The name "Easter" is merely the slightly changed English spelling of the name of the ancient Assyrian goddess Ishtar, pronounced by the Assyrians exactly as we pronounce "Easter." The Babylonian name of this goddess was Astarte, consort of Baal, the Sun-god, whose worship is denounced by the Almighty in the Bible as the most abominable of all pagan idolatry.
Look up the word "Easter" in Webster's dictionary. You will find: "AS. (Anglo-Saxon), from name of old Teuton goddess of spring."
Easter, as Hislop says (The Two Babylons) "bears its Chaldean origin on its very forehead. Easter is nothing else than Astarte, one of the titles of Beltis, the 'queen of heaven,' whose name, as pronounced by the people of Nineveh, was evidently identical with that now in common use in this country."
The ancient gods of the pagans had many different names. While this goddess was called Astarte in Babylon, it appears on Assyrian monuments found by Layard in excavations at Nineveh as Ishtar (Layard's Nineveh and Babylon, page 629). Both were pronounced "Easter." Likewise, Beltis, or Bel (referred to in the Old Testament) also was called Moloch. It was for sacrificing to Moloch (I Kings 11:1-11, especially verse 7, where Moloch is called an abomination) and other pagan gods that the Eternal condemned Solomon, and rended away the Kingdom of Israel from his son.
In the ancient Chaldean idolatrous Sun-worship, Baal was the sun god, Astarte his consort, or wife. And Astarte is the same as Ishtar, or the English Easter.
Says Hislop: "The festival, of which we read in church history, under the name of Easter, in the third or fourth centuries, was quite a different festival from that now observed in the Romish (and Protestant) church, and at that time was not known by any such name as Easter. IT WAS CALLED PASSOVER, and was very early observed by Christians . . . . That festival agreed originally with the time of the Jewish Passover, when Christ was crucified. . . . That festival was not idolatrous, and was preceded by no Lent."
Where Did We Get LENT?
"It ought to be known," wrote Cassianus in the fifth century, "that the observance of the forty days (Lent) had no existence, so long as the perfection of that primitive Church remained inviolate."
Jesus observed no Lent. The apostles and the early true Church of God observed no Lenten season. Then how did this observance originate?
"The forty days' abstinence of Lent was directly borrowed from the worshippers of the Babylonian goddess. Such a Lent of forty days, 'in the spring of the year,' is still observed by the Yezidis or pagan Devil-worshippers of Koordistan, who have inherited it from their early masters, the Babylonians. Such a Lent was held by the pagan Mexicans, in honor of the sun. . . . Such a Lent was observed in Egypt (Wilkinson's Egyptians). This Egyptian Lent of forty days was held expressly in commemoration of Adonis or Osiris, the great mediatorial god." (The Two Babylons, by Hislop, pages 104 and 105, and Sabean Researches, by Landseer, p. 112).
Do you realize what has happened? God Almighty commanded His people to observe the PASSOVER forever! (Ex. 12:24). This command was given while the Israelites were still in Egypt, prior to the Old Covenant, or the Law of Moses! It pictured, before the Crucifixion, Christ's death for the remission of our sins, as a type looking forward to it. At His last Passover, Jesus changed the emblems used from the blood of a lamb and eating its roasted body to the bread and wine.
Jesus did not abolish Passover — He merely CHANGED the emblems, or symbols used. All the apostles of Christ, and true Christians of the first century true Church observed it, on the 14th day of the first month of the sacred calendar. It is now a MEMORIAL of Christ's death, reaffirming, year by year on its anniversary, the true Christian's FAITH in the blood of Christ for the remission of his sins, and the broken body of Christ for his physical healing.
But what has happened? DO YOU REALIZE IT? All western nations have been deceived into dropping the festival God ordained forever to commemorate the death of the true Saviour for our sins, and substituting in its place the PAGAN festival in commemoration of the counterfeit "saviour" and mediator of Baal, the SUN GOD, named after the mythical Ishtar, his wife — actually none other than the ancient Semiramis, who palmed herself off as the wife of the sun god, the idolatrous "QUEEN OF HEAVEN."
THIS is not Christian! IT IS PAGAN TO THE CORE!
Yet scores of millions of Americans are deceived into observing this form of heathen idolatry, under the delusion they are honoring Jesus Christ the Son of the Creator GOD!
Easter does not honor Christ! And yet, have you not been, like a blind sheep, following the other millions in this custom? "The times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth to come to repentance" (Acts 17:30).
Hot Cross Buns and Dyed Eggs
But did you know the hot cross buns, and dyed Easter eggs also figured in the idolatrous Chaldean rites, just as they do in Easter observance today?
Yes, these are pagan, too. The "buns," known by that identical name, were used in the worship of the "queen of heaven," the goddess Easter, as early as the days of Cecrops, the founder of Athens, 1500 years before Christ (The Two Babylons, pp. 107-108).
"One species of sacred bread," says Bryant, in Mythology, Vol. 1, p. 373, "which used to be offered to the gods, was of great antiquity, and called Boun."
It will astonish you, but it's true — one of the reasons God drove the Jews into Babylonian captivity was this very idolatry — their whole families joined in this idolatrous worship, in making and offering HOT CROSS BUNS!
Read the entire 7th chapter of Jeremiah. Here is God's stern sentence upon Judah, thru Jeremiah the prophet, "If you really amend your life and doings," God warns them, "I will allow you to remain in this place (Palestine) for all time." But they would not listen. Then "I will cast you out of my sight," says God to Judah. And to Jeremiah He says, "Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah . . . ?
"The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, TO MAKE CAKES TO THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN . . . that they may provoke me to anger. . . . Therefore thus saith the Lord God: Behold, mine anger and my fury shall be poured out upon this place, upon man, upon beast . . . and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched" (Verses 18-20).
The Hebrew word for "cakes" as Jeremiah originally wrote it is "kavvan," and really means "BUNS." The word "bun" seems, says Hislop, to have been derived from this word. This Hebrew word is used nowhere else in the Bible, except Jer. 44:19, where again the same idolatrous worship to the queen of heaven by these hot cross buns is mentioned. Every other place in the Bible where the English word "cakes" is used, a different Hebrew word was used in the original.
Jeremiah was referring to HOT CROSS BUNS — exactly the same kind hundreds of you who read this have been buying and eating at "Easter season"!
The origin of the Easter egg is just as clear. It is recorded in Davies' Druids, p. 208, that the ancient Druids bore an egg as the sacred emblem of their idolatrous order. On p. 207, same history, it is recorded that in the mysteries of Bacchus, as celebrated in Athens, part of the idolatrous ceremony consisted in the consecration of an egg. Hindoo fables celebrate their mundane egg as of a golden color. It has been ancient custom in Japan to make their sacred egg a hard brazen color. In China dyed or painted eggs are used on "sacred" heathen festivals. In the idolatry of ancient Egypt and Greece eggs were used in their religious rites.
WHY do Americans who believe themselves to be Christians, dye eggs at Easter? Do they suppose the BIBLE ordained, or commands, this heathen custom? THERE IS NOT A WORD OF IT IN THE NEW TESTAMENT. Certainly Christ did not start it, and the apostles and early Christians did none of it!
Then WHY SHOULD YOU DO IT TODAY? Why follow heathenism and try to convince yourself you are a Christian? God calls such things ABOMINATION!
How Easter Crept into the Church
Such is the origin, and early history of Easter.
How, then, was this pagan festival injected into the professing Christian religion, as a substitute for an ordinance of God?
Before revealing briefly the astonishing account of this great deception, two facts must be firmly fixed in mind.
First, Jesus and the apostles foretold, not a universal, widespread popular growth of the true New Testament Church, but A FALLING AWAY FROM THE TRUTH on the part of the great majority. Prophesying a popular, universal FALLING AWAY from the faith once delivered, to the Thessalonians, Paul stated, "the mystery of iniquity doth already work," (2 Thes. 2:7), only some 30 years after the Church began! He referred to the very "Chaldean Mysteries," of which Easter and Christmas were the two chief festivals!
Second, although Jesus said the gates of hell would never prevail against His Church, yet it is everywhere prophesied thru the New Testament as the "Little Flock" — never as a great, large, popular universal church.
This is the very fact the world does not realize today!
TWO Churches — One False, One True
In New Testament prophecy TWO CHURCHES are described.
One, the great and powerful and universal church, a part of the world, actually ruling in its politics over many nations, and united with the "Holy Roman Empire," is brought to a concrete focus in Rev. 17.
This church is pictured with great pomp, ritual and display, decked in purple, scarlet and gold — proud, worldly, boastful. She is pictured as a universal DECEIVER — the whole western world spiritually DRUNK with her false doctrines, their spiritual perception so blurred by her paganized teachings and practices they are unable to clearly distinguish TRUTH! She boasts she is the true Church, yet she is drunken with the blood of the saints she has caused to be martyred!
But how could she have deceived the whole world, as foretold in God's Word? Surely, the Protestant world isn't deceived!
Oh, but it is! Notice, verse 5, she is a MOTHER church! Her daughters are also churches who have come out of her, even in protest, calling themselves Protestant — but they are fundamentally of her family in pagan doctrines and practices! They, too, make themselves a part of this world, taking active part in its politics — the very act which made a "whore" out of their MOTHER!
The entire apostate family — Mother, and more than 500 daughter denominations, all divided against each other and in CONFUSION of doctrines, yet all united in the chief pagan doctrines and festivals — has a family NAME! They call themselves "Christian," but God calls them something else! — "MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT!"
"Babylon" means confusion! God always names people and things by calling them what they are! And here is the same identical ancient BABYLONIAN MYSTERIES now wrapped in the false cloak labeled "Christianity" — but, in fact, it is the same old "CHALDEAN MYSTERIES"! THUS GOD NAMES THIS RELIGIOUS SYSTEM!
But where, then, was the TRUE Church?
TRUE Church Small — Scattered
Did the true Church of God, of which Jesus Christ is the Living, Directing Head, become perverted — did it merely apostatize into the system described above?
NO! The gates of hell have never prevailed against the true Church of God, and never will! The true Church has never fallen! It has never ceased!
But the true Church of God is pictured in prophecy as the "Little Flock"! The New Testament describes this Church as continually persecuted, despised by the large popular churches because it is not OF this world or its politics, but has kept itself unspotted from the world! It has always kept the Commandments of God and the Faith of Jesus. It has kept God's festivals, not the pagan holidays. It has been empowered with the Spirit of God!
That Church never degenerated into the great popular church at Rome, as the Protestant world supposes! That Church always has existed, and it exists today!
Then where did it go? Where was it during the Middle Ages?
First, remember this Church was never large, never politically powerful, or a world-known ORGANIZATION OF MEN. It is a SPIRITUAL ORGANISM, not a political organization. It is composed of all whose hearts and lives have been CHANGED by the Spirit of God, whether visibly together, or individually scattered.
Under the lash of continual persecution and opposition of the organized forces of this world, it is difficult for such a people to remain UNITED and ORGANIZED together.
Daniel prophesied the true people of God would be scattered (Dan. 12:7). Ezekiel foretold it (34:5-12). Jeremiah, too, (23:1-2). Jesus foretold it (Mat. 26:31). The Apostolic Church was soon scattered by persecution (Acts 8:1). James addresses his letter to Christians scattered abroad (Jas. 1:1).
Injected into the Church
Nothing illustrates this very fact more vividly, than the actual history of the injecting of Easter into the Western Church.
Here is the quick, brief history of it, from the Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th edition, article on "EASTER":
"There is no indication of the observance of the Easter festival in the New Testament, or in the writings of the Apostolic Fathers. . . . The first Christians [the original TRUE Church] continued to observe the Jewish [that is, GOD'S] festivals, though in a new spirit, as commemorations of events which those festivals had foreshadowed. Thus the Passover, with a new conception added to it, of Christ as the true Paschal Lamb and the first fruits from the dead, continued to be observed."
"Although the observance of Easter was at a very early period in the practice of the Christian Church, a serious difference as to the day for its observance soon arose between the Christians of Jewish and those of Gentile descent, which led to a long and bitter controversy. With the Jewish Christians . . . the fast ended . . . on the 14th day of the moon at evening . . . without regard to the day of the week. The Gentile Christians on the other hand [that is, the beginning of the Catholic church, now substituting pagan for true Christian doctrines] . . . identified the first day of the week with the resurrection, and kept the preceding Friday as the commemoration of the crucifixion, irrespective of the day of the month."
"Generally speaking, the Western Churches [Catholic] kept Easter on the 1st day of the week, while the Eastern Churches [containing most of those who remained as part of the TRUE Christian church] followed the Jewish rule." (That is, observing Passover on the 14th of the first sacred month instead of the pagan Easter.)
"Polycarp, the disciple of John the Evangelist, and bishop of Smyrna, visited Rome in 159 to confer with Anicetus, the bishop of that see, on the subject, and urged the tradition which he had received from the apostle of observing the 14th day. Anicetus, however, declined. About forty years later , the question was discussed in a very different spirit between Victor, bishop of Rome, and Polycrates, metropolitan of proconsular Asia [the territory of the Churches at Ephesus, Galatia, Antioch, Philadelphia, and all those mentioned in Rev. 2 and 3 — the churches established thru the apostle Paul]. That province was the only portion of Christendom which still adhered to the Jewish [the writer should have used the words "true Christian" instead of "Jewish"] usage. Victor demanded that all should adopt the usage prevailing at Rome. This Polycrates firmly refused to agree to, and urged many weighty reasons to the contrary, whereupon Victor proceeded to excommunicate Polycrates and the Christians who continued the Eastern usage [that is, who continued in GOD'S way, as Jesus, Peter, Paul, and all the early true Church had done]. He was, however, restrained [by other bishops] from actually proceeding to enforce the decree of excommunication . . . and the Asiatic churches retained their usage unmolested. We find the Jewish [true Christian Passover] usage from time to time reasserting itself after this, but it never prevailed to any large extent.
"A final settlement of the dispute was one among the other reasons which led Constantine to summon the council at Nicaea in 325. At that time the Syrians and Antiochenes were the solitary champions of the observance of the 14th day. The decision of the council was unanimous that Easter was to be kept on Sunday, and on the same Sunday throughout the world, and that 'none hereafter should follow the blindness of the Jews'. [That is, in plain language, the Catholic church now decreed that none should be allowed to follow the ways of CHRIST — of the TRUE Christian Church!]
". . . The few who afterwards separated themselves from the unity of the church [Roman church], and continued to keep the 14th day, were named 'Quarto-decimani,' and the dispute itself is known as the 'Quartodeciman controversy'."
Thus you see how the politically organized church at Rome grew to great size and power by adopting popular pagan practices; how she gradually stamped out the true teachings, doctrines, and practices of CHRIST, and the true Church, so far as any collective practice is concerned.
It was only by violence and bloodshed, at last, says Hislop (The Two Babylons, p. 107), that the idolatrous festival of the Chaldean goddess Easter came to supersede that which God had ordained to be observed forever!
What Was Easter Originally?
The word " Easter" is found one time in the entire authorized King James Bible:
"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 to bring him forth to the people." (Acts 12:1-4)
So here we have a situation in Acts chapter 12. Herod had just beheaded James, it made the Jews happy. Now Herod wanted to kill Peter also, but he wanted to wait until after "Easter" according to the King James Bible. Notice that the NIV bible has the word "Passover" instead of "Easter." I will prove to you from the King James Bible that "Easter" is in fact, the proper word to use.
The word "Easter" here, does NOT refer to " Easter" as we know it nor does it refer to the " Passover" as it is wrongly translated in other Bible versions.
Though many Christians celebrate "Easter" in remembrance of the resurrection, Easter was originally a pagan festival (etymology of your dictionary should confirm this), which is what Acts 12:4 refers to and not the Passover. We will determine this by looking at the passage.
The Webster's New World Dictionary gives the following etymology (origin and development of a word), for the word "Easter":
originally, name of pagan vernal [spring time] festival ALMOST COINCIDENT in date with paschal [Passover] festival of the church,--Eastre, dawn goddess --Austro, dawn
In other words, Easter was originally a pagan festival celebrated in the spring time.
"Easter" is Only Translated Correctly in the King James Bible
The word, "Easter" has been incorrectly translated "Passover" in all Bible versions except for the authorized King James Bible. How do I know this? The Bible shows it. Notice again in the passage of Acts 12:1-4, King Herod killed James. When he saw that it pleased the Jews, he also took Peter. Notice that Herod took Peter DURING the DAYS OF UNLEAVENED BREAD and was going to bring him forth to the people AFTER Easter.
"In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD's passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread." (Leviticus 23:5,6)
So we learn from this Scripture that the day of Passover fell on the 14th day of the first month, and then the "FEAST of UNLEAVENED BREAD" began upon the 15th day of the first month.
The days of unleavened bread came AFTER Passover! Acts 12:3 tells us that Peter was apprehended DURING the "days of unleavened bread." This means that the day of Passover had ALREADY occurred. "Easter" could not have been Passover, because Passover occurred BEFORE the days of unleavened bread. Passover had come and gone. Herod decided to bring Peter forth AFTER Easter. This is the sequence:
1. PASSOVER2. DAYS OF UNLEAVENED BREAD3. EASTER
Let's look at it from the book of Numbers as well:
Passover only comes once a year on one day, the 14th of Abib ( Num 28:16). After the Passover comes the days of unleavened bread (Numbers 28:17), extending from the fifteenth day through the twentieth day of Abib. So when Peter was arrested during the days of unleavened bread (Acts 12:3), Passover had come and gone! The Bible says that Herod was going to bring him forth AFTER Easter ( which had not come yet).
When the King James Bible says " EASTER" in Acts 12:4, it is correct; when the other versions say " PASSOVER" in Acts 12:4, they are incorrect. " Easter" in this passage is referring to a pagan festival (remember the etymology teaches that the pagan " Easter" is almost coincident with paschal (Passover)...