Easter is one of the most important observances of the Christian calendar. And once again churches across the country will be filled with well-dressed people taking in the sights and sounds of Easter Pageants and Passion Plays. Later, city parks and backyards will be filled with the gleeful screams of children as they discover their hidden treasures of Easter eggs and candy treats.

I have no problem with people celebrating their own holidays at certain times of the year. However, the term Easter is not a biblical Christian holiday. The religious holiday that we call Easter, along with the 40-day Lent period, were directly borrowed from the Babylonian goddess-Astarte. (Also pronounced Ishtar/ Easter) In the pagan tradition, Lent was an essential precursor to the festival to honor the death and resurrection of Tammuz. In order to appease the pagans, the Church integrated the pagan festival into a Christian celebration in order to counterfeit and replace the Passover season. Amazingly, the prophet Ezekiel was shown that this would happen through a vision from God. “He [God] said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they do. Then He brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD’S house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz.” (Ezekiel 8:13-14)

Christianity originated in the Roman province of Judea, a predominantly Jewish society, with biblical philosophies distinct from the Greek thought which was dominant in the Roman Empire at the time. The Apostle Paul discussed the conflict between these two modes of thought with some of the Greek philosophers in Acts 17:18-33. He also warned us against deceptive philosophy that would draw us away from God’s truth in Colossians 2:8. I find it interesting that the Church today encourages its members to observe many holidays with origins in pagan religions and yet ignore and sometimes discourage observing God’s feasts outlined in Scripture.

God instituted His own feasts and Sabbaths during the Exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt and were to be a sign to us that the Lord has sanctified us.  Contrary to what the Church teaches, the Exodus was NOT just Jews. The multitude that left Egypt also included a mixed multitude i.e.; non-Israelites. (Exodus 12:37-38) And speaking of the non-Israelites in Exodus 12: 49 God says, “The same law applies both to the native-born AND to the foreigner residing among you.” And in Numbers 15:29 we read: “One and the same law applies to everyone who sins unintentionally, whether a native-born Israelite or a foreigner residing among you.”

So how long does God want us to keep His Feast Days? Leviticus 23:14, 21, 31, and 41 teach us that the Holy Days are a “statute forever.” So by this we have a witness that the Holy Days were established by God Himself for the Jew and non-Jew alike for all generations forever! In the Psalms we see that God’s covenant was commanded to a thousand generations! (Psalms 105:5-8, 10)

But didn’t Jesus change all that?
Jesus, all the apostles, as well as the early Church observed all of God’s feasts outlined in Scripture. Early writers even admit that the celebration of Easter began as a custom, not by any command from Christ or the apostles. Conveniently, the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus occurred during this same time of year. But the question people fail to ask is: Do we follow God and observe His biblical feasts as Jesus and all the apostles did or do we follow the traditions of men? Notice what the apostles wrote:

Matthew 15:3 – He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?”

Colossians 2:8 – See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.

Rom 12:2 – And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Mark 7:13 – Thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.

I Cor. 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.

In Zechariah 14, we learn that after Jesus returns to Earth the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the “Feast of Tabernacles”! (v.16)

These ‘traditions’ handed down by the Church have done much harm to young believers. I remember years ago how my daughter became upset with me to the point of tears because I refused to buy my one year old granddaughter an Easter basket. I asked her, “Why are you getting so upset about something your daughter knows nothing about?” She soon realized how silly it was to get so upset over a tradition that her young daughter had no knowledge of and all was well.

Traditions have done harm to many mature Christians as well. Mark Burnett and Roma Downey are responsible for showcasing many of these traditions when they produced ‘The Bible Miniseries’ for the History Channel. Even though Burnett and Downey gathered some 40 religious leaders, academics and theologians of all denominations as consultants, many of the stories portrayed in the series substitute Church tradition for biblical truth.

The series has snagged endorsements from heavyweights in the televangelist community like Pastor Rick Warren, TV preacher Joel Osteen and evangelist T.D. Jakes. Poet Maya Angelou, self-help guru Tony Robbins and conservative group Focus on the Family have also publicly supported the show.

We live in a day that resembles ancient Israel. They had seen the out-pourings of God’s grace, and miracles each step of the way from Egypt to the Promised Land. They had seen great victories over enemies mightier than themselves. But then, “There arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.” (Judges 2:10) They probably heard about the great things God had done for their forefathers, but they related that to history and myth. They had head knowledge of Bible facts but did not know God personally. Because they knew nothing of a close relationship with the Lord, “Every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 17:6) They had no room for God. No doubt they mocked those who believed in the Almighty and His love, mercy and goodness as they paraded their sin on the streets. They had forgotten Him because they had laid aside His word. They lived as though God did not exist. Sound familiar?

God has commanded us to follow Him and observe ALL that He has commanded us. We need to remember the words of Joshua: “But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15)

“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!” – Deuteronomy 30:19 –

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Comments
  1. So, are you a Saturday worship advocate?

    • Exodus 20:8 – “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” Jesus and all of the apostles observed Sabbath and all of God’s feasts – even after the Messiah’s resurrection. God’s Sabbath was not designed for only Jews but for all believers as a sign that we belong to God. And if anyone rejects this, they are not rejecting a doctrine of man, but the Word of God which is very plain on this subject. May God bless you as you search the Scriptures for truth.

      • I applaud your efforts to expose the cancer of pagan practices within chistianity. It would’ve been nice to see you acknowledge the pagan solar calender as well and the falsity sunday and saturday as being set sabbath worship days. In reality, God endorses a lunar calender (i.e new moons for new months and evening then morning for each new day)

        Acts 21:25 KJV

        As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.

        1 Corinthians 8:1-8 KJV

        Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. But if any man love God, the same is known of him. As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.

        Colossians 2:16-17 KJV

        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 Christ.

        Ephesians 4:29-32 KJV

        Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

        It is my sincere desire that God continues to endue you with revelation concerning pagan worship and its relationship to grace.

        Have a blessed day. 🙂

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