The booklet includes a picture of children
worshipping Jesus and Mary. One picture shows Mary in the clouds bathed in
the light of a
triangle and eye, which is the unmistakable “eye of Horus.” And the picture
words Father, Son and Holy Ghost on the sides of
the triangle to
give it a “Christian” connotation.
Horus is the hawk-god, an Egyptian form of
Baal. His mother was the goddess Isis, which is another form of Eastre. How
subtly Satan has been able to foist his concept of a Queen of Heaven
upon the Roman
church, and to get even
Christians all over the World to employ the
name and symbols of the pagan goddess, “Eastre!”
“EASTER”: THE PAGAN BACKGROUND
Easter is generally acknowledged to have
superseded an old pagan festival in honour of a
Germanic spring goddess Eostre.
migrated westward from Asia into Europe
with the Germanic people, and describes a deity
equivalent to Ashtoreth of the Canaanites,
the moon-goddess, so-called queen of heaven and
of Baal. Her origins can be traced to ancient Babel
According to the Catholic Encyclopaedia,
“A great many pagan customs celebrating the return of spring, gravitated
to Easter.” Some examples …
LENT and the FAST OF TAMMUZ
“LENT,” (the 40-day partial fast leading
up to Easter that some Christians observe) is
reminiscent of the pagan fast of
Tammuz, which is also mentioned in scripture: YHWH said to Ezekiel: “You
will see still greater abominations which they (Israel) are committing. Then he
took me to the door of the gate of the House of YHWH
which was towards the north; and see this!
he saw sat women there weeping
for Tammuz.” (Ezekiel 8:13-14).
In paganism the first day of
spring (1st Nisan
or Abib) in the
calendar, a new moon, marked the end of a
season equivalent to Lent, known as
the Fast of Tammuz.
Tammuz is effectively a type of Baal,
who was said to have died a violent death and passed into the underworld.
Whereupon his wife/mother, a type of Ishtar or Ashtoreth, pursued
him there, in order
to have him
released. During the resultant winter all vegetation died and animal
reproduction ceased. In order to bring about her return, humans fasted and
mourned for a period of forty days, known as the Fast
According to legend, on the day of her
return, accompanied by her
husband/son, spring began.
HOT CROSS BUNS
Another relic of the cult of
Easter/Ashtoreth to which Scripture refers are the “Hot cross buns” of Easter.
(Israelite) women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven ...
may provoke me to anger.”
7:18). And the women
asked, “Did we make (the queen of heaven) cakes to worship her ... without our
here translated “cakes,” only appears
these two times in the whole of Scripture.
Alexander Hislop demonstrates that the
English word “bun” is derived from the same root, which denotes a bread made to
stand erect by leavening. He
goes on to quote other ancient sources: “One species
of sacred bread which used to be offered to the gods, was of great antiquity,
and called ‘Boun.’
“A worshipper offered one of the sacred
cakes called Boun which was made of fine flour
and honey. Thus
the worshipper was
consecrated to his or her deity, in this case the queen of heaven/Easter, in
a parody and
of the pattern of the worship of the Lord, who expressly
forbade the use of
either leaven (a raising agent) or honey (a sweetener) in a burned (hot) cereal
offering. To do so was to bring the Lord’s curse upon oneself. Therefore, at
meal on the
night that he was betrayed, Jesus took unleavened bread and said,
“This is my body (the sacrifice) which is given for you.”
Yet it is on Good Friday, the Christian
equivalent of Passover, the Feast
of Unleavened Bread,
Christian households eat “Boun.”
The custom of giving Easter eggs to one’s
friends is also
traceable to paganism and Ashtoreth. Her cult involved ritual
prostitution as a fertility rite, hence
the association with eggs. Babylonian mythology
relates a tale of an egg
of monstrous size which
fell from heaven
into the Euphrates and hatched into the goddess Astarte,
equivalent of Ashtoreth.
In ancient Egypt, the egg was associated
with the sun-god
(type of Baal) and dyed eggs were used as
sacred offerings at the Easter season. In pagan
northern Europe eggs were coloured and
used as symbols of
the goddess of
because of their
promiscuity and characteristic springtime mating
activities, the hare and the rabbit also became emblems of fertility and of
Ashtoreth/Easter. Hence the “Easter Bunny.”
the many customs
of spring/Ashtoreth, which
gravitated to Easter.
HOW DID THE CHURCH ADOPT EASTER?
Let me quote Richard Peterson, a British
Christian missionary who has worked amongst Jewish people
in Israel and
elsewhere, from his
excellent review of how “the church” changed from observing Passover and
established Easter in
NO CLEAR New Testament
evidence that the earliest Christians kept the day of Jesus’ resurrection as
Early Church tradition gives us a clue to
the practices of the apostles. We hear that the apostles John
and Philip, in
Ephesus and Asia Minor (western Turkey),
of Passover on the scriptural date of 14th Nisan/Abib, and that they taught
it as a memorial of Jesus’ sacrificial death
as the Passover Lamb of God.
the earliest non-biblical record of church law, which was composed late in
the first century,
or in the early second c., neither gives instruction about
nor mentions any
observance related to Jesus’ resurrection.
Ignatius’ testimony that “the Lord’s Day”
is now understood to be the day of Jesus’ resurrection indicates that, although
some importance was attached to its memory, it was
quite distinct from Passover.
first Bishop of Rome who did
observe Passover according
to the Jewish/scriptural calendar, was Sixtus
then on, the
of Rome and Alexandria
observed Passover on “Easter-Sunday,” but it was still strictly a memorial
Jesus’ passion and
sacrificial death. But some churches in and around Rome continued to observe
Passover according to the Jewish/scriptural calendar, as did
the Church in general.
The change in Rome to “Easter-Sunday” may
have been expediency, due to
the intermittent Jewish insurrections which took place
throughout the rule of
Hadrian and the
fact that Hadrian therefore, “reserved his
anger for the Jews.”
Gentile anti-Jewish feeling
in Alexandria had
for over half
a century and, as a result of an uprising in 115
AD, even the great synagogue in Alexandria
burned. Here also, the change
of dates for celebrating Passover may have been partly
Before Sixtus there
is no record that
either Sunday or
Passover were formally observed as a Christian
memorial of the resurrection.
us that controversy
over the date and interpretation of the Church’s observance of Passover/Easter,
“arose after the exodus of the bishops of the circumcision (the Jewish bishops)”
from Jerusalem, following its destruction in 135 AD (after the Simon bar Kochba
Hadrian expelled all Jews
from Jerusalem and
forbade any Jew to enter Jerusalem on pain of
death. Jewish believers left Jerusalem and dispersed, and the Jewish bishops
were replaced by Greek bishops. As Hadrian had prohibited Judaism throughout the
empire, including the eating of unleavened bread at Passover and observing any
Jewish festival, the new bishops would not have been inclined to risk their
lives by appearing to disobey him.
Therefore, the Jerusalem-Jewish church and
its practices lost their dominant influence upon the churches of the Roman
world, and the “power base,” naturally, shifted to Gentile leadership in Rome.
Nevertheless, the controversy continued until at least 365 AD.
Events came to a head when, in about 195
AD., Pope Victor I excommunicated Polycratus, bishop of Ephesus, and threatened
the remaining bishops of Asia Minor, if they continued to celebrate Passover on
the 14th of Nisan.
Irenaeus, Tertullian, Origen and Eusebius
give us the strong impression that, by this time, the majority of the western
churches observed a remembrance of the resurrection of Jesus on Easter-Sunday,
and that Easter-Sunday had largely displaced Passover observance.
The determination of the Church’s
leadership to bring about a unilateral separation of identify, was spelt out in
325 AD at the Council of Nicaea. The council decreed, “All
brethren in the
East who formerly celebrated Easter
with the Jews, will
henceforth keep it at the same time
as the Romans.”
It was also underlined in Constantine’s
Nicene conciliar letter, “It appeared an unworthy thing that in the celebration
of this most holy feast (Passover/Easter) we should follow
the practice of the
St. Ephraim the Syrian (about 363 AD)
wrote in a similar vein, “My brethren, keep
far from the
unleavened bread in which is symbolized by the
sacrament of Judas. Flee, my brethren, from
the unleavened bread of Israel, for beneath its
whiteness lies hidden shame. Do not accept, my brethren, the unleavened bread of
this people whose hands are
stained with blood.”
To avoid resemblance to the Jewish
Passover, John Chrysostom (386 AD) refused to give
an annual remembrance of Jesus’ resurrection
significance than any other occasion on which the Lord’s Supper was celebrated.
Jerome’s letter from Bethlehem
to Augustine (about
400 AD) spells out just how estranged from its origins the Church had become.
of the Jews are pernicious and deadly. Whoever
whether Jew or Gentile, has fallen into the pit of the devil.”
* * * * *
The above gives us some idea of how the
Biblical Passover, which the early believers celebrated, was later rejected in
favour of a “holy day” with a popular pagan name.
Now, it is not wrong to celebrate the
resurrection of the Saviour. Indeed, we must proclaim that glorious fact, for it
is part of the
Gospel. As the apostle Paul says:
“For what 1
received I passed on to you
as of first
the Messiah died for our sins, according
to the Scriptures,
and that He
was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the
It is not wrong to celebrate the
resurrection of Y’shua on the Sunday after Good Friday, and on every worship
day, but we should not label the Resurrection with a pagan name and continue
saddling it with pagan symbols and practices. It is ridiculous to wish people
“Happy Easter.” Why would you want to wish people a “Happy Queen of Heaven”?
Yes, most Christians do it
in ignorance. But once you know the Truth, follow Him! Why not use a greeting
like, “Christ is risen,” or “Jesus is alive, and He’s coming back again!”
Easter is one word that
ought to be eliminated from our Christian vocabulary! And so ought the pagan
customs and symbols. We should resist the commercial pressure to buy Easter
bunnies and Easter eggs, even though they are only chocolate ones.
Y’shua told us to take the bread and the
cup in remembrance of Him. And as Paul says:
“For as often as you eat this bread and
drink the cup, you proclaim the Master’s death until He comes.”
This is one feast we should love!
“For our Passover Lamb, the
Messiah, has been sacrificed for us. Let us therefore celebrate the
feast, not with old yeast, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but
with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
(1 Corinthians 5:7-8)
Some people will say, “Well, we celebrate the Passover
every week, or month, whenever we have the Lord’s table. So why must we
celebrate an annual Passover?”
Well, it is not a must! But
it can be a real blessing to have an annual “special” - a Passover meal of
remembrance. Certainly the sacrifice of the Lamb of God is the most central part
of the believer’s faith.
Some will say, “It is not so easy to
celebrate Passover on the Biblical date. Often it does not fall on a weekend or
public holiday; and usually we don’t know what the correct date is anyway.”
True, and it is not a must that you
celebrate Passover on the exact date. Believers in Messiah are not under the
Mosaic Law, but under the Law of the Spirit of Life and Freedom.
The Biblical date of Passover is often
very close to Good Friday, but sometimes it may be a couple of weeks later.
(This year, 2007, Passover in on April 3, and Good Friday is on April 6.)
Passover is traditionally held in the
evening so it should not necessarily require a holiday.
A Passover celebration may be held by a
church or assembly, or a home fellowship; or it may be celebrated by a family
circle. But it is more than simply an evening meal. It is a season of
fellowship, with the reading of the Scriptures and teaching on “Christ our
Passover.” Conversation around the table should not be mostly casual talk, but
conversation centered around Passover and Messiah. There will be the singing of
psalms and appropriate worship songs and prayers. And children should be
encouraged to ask questions on theme.
But some will ask, “Is Good Friday not
good enough? Isn’t that the equivalent of Passover?”
Good Friday services usually focus on the
sufferings of the cross, and they can be a blessing as you remember what the
Saviour has done. But here is a suggestion is; have a family Passover meal on
the Biblical date, or if you prefer, on the evening before Good Friday.
In fact, some families like to follow the
example of Y’shua and His disciples, and have a “Upper room” Passover on the
evening before the crucifixion day.
This “Upper Room” experience would in fact
prepare you for the larger fellowship worship and remembrance on Friday. And
then, if there is a true Resurrection celebration on Sunday, it would complete
the cycle – The Upper Room, Calvary, and the Empty Tomb.
No, this is not a must, unless the
Holy Spirit puts the desire in your heart. But the apostle seems to take it for
granted that believers will celebrate the Passover . . .
“for our Passover Lamb, the Messiah, has been sacrificed for us.
Let us therefore celebrate the feast.” (1