EASTER AND CHRISTMAS PAGANISM
2000 B.C. TO DATE
by Ed Stevens
"Learn not the way of the heathen." Jer. 10:2
"Prove all things" I Thes. 5:21
Is the name "Easter" of divine origin simply because it is found in our Bibles, in the King James translation of Acts 12:4 - "... intending after Easter to bring him forth"? The Revised Version renders it "after the Passover," as it is given in the original. In reading the following lines every honest mind will be able to discern whether or not the celebration of Easter and also Christmas has divine sanction.
We search our Bibles in vain for any authorization of celebrating the resurrection of Christ. The setting of different dates for Easter from year to year is explained thus, in Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol. 2, page 682: "The present variable time was appointed by early Romanism in amalgamation with the very ancient pagan spring festival to the goddess of spring. It was fixed on the Sunday immediately following the 14th day of the paschal moon which happened on or first after the vernal equinox." Please note Col. 2:16, "Let no man judge you in meat or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath." Spiritual Christians do not celebrate the resurrection of Christ; they demonstrate it.
The Babylonian "queen of heaven," Semeramis, the wife of Nimrod, was the original impersonation of the heathen goddesses, Astarte and Venus of the Greeks, Juno, of the Latins, Ashtoreth, of the Zidonians, Ishtar of the Babylonians, and Eostre, the goddess of spring, of the early Anglo-Saxons. The Druids held religious festivities in her honor and of the sun-god in April, calling it "Easter Monath." Hence, the careless insertion of the word "Easter" instead of "Passover" in Acts 12:4 by the King James translators. It is a blot inexcusable on their otherwise excellent work.
This Ishtar, or Eostre, was worshipped as the goddess of love and fertility, and as the life of nature. In Babylonish mythology this "queen of heaven" was worshipped as the goddess of the sexual impulse. In Hastings Encyclopedia of Religious Ethics, page 117, we read of these ancient "Easters": "A spring feast was celebrated. These occasions were marked with great sexual license." The "groves" connected with the "high places" that Israel so frequently "went a whoring with" (Psa. 106:28-39) were the images and places where these filthy "queen of heaven" festivals were carried on. The word "groves," found forty times in our English Bible, comes from the Hebrew word "Asherah" and is always associated with the worship of Ashtoreth, alias Ishtar, Eostre, the goddess of spring.
The so-called "Lent season" is of pure Babylonish origin. The word "Lent" cam from the Saxon word "Lenct," meaning "spring." Pagan Mexicans also celebrate forty days in April. Forty days in the vernal equinox in April were celebrated by the devil worshippers of Koordistan in honor of the sun-god. This was brought from Babylon in 2000 B.C. where it originated in the weeping of Tammuz, the supposed reincarnation of Ishtar's (or Semeramis') husband (Nimrod). In the spring his death and reappearance was celebrated. A time of mourning was followed by one of joy. God condemned Israel's partaking in this celebration as given in Ezek. 8:13-14, "He said unto me turn thee yet again and thou shalt see greater abominations that the 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."
Modern Easter Customs
One may well ask, What connection have buns, eggs, rabbits and new clothes with the resurrection of Jesus Christ the Lord of glory? The origin of modern "hot cross buns" is sufficiently explained in Jer. 7:18; 44:17-19; "The children gather wood and the fathers kindle the fire and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven and to pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke me to anger." Surely God's anger is still being provoked when Christians take up these heathen customs in connection with the resurrection of His beloved Son.
The custom of giving eggs in April can be traced to the philosophy and theology of the Egyptians, Persians, Gauls, Greeks and Romans, among whom the egg was the emblem of the universe - the work of the supreme Being. The dying of eggs can be traced to the Chinese. Eggs were the sacrificial emblem of the Druids. Rome made the egg to become the consecrated emblem of Christ's resurrection. Pope Paul V taught people to pray at Easter: "Bless O Lord, we beseech thee this thy creature of eggs that it may become a wholesome sustenance unto thy servants, eating it in remembrance of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Ancient Babylonians believed an egg fell from heaven into the Euphrates River and the fishes rolled it to the shore where the doves hatched out "the Queen of Heaven," or Ishtar. Hence, the egg became a symbol of Ishtar, the licentiously worshipped goddess of the ancients, and is used today be deluded, unthinking Christendom in its celebration of Easter. What an ungodly travesty!
The rabbit fad at Easter time can be traced back to pagan Germany. Children were told that if they were good, a white hare would steal into the house while they were asleep and secrete any number of beautifully colored eggs in odd corners of the house. Here then originated the modern "Easter egg hunt" provided for innocent children.
The hare [Easter Bunny], from ancient times was a symbol of the moon, it being a nocturnal animal. The hare is the only animal born with its eyes open. The Egyptian word for hare is "un," meaning "to open." Thus, the hare was associated with the opening of a new season, spring, in April, at the vernal equinox. The hare and eggs were mutually symbolic in Egypt of the opening of their new year, at which time eggs were ceremoniously broken.
But whence the custom of wearing new clothes at Easter? Answer: In early England it was considered unlucky not to wear some new article of clothing at Easter time.
Lastly, what about Easter sun-rise services? Do the two come under divine condemnation? Regardless of how or when they started, we need only to look to the criterion of God's holy Word, for "faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word" and "whatsoever is not of faith is sin" (Rom. 10:17; 14:23). Hebrews 11:6 states that without faith it is impossible to please God. It is also true that without tradition it is impossible to please men. "God is a Spirit and the that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth" (the truth of God's Word), we read in John 4:24.
When God's people, Israel, took to the idea of "sun-rise services" God expressed His disapproval in Ezek. 8:15-18: "Turn thee yet again and thou shalt see greater abominations than these. 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 to the temple of the Lord and their faces toward the east; [[see link to Freemasonry]] and they worshipped the sun toward the east ... and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them." Reading this in God's Word and knowing that the sun-god, Baal, or Tammuz, the "husband-son" of Semeramis (Ishtar) has been given idolatrous homage from the very beginning of all idol worship, the spiritual, God fearing Christian will have no part with a Christ-rejecting world in seemingly innocent and sentimentally "beautiful" Easter sunrise service or in any and all Christ-deflecting customs which are of proved, Satan inspired, pagan origin.
As recorded in Gen. 3:15, the Lord God announced to the guilty pair in the garden of Eden that of the "seed" of the woman the Savior of mankind would appear, by whom "the serpent" (Satan) would be destroyed. After the flood, when the human race was centralized on the plains of Babylon, Satan sought to turn men away from God's plan of redemption by producing a counterfeit Christ. He found a ready tool in an ambitious woman, Semeramis, the widow of Nimrod, "the mighty hunter before the Lord" (Gen. 10:9) who had met with a violent death. Nimrod had been deified as being a deliverer from the menace of wild animals. His wife, seeking to perpetuate his worship and also to retain power over men herself, deceived them into joyfully believing that through a miraculous conception she had given birth to a son called Tammuz, purported to be Nimrod incarnated. Here then, 2000 B.C., was Satan's counterfeit of the promised "Seed" of the woman. This woman with her illegitimate son was thenceforth worshipped as "mother of (a) god" (Madonna) - "the queen of heaven." Thus originated the ancient Babylonian mystery religion, the fountainhead of all idolatry covering the globe. Every idol mentioned in the Bible as well as in mythology, having varied names in different lands, can be traced to this source.
The familiar halo seen in so called pictures of Mary and babe was first invented in ancient Babylon in connection with Semeramis and child. The worship of Mary, by the way, is as abominable in God's sight as the worship of the Babylonian harlot, Semeramis. Strange, is it not, that the expression, "queen of heaven," mentioned five times in Scripture in connection with Israel's idolatry, is so commonly and piously used by Roman Catholics.
Alexander Hislop, in his monumental work, "The Two Babylons," has clearly shown that the papal worship is none other than the worship of Nimrod and his wife, disguised in a garb of falsified Christianity. Concerning the Christmas festival we find these lines on page 93: "The Christmas was originally a pagan festival is beyond all doubt. The time of the year, the ceremonies with which it is celebrated, prove its origin. In Egypt, the son of Isis, the Egyptian title for the queen of heaven, was born at this very time, about the time of the winter solstice. The very name by which Christmas is popularly known among ourselves - Yule Day - proves at once its pagan and Babylonian origin. 'Yule' is the Chaldee name for 'infant,' or 'little child'; and as the 25th of December was called by our pagan Anglo-Saxon ancestors 'Yule-Day' or 'the child's day', and the night that precedes it, 'Mother Night', long before they came in contact with Christianity, that sufficiently proves its real character. Far and wide in the realms of paganism was this birthday observed."
The only birthdays mentioned in Scripture are the birthdays of Pharaoh and Herod - both connected with murder. Since God has definitely obscured the date of Christ's birth, a bare clue as to the season of the year only being noticeable is that the Judean shepherds were with their flocks in the open field by night (a practice not customary during the cold winter months) and since He has not in His Word authorized the celebration of Christ's birth, then who induced men to begin doing so, and how was it brought about? For three hundred years the early Church had no such celebration. About the year 230 Tertullian wrote: "By us who are strangers to (Jewish) Sabbaths, and new moons, and festivals, once acceptable to God, the Saturnalia, the feasts of January, the Brumalia, and Matronalia are now frequented, with gifts being carried to and fro."
Since Tammuz was worshipped as god incarnate, that implied also that he was an incarnation of the "lord of the heavens," the sun, and since the sun noticeably began to grow stronger the 25th of December, this date came to be known not only as the rebirth of Nimrod but of the sun as well. In ancient Rome December 25th was known as the "Natalis Invicti Solis" - the birthday of the unconquered sun. Lights were kindled then (candles now) to burn till the 6th of January (Epiphany). The feast of Saturnalia, lasting about a week, was held at this time of the winter solstice, accompanied with the merrymaking, wild revelry and debauchery. To obtain more adherents to Roman Catholicism it was the policy of the papacy to amalgamate the heathen festivals with things professedly Christian. Pope Gregory wrote to Augustine, the first missionary to the British Isles (A.D. 597): "Do not destroy the temples of the English gods; change them to Christian churches. Do not forbid the harmless customs which have been associated with the old religions; consecrate them to Christian uses." Thus Rome retained a pagan form for "Xmas" but could not restrain its pagan spirit - existing to this day. it should be remembered here that rather than representing true Christianity, Roman Catholicism during its gradual growth into a well organized religious hierarchy, absorbed mere nominal professing Christendom at that time. To this can be attributed the existence of the so-called "Dark Ages" (dark in the respect of learning, the oppression of the common people, and the persecution of "heretics").
Sir James Fraser in "The Golden Bough" writes: "Thus it appears that the Christian Church (we would say, the papacy) chose to celebrate the birthday of its founder on the 25th of December in order to transfer the devotion of the heathen from the sun to him who was called the Son of Righteousness. If that were so, there can be no intrinsic improbability in the conjecture that motives of the same sort may have led to ecclesiastical authorities to assimilate the Easter festival of the death and resurrection of their Lord to the festival of the death and resurrection of another Asiatic god which fell in the same season."
The name "Christmas" appeared about 450 A.D. when Pope Julius decreed that all Catholics must celebrate the birthday of Christ at the same time that the heathen were celebrating the Saturnalia, etc. It was designated as "Christe-masse," or Christ's mass.
We know that the so-called "Christmas tree" had its origin in Babylon's mystery religion, where it was used to represent Tammuz (which name means, a sprout) - Satan's counterfeit of "The Branch" - Christ, who was also prophetically called "The Root out of dry ground" (Isa. 11:1; 53:2; Jer. 23:5; Zech. 6:12 - "Behold the man whose name is The Branch"). Ancient coins have been found picturing a tree stump (representing dead Nimrod) and a small tree growing nearby (Tammuz). The Egyptians used the palm tree; the Romans a pine tree. The "Xmas tree" of idolatrous Israelites is described in Jer. 10:1-4, where the modern tree is vividly pictured. Mistletoe and holly figured prominently in the early Anglo-Saxon tree worship of the Druids.
That the origin of "Christmas carols" is traceable to early idolatry is suggested by Virgil's lines: "In jolly hymns we praise god of wine (Bacchus - originally Tammuz), whose earthen images adorn the pine, and these are hung on high, in honor of the vine."
"Satan's Claws" might well be the name for the big clownish, liquor marked, masked lie called "Santa Claus," who robs the children of Christ. What he has to do with Him who said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me"? The popishly canonized "St. Nicholas," archbishop of Myra, Greece (4th century) became the patron saint of children in Europe. They learned to think that "St. Nick" was watching them - not Christ, for on the eve of his memorial day (Dec.6) he was believed to enter the home in disguise, asking each child questions as to behavior. On Christmas day rewards came accordingly. The early Dutch settlers of New York brought this hoax to America. Their pronunciation of "St. Nicholas" accounts for the name "Santa Claus."
The world considers Christmas a good thing in that it "creates good will among men" (besides having a gratifying effect on business). Lasting good will comes only through humbly accepting "God's unspeakable gift" of His crucified, resurrected and ascended Son, involving a new birth - making us "new creatures" in Christ (II Cor. 9:15; 5:17; John 3:3).
To say that it "honors Christ" to celebrate His birthday betrays woeful blindness and ignorance, for any religious work that is not designated in the inspired Scriptures which are "profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God might be thoroughly furnished unto all good works" (II Tim. 3:16-17), actually dishonors Christ, in denial of His Word. The same obtains as to sunrise services being "not of faith." The spiritual Christian will not contribute to the perpetuation of Christmas by observing it in ant way whatever; but will withdraw in holy horror from such pagan-born celebrations revered by a world that greeted the infant Christ with Herod's sword, reeking with the blood of Bethlehem's baby boys, and which finally crucified Him in diabolical hatred. The prophesy of Rev. 11:10 may soon be fulfilled when God's two witnesses shall be slain, when "they that dwell upon earth shall rejoice over them and make merry and shall send gifts one to another."
"Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them" (Eph. 5:11). The birth of the babe is supposedly remembered each year, but the Man (now at God's right hand) is contemptuously set at naught. What hollow sinful mockery!
"Thou shall not follow a multitude to do evil" (Exodus. 23:2).
"That which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God" (Luke 16:15).
"Be ye not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may know what is that good and acceptable and perfect (complete) will of God" (Rom. 12:2). See also II Cor. 6:14-18; 7:1.
In II Tim. 2:8 we are told to "remember that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead," but "days and months and times and years" are not to be religiously observed (Gal. 4:10-11).
The apostle Paul acknowledged that he had much "religion" (like multiplied thousands today) but that he was lost until he obtained "through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith" (see Gal. 1:13-16; Phil. 3:4-10). Unsaved reader, will you not receive the Lord Jesus as your Savior from eternal judgment as did Paul, who explained for us in all its simplicity how to receive Him to be instantly and eternally saved?
Here it is, in I Cor. 15:1-5: "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I have preached unto you unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures; and He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures; and that He was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve."
Believe now! "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not on the Son shall not see life but the wrath of God abideth on him" (John 3:36).
Ed Stevens (1895-1966)
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