reminds us, we are forbidden from invoking the names of these pagan deities - which are in reality demons whose business is our ruination - let along associating happiness with them. This is one of the reasons using the Name of our Heavenly Father, Yahweh is so important. Yet everywhere in the English-speaking Christian (as well as the secular) word, people are unknowingly invoking this demoness by wishing each other a "Happy Easter!".
The Resurrection Belongs to the Passover Season
The physical resurrection of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) is one of the most important historical happenings in this universe after the creation itself. It took place on the biblical festival of Yom haBikkurim or the Day of Firstfruits during the Passover Season, which this year, in the Biblical Creation Calendar, is on Thursday, the 25th April 2013 according to the Roman Catholic-invented Gregorian Calendar, nearly a month too early. It was never called 'Easter' until the Roman Catholic Church decided, in order to persuade pagans to join their man-made institution, to transfer it on their own authority to the Festival of Isis or Ishtar, also known as Astarte and Aphrodite, which came to be known by the early Anglo-Saxons as Eostre or Ostara before it evolved into 'Easter'.
King James Mutilation of Pascha
The word "Easter" appears in no Bible save the King James Version at Acts 12:4 where the translators, motivated no doubt by the combined agenda of the Anglican Church and the King (who wished to promote the 'divine right of kings'), falsely render the Greek word pascha meaning "Passover", itself a loan word from the Aramaic of the same name which comes from the Hebrew pesach meaning "to pass over" or "skip over", as "Easter". The word "Easter" is 100 percent pagan in origin and is the modern Anglo-Saxon for Ishtar or Astarte.
The King James Version Contradiction
I ought to here say a word to those trapped in the King James Version-only cult as this particular issue totally undermines their claim that the 1611 KJV is a word-perfect and infallibly correct translation of the Davar Elohim (Word of God).
Passover After Unleavened Bread?
Those who subscribe to the untenable King James-Only position make the ridiculous argument that because Acts 12:1-4 clearly states that "Easter" took place after the "days of unleavened bread" (Chag haMatzah) which had already begun that this could not have been "Passover" (Pesach) since Passover takes place on Aviv (Nisan) 14 and Unleavaned Bread begins on Aviv (Nisan) 15 and lasts seven days:
Easter Cannot Be Pascha or Pesach
"Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter (pascha) to bring him forth to the people" (Acts 12:1-4, KJV).
Because of this KJV-Only apologists like David J. Stewart wish us to believe that the first believers were celebrating a separate festival of their own called "Easter" that was a regular feature of the calendar at that time. Quite apart from the fact that the Greek word the KJV translators rendered "Easter" is from the Greek word Pascha (borrowed unchanged from Aramaic) which is its own translation of the Hebrew Pesach making this to be clearly a reference to Passover, dogmatic KJV-only apologists like Stewart should have known that Pesach (Passover) not only referred to the Day of Passover on Aviv 14 but was also used representationally for the whole Passover Season that includes the actual day of Passover (Aviv 14), the seven days of Unleavened Bread (Aviv 15-21) which began on the evening of Passover, and the Day of Firstfruits (Aviv 16) which was on the second day of Unleavened Bread. Thus Passover is often spoken of as an 8-day festival in Judaism today because of the overlap of days, though Judaism itself uses a corrupt calendar and miscalculates the days. More importantly the Bible itself says that Passover isn't just Aviv 14 but a week long:
False Doctrine From Ignorance
"In the first month on the fourteenth day you are to observe the Passover (Pesach), a feast lasting seven days, during which you shall eat bread made without yeast (matzah)" (Ezek.45:21, NIV).
What we have here is a simple case of ignorance (much of it willful, I suspect, in order to defend a man-made dogma) about Hebrew festivals. I summarise the elements and timings of the Passover Season in a diagram to make these points clearer:
Eight Day Season, Seven Days' observance
Though the Passover Season does indeed fall on eight calendar days, from Aviv 14 to 21, the celebration-proper does not begin until the evening of Passover on Aviv 14 at which time, from sunset onwards, only unleavened bread or matzah is consumed. And though the 21st day of Aviv ends at sunrise (when Aviv 22 begins), the period over which matzah is consumed is only 7 days, from the evening of Aviv 14 to the evening of Aviv 21:
The Right Calendar is Essential
"In the first month (Aviv), on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at evening" (Ex.12:18, NKJV).
The reason Messianics dispute whether the Passover Season is 7 or 8 days stems from the wrong use of a sunset-calendar, beginning and ending days at sunset instead of sunrise. Only one festival is commanded by Yahweh to observed from sunset to sunset and that is Yom Kippur. And though Chag haMatzah or the Feast of Unleavened Bread is to be observed between Aviv 15 and 21 (8 days), the actual abstention from leaven is from sunset on Aviv 14 (when the Passover Meal is eaten) and sunset on Aviv 21 (7 days). This last day of Chag haMatzah (like the first) is also a Sabbath, which is observed from sunrise to sunrise, which is why the whole of Aviv 21 is still a part of the Chag or Feast even though leavaned bread is permitted after sunset that day and thereafter until the following year when Chag haMatzah rolls around again.
KJV-Onlyism Disproved by the 'Easter Error'
What is important here, as far as KJV-Only cult is concerned, is that their position that this 17th century translation is infallible and 'word perfect' is demolished by the justifications they use to the use of "Easter" in Acts 12:4 for the only defence it has been able to muster is that Pascha cannot be translated "Passover" is that the implication that Passover Day would be out of sequence in the sacred calendar. Ezekiel 45:21, as we have seen, completely demolishes that argument because the Pascha ir Pesach here is the whole season, not Aviv 14.
Implications for Orthodox Christianity
There are other implications here not just for the KJV-Only cult but for Protestantism, Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy as a whole, all of whom honour the pagan deity Ishtar by observing Easter and involing her name for blessings in the English-speaking world. Outside the Anglo-Saxon sphere, Pash, Pasha or some word like it (like Påsk in Scandinavian countries, or Pâques in French-speaking lands) tend to be used which is the equivalent of 'Passover', the Aramaic Pascha or the Hebrew Pesach. In Germany it is called Ostern, which is the Teutonic variation of 'Easter', from which the Anglo-Saxons derived 'Easter'. In Bhojpuri and Marathi (two Indian languages) it is called Iistar and Istar, respectively , doubtless borrowed from the British. But irrespective of whether the deity invoked is Easter or Ostern, the festival observed by 'Orthodox' Christianity is neither from the original Passover Season nor the actual Festival of the Resurrection which is Yom haBikkurim. It was lifted right out of the darkness of ancient paganism, dressed up to look 'Christian' by receiving a complete 'make-over'.
Who Was Easter?
"Ishtar was the goddess of love and war, above all associated with sexuality: her cult involved sacred prostitution; her holy city Uruk was called the "town of the sacred courtesans"; and she herself was the "courtesan of the gods". Ishtar had many lovers; however, as Guirand notes,
"Ishtar was the daughter of Ninurta. She was particularly worshipped in northern Mesopotamia, at the Assyrian cities of Nineveh, Ashur and Arbela (Erbil).
"Woe to him whom Ishtar had honoured! The fickle goddess treated her passing lovers cruelly, and the unhappy wretches usually paid dearly for the favours heaped on them. Animals, enslaved by love, lost their native vigour: they fell into traps laid by men or were domesticated by them. 'Thou has loved the lion, mighty in strength', says the hero Gilgamesh to Ishtar, 'and thou hast dug for him seven and seven pits! Thou hast loved the steed, proud in battle, and destined him for the halter, the goad and the whip.' Even for the gods Ishtar's love was fatal. In her youth the goddess had loved Tammuz, god of the harvest, and—if one is to believe Gilgamesh —this love caused the death of Tammuz.
"Besides the lions on her gate, her symbol is an eight-pointed star.
"The lion was her symbol (detail of the Ishtar Gate)
"In the Babylonian pantheon, she "was the divine personification of the planet Venus" 
The Catholic Church unashamedly acknowldges these truths:
Culture Does Not Make Right
"The word Easter is derived from that of the Saxon goddess Eástre, the same deity whom the Germans proper call Ostarâ, and honoured (according to Grimm, in his German Mythology) as the divinity of thec dawn. Bede (De Temp. Rat. xi) tells us that the Anglo-Saxons called the spring month Eosturmonath, and similarly Eginhard (Vit.Car.Mag. 29) calls our April, Ostarmanoth. Naturally, therefore, the Teutonic nations called the great Church-feast which fell at the beginning of spring, Easter, and the names continued among us, like such names as Thursday, long after the heathen goddess had been forgotten (Hefele, Beiträge, ii, p.285)" .
But does the Davar Elohim (Word of God) accept such justification for use of a pagan deity in an apparently Christian festival even if the origins have been 'forgotten'? Isn't that what cult-ure is...doing things, using words, pewrforming rituals, when you don't remember why any longer? Does Yahweh honour 'culture'? Since all pagan deities are in reality demons under the hegemony of Satan, how would you feel if someone wished you a "Happy Satan"? If we, as a culture, had also forgotten the origin of the word 'Satan' would we, upon learning of its true meaning, and being convicted by the Ruach (Spirit) of Yahweh's mitzvah (commandment) not to invoke pagan deities under any circumstances, wish to continue wishing people well in the name of Satan? Of course not! So why should we feel any less outraged at the thought of using 'Easter', the name of one of Satan's minions?
I'll not here dwell the various Easter customs like Easter bunnies and eggs (which were universally recognised fertility symbols) or the traditions of eating unclean 'Easter ham', assembling at sunrise (to watch the goddess appear), etc.. You can learn more about these on our Easter page. The Bible reminds us that "a little leaven (of sin) leavens the whole lump (soul)" (Gal.5:9, NKJV). Therefore the apostle counselled the believers:
No New Resurrection Celebration Commanded
"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 [of Unleavened Bread], not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and emet (truth)" (1 Cor.5:6-8,
Paul did not say, "Start a new feast of the resurrection and call it 'Easter'" but continue observing the old feast of Chag haMatzah (Unleavened Bread) with a true lev (heart) - in purity, without "the leaven of malice and wickedness". It is no accident that Yom haBikkurim or the Day of Firstfruits (Aviv 16) - Yah'shua (Jesus) being the firstfruits of the resurrection - was designed by Yahweh to occur at this time:
Messiah Yahweh's Firstfruits, We are His Firstfruits
Ham vs. Matzah
"But Messiah has indeed been raised from the dead, the bikkurim (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" (1 Cor.15:20-23, NIV).
"[Yahweh] chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all He created" (James 1:17-18, NIV).
What need do we have of pagan fertility rituals and symbols - rabbits and eggs - and an unkosher 'Easter Ham' when we are supposed to be eating matzah (unleavened bread) to remind us of the importance of getting all sin - all leaven - out of our lives, including pagan practices and memorials, realing that only the blood of Messiah can cleanse us of our guilt? We aren't supposed to be celebrating any 'goddess of the dawn'...what has Eostre or Satan to do with Messiah Yah'shua (Jesus)?! Why are Christians trying to honour Messiah while honouring a filthy demoness at the same time?
The Scriptures tell us not to invoke the names of demonic entities, let alone pronounce blessings on people by wishing them a "Happy Easter"! So why do believers persist in linking the resurrection of our Master Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) with this vile entity when they have discovered the emet (truth)? Do they not understand the fearsome price that Israel had to pay anciently for religious syncretism - the blending of the Besorah (Gospel) with paganism?
Be Done With Paganism
"Thus saith Yahweh, Learn not the way of the heathen!" (Jer.10:2, KJV).
If you are still celebrating the resurrection of our Master on a pagan Sunday by invoking the the Easter fertility goddess, and have heard the plain emet (truth), you need to repent, abandon all pagan observances and celebrate the Resurrection of the Saviour on the day Yahweh has ordained - Yom haBikkurim - using the proper symbols that honour Him, viz. matzah or unleavened bread. We have nothing against bunnies and eggs but they are forbidden as religious sybmbols to the believer. The Scriptures have given us our symbols and we are not to add to them or remove them. Find out about Yahweh's Festivals, the ones Yah'shua (Jesus) and the apostles observed, and observe them. Be done with all paganism.
Today is the fifth day of the week and is an ordinary working day according to Yahweh's Creation Calendar. We are not commanded as a community of believers to gather to worship today and certainly not to commemorate the resurrection of Yah'shua (Jesus) at the wrong time with all its pagan, Yahweh-dishonouring baggage. Gather with us in fellowship at the Passover Season this year and experience the blessing that attends those who obediently congregate at the right time. The resurrection is one of the key articles of the emunah (faith) as summarised in the Apostles Creed, the hope of our own resurrection if we remain trusting and true to our Master. Let us "set an example for the believers in speech, in chayim (life), in ahavah (love), in emunah (faith) and in purity" (1 Tim.4:12, NIV) and give glory to Elohim (God). Amen.
 OT:2142 zakar; a primitive root; properly, to mark (so as to be recognised), i.e. to remember; by implication, to mention; to be male
 Wikipedia, Ishtar
 Omniglot, Happy Easter in many languages
 William E.Addis & T.B.Arnold, A Catholic Dictionary (Virtue & Co., London: 1955)