Journal Entry February 4, 2006

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I received this message in my email inbox. Following it is my response.

 

>>As you may know, Easter is always the 1st Sunday after the 1st full moon after the Spring Equinox. This dating of Easter is based on the lunar calendar that Hebrew people used to identify Passover, which is why it moves around on our Roman calendar.<<

 

I hate to spoil anyone's Easter party, but the facts above are not correct. Easter does indeed occur on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the Spring Equinox, but Easter is not synonymous with Passover, and the dating of Easter is not based on the Lunar calendar that the Hebrew people use to identify Passover.

 

The ecclesiastical rules for determining the date of Easter date back to 325 BC at the first council of Nicaea convened by the Roman Emperor, Constantine. It is therefore, by decree of the Roman Catholic Church that the date of Easter is based on the spring equinox of any given year. The Jewish calendar is not, and never has been, consulted in this.  

 

The method for determining the date of Easter has been a matter of controversy for quite some time. The Western churches celebrate Easter on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the spring equinox. The Eastern churches (Greek, Russian, and other forms of Orthodoxy) use the same calculation, but based on the Julian calendar and a 19-year paschal cycle.  Thus the Orthodox Easter sometimes falls on the same day as the western Easter, but the two celebrations can occur as much as five weeks apart. In 1997 The World Council of Churches and The Middle East Council of Churches got together to propose common methods for reckoning the date of Easter. No resolution was reached.

 

It is true that the festival of Easter is always observed on the 1st Sunday after the first full moon following the Spring Equinox (for the western church), but the date for Passover is fixed. Passover is always observed on the 14th of Abib (it is not determined by astrological means, Deut16:1, Lev 23:5).

 

Although Easter and Passover sometimes occur on the same date, the spring equinox never has and never will have anything to do with The Feast of the Lord called, Passover, or with The Feast of the Lord that foretold the resurrection of Jesus Christ, First Fruits (the date of which also coincides with Easter at times). 

 

Jesus rose on the feast of First Fruits, not Passover. Passover is the feast representing and foretelling his death. First Fruits is the feast representing and foretelling his resurrection. First Fruits always falls on the Sunday (the first day of the week) following Passover.

 

Below is an article I have published previously on the subject of Easter:

 

 

He Is Risen!

 

The third Feast of the Lord--firstfruits--foretold the resurrection of Jesus Christ for centuries before he was born—ever since the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt.

 

That feast of the Lord, which the children of Israel were commanded to observe, forever, is now a commemorative celebration—honoring his resurrection (whether anyone acknowledges it as such or not).

 

Jesus died on the day of Passover (which always falls on the fourteenth of the month—Leviticus 23:5. Passover represented and foretold the death of The Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. The day after Passover, Unleavened Bread began on the fifteenth of the month (Leviticus 23:6). Unleavened Bread represented and foretold the putting away of the Mosaic Law (see http://hungryheartsministries.com/id33.html ). This happened while Jesus’ body still laid in the grave. Then comes the feast of First Fruits which always occurs on the first day of the week—more specifically, the first Sunday following Passover. The feast of First Fruits represented and foretold the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and that is exactly the day he rose from the dead.

 

A scriptural celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ would, therefore, be entirely appropriate in connection with the feast of First Fruits—which brings us to the day most of us have traditionally connected with the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Easter Sunday.

 

What does the festival of Easter have to do with the resurrection of our Lord? And how is it that Christians began calling the celebration of his resurrection Easter Sunday?

 

Like First Fruits, Easter is also always celebrated on the first day of the week—more specifically—the first Sunday following the first full moon of the Spring Equinox (First Fruits and Easter can, but not always, fall on the same day).

 

The celebration of Easter has been around for a very long time and was celebrated for centuries before the birth of Jesus Christ, but it had nothing whatsoever to do with him then—nor does it now.

 

The name "Easter" is simply the name of the goddess (demon) Astarte or Ishtar (hence the name "Easter").

 

In case anyone is unfamiliar with those names, the scriptures refer to this [demon] goddess as the "Queen of Heaven." And the worship of her with little cakes (the very same "hot cross buns" of Good Friday) is denounced sharply. Would it come as a surprise anyone that dyed eggs are also associated with the worship of this goddess?

 

So, how is it that the Christian church has embraced the traditions connected with the worship of a goddess who, throughout ancient history, appears in several false religious systems in diverse geographical locations? The answer to this is easily verifiable with only a small amount of research. 

 

When Christianity became the official state religion of Rome, the Roman public was encouraged to join the newly formed Roman "Christian" Church. And to make Christianity more appealing to the polytheistic, idol worshipping Romans, they were encouraged to bring their pagan gods, traditions, and festivals along with them.  These were then renamed and "christianized" in order to make them more palatable to the devout.

 

There are numerous examples of this, but this article is dealing only with one instance, and that is the christianized pagan festival of Easter.

 

"But it's in the Bible!" you say. Yes, Easter is mentioned in the book of Acts (12:2-4 kjv). There we see Herod waiting until after "Easter" to have the apostle Peter killed.

 

That should settle the issue shouldn't it?

 

Not necessarily. Think about this, did Herod celebrate the resurrection of our Lord? Were the Jews cried out for Jesus’ crucifixion, and who wanted to see Peter killed as well, celebrating the resurrection of our Lord?

 

No! They were not. But they were celebrating Easter.

 

Easter was a widely celebrated event in their time and well before. And there is little doubt that Herod, the consummate politician, celebrated it as well.

 

It is widely taught that, due to the religious tradition of the translators,  this reference to Easter in Acts 12 is a mistranslation of the Greek word translated Passover elsewhere in scripture but was it really?

 

There are many who believe the translators had good reason for choosing the word "Easter" in this passage instead of Passover.

 

The feast of Unleavened Bread (which immediately follows Passover) was being celebrated by the Jews at that same time. But unlike Unleavened Bread (which lasts a week), Passover is a "one day" event, and it had already passed (Acts 12:3).

 

So to use the word, Passover, in verse 4 would have been an inappropriate translation, as Passover had, indeed, already come and gone.

 

Herod really was waiting until after "Easter" (the pagan festival honoring the queen of heaven, which had absolutely nothing to do with celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ) before he had the apostle of Jesus Christ, killed.

 

Easter Sunday is just what the name implies—It is Easter—Ishtar Sunday. It has never had anything to do with the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

 

The question begs to be asked: Why would any Christian attempt to honor the resurrection of our Lord, the most sacred event connected with our faith, using the name of a pagan goddess (i.e. a devil) along with the cakes and decorated eggs that have been used to honor her for centuries and prefer her day over the one designated in scripture?

 

 

 

We must work while it is day

"The night cometh when no man can work" John 9:4

  http://Lulu.com/JocelynAndersen    

Redemption: Bible Prophecy Simplified

http://HungryHeartsMinistries.com

 

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