The Truth About Easter
Why do you believe the things you believe and do the things you do? The chances are you have never stopped to ask yourself those questions. Most have been taught since childhood to observe Easter as the chief of the Christian holidays. You may have assumed it to be part of the Christian religion to observe Lent, “Holy Week”, “Good Friday,” to buy hot cross buns at the bakery, to have colored Easter eggs, to dress up and go to church on Easter Sunday – perhaps attend an Easter sunrise Service.
Because most of us have been taught these things from our youth, we observe these things even in our adulthood. We seldom question those in authority whom we assume know what they are talking about. Most of
us believe and do a lot of things that are not supported by the Bible, assuming these beliefs or practices are correct, or even of sacred obligation. If we never question what we believe and practice, then those beliefs and practices, whether true or false, get passed down from generation to generation.
Ishtar the Pagan Goddess
What is the meaning of the name “Easter?” We have been led to associate Easter with the “resurrection of Messiah.” For over 1600 years the Christian world has been taught that Messiah rose from the dead on Sunday morning. According to the Scriptures He was resurrected on the “first day of the week . . . when it was yet dark” (John 20:1). There was not a Gregorian calendar at that time in history with the pagan names of the months and days of the week that are used in it. That is merely one of the fables the Apostle Paul warned readers of the New Testament to expect. “And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:4). The name “Easter” is the slightly changed English spelling of the name of the ancient Assyrian and Babylonian goddess, “Ishtar.” The Phoenician name of this goddess was “Astarte,” consort of Baal, the sun god, whose worship is denounced by Elohim in the Bible as the most abominable of all pagan idolatry. When we look up the word “Easter” in the Webster’s Dictionary, we find it clearly reveals the pagan origin of the name. “From Eostre, the goddess of dawn whose festival was celebrated at the spring equinox,” which gives meaning to the “sunrise services” often celebrated within the Christian community on this day. In the five-volume Hastings Dictionary of the Bible, only six brief lines are given to the name “Easter,” because it occurs only once in the Bible – and that only in the King James translation. Says Hastings: “Easter, used in the Authorized Version as the translation of ‘Pascha’ in Acts 12:4, ‘Intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.’ Revised Standard Version has substituted correctly ‘the Passover’.”
Apostles Observed Passover
The World Almanac, 1968 edition, page 187, says: “In the second century A.D., Easter Day was, among Christians in Asia Minor [that is, in the Churches at Ephesus, Galatia, etc. – the so-called “Gentile” churches raised up by the Apostle Paul] the 14th day of Nisan, the seventh month of the Jewish [civil, non-Biblical] calendar, in other words, the 14th day of the first month of the Biblical calendar which begins at the first new (full) moon after the spring equinox. It was not then called by the name of the pagan deity “Easter,” but by the Biblical name 'Passover.' Passover, the days of unleavened bread, Pentecost, and the Feast days Elohim had ordained to be observed forever, were all observed by Yahushua, and the early apostles, and the converted Gentile Christians (Acts 2:1; 12:3; 18:21; 20:6, 16; 1 Corinthians 5:7-8; 16:8). Passover is now the memorial of the crucifixion of Messiah. “And He took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is My body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19). Passover, observed by the early true Christian Church, occurred not on a Friday or any fixed day of the Gregorian calendar week, but on the 14th day of the first month of the Biblical calendar at night. This day of the month according to the Biblical calendar varies from year to year in reference to the Gregorian calendar. There was not a seven-day Gregorian calendar in existence at that time, but the eight-day Julian calendar, which was the predecessor of the Gregorian calendar, was in existence at that time. Easter is one of the pagan days Paul warned the Gentile converts they must not return to observing. “Howbeit then, when you knew not Elohim, you did service unto them which by nature are no gods [or goddesses]. But now, after that you have known Elohim, or rather are known of Elohim, how turn you again to weak and beggarly elements, whereunto you desire again to be in bondage? You observe days [Easter, Christmas, etc.] and months [Lent], and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain” (Galatians 4:8-11, emphasis added). How then did this pagan festival enter into and fasten itself upon a professing Christianity? That is a surprising story – but first, notice the true origin and nature of “Easter.”
Its Chaldean Origin
“Easter,” as Alexander Hislop says (The Two Babylons, p. 103), “bears its Chaldean origin on its very forehead. Easter is nothing else than Astarte, one of the titles of Beltis, the queen of heaven.” The ancient gods of the pagans had many different names varying from country to country.
NIMROD The Lord of Heaven
|TAMMUZ The Son or Messiah
||SEMERAMIS The Queen of Heaven
While this goddess was called Astarte by the Phoenicians, it appears on Assyrian monuments found by Layard in excavations at Nineveh as Ishtar (Austen H. Layard, Nineveh and Babylon, Vol. II., p. 629). Both were pronounced “Easter.” Likewise, Bel (referred to the in the Old Testament), also was called Molech. It was for sacrificing to Molech (1 Kings 11:1-11), especially verse 7, where Molech is called an abomination and other pagan gods that Elohim condemned Solomon for, and rendered away the Kingdom of Israel from his son, Rehoboam. In ancient Chaldean idolatrous sun-worship, as practiced by the Phoenicians, Baal was the sun god; Astarte, his consort or wife. 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 Pascha (Greek), or the Passover, and . . . was very early observed by many professing Christians . . . That festival agreed originally with the time of the Jewish Passover, when Christ was crucified . . . That festival was not idolatrous, and it was not preceded by anything which was called Lent” (The Two Babylons, p. 104).
Where Did We Get Lent?
“Howbeit you should know,” wrote Johannes Cassianus (John Cassian) in the fifth century, “that as long as the primitive church retained its perfection unbroken, this observance of Lent did not exist” (First Conference Abbot Theonas, chapter 30). Yahushua did not observe Lent. The apostles and the early true Church of Elohim 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, Ishtar. 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 of forty days was observed in Egypt” (The Two Babylons, pp. 104-105). In fact this Egyptian Lent of forty days was observed expressly in honor of Osiris, also known as Adonis in Syria and Tammuz in Babylonia (Sabean Researches, by John Landseer, pp. 111-112). Do you realize what has happened? Almighty Elohim commanded His people “thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations . . . for all that do these things are an abomination unto Yahuwah” (Deuteronomy 18:9-12). And Elohim had commanded His people to observe the Passover forever! “And you shall observe this thing (Passover) for an ordinance to thee and thy sons forever” (Exodus 12:24). This command was given while the Israelites were still in Egypt, prior to the Law of Moses being given! It pictured, before the crucifixion, Messiah’s death for the remission of our sins, as a type pointing forward to it. At His last Passover, Yahushua changed the emblems used from the blood of a lamb and eating it roasted to the eating of the bread and the drinking of the wine. Yahushua did not abolish Passover – He merely changed the emblems, or symbols used. All the Apostles of Messiah and the true Christians of the first century, which composed the true Church, observed it on the 14th day of the first month of the Biblical calendar. It is now a memorial of Messiah’s death, reaffirming, year by year on its anniversary, the true Christian’s faith in the blood of Messiah for the remission of his sins. But do you realize what has happened? All the Christian Churches have been deceived into dropping the Feast Day Elohim ordained forever to commemorate the death of the true Saviour for our sins, and has substituted in its place the pagan festival in commemoration of Ishtar who is none other than the ancient Semiramis, who palmed herself off as the wife of the sun god, the idolatrous “queen of heaven” mentioned in Jeremiah 44:17-19, 25. Easter has nothing to do with the Bible and is pagan to its core! Yet millions are deceived into observing this form of heathen idolatry, under the delusion they are honoring Yahushua Messiah, the Son of the Creator! Easter does not honor Messiah! And yet like blind sheep we have all been taught to observe this pagan custom. “The times of this ignorance Elohim winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30).
But did you know that dyed Easter eggs also figured in the ancient Babylonian mystery rites, just as they do in the Easter observance today? Yes these are pagan too. It is recorded in Edward Davies’ “The Mythology and Rites of the British Druids”, page 210, that the ancient Druids bore an egg as the sacred emblem of their idolatrous order. Eggs were sacred to many ancient civilizations and formed an integral part of the religious ceremonies in Egypt and in the Orient. According to James Bonwick, “Eggs were hung up in the Egyptian temples. Bunsen calls attention to the mundane egg, the emblem of generative life, proceeding from the mouth of the great god of Egypt. The mystic egg of Babylon, hatching the Venus Ishtar, fell from heaven to the Euphrates. Dyed eggs were sacred Easter offerings in Egypt, as they still are in China and Europe. Easter, or spring, was the season of birth, terrestrial and celestial” (Egyptian Belief and Modern Thought. pp. 211-212). Why do people 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 Yahushua did not start it, and the Apostles and early Christians did none of it! Why follow heathenism and try to convince yourself you are Christian? Elohim calls such practices an abomination!
Easter Sunrise Services
You think Easter sunrise services are beautiful? Elohim was showing the prophet Ezekiel the sins of His people in a vision – a prophecy pertaining to today! “Turn thee yet again,” said Elohim, “and thou shalt see greater abominations than these [Ezekiel had just been shown in vision idol worship among the professed people of Elohim.]. And he brought me into the inner court of Yahuwah’s house, and behold, at the door of the temple of Yahuwah, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of Yahuwah, and their faces toward the east: and they worshipped the sun toward the east. Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah [or to anyone professing to worship Elohim] that they commit abominations which they commit here? . . . for they . . . provoke Me to anger . . . Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in Mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them” (Ezekiel 8:15-18). Do you grasp what this most abominable thing is? It is the identical thing millions are doing every Easter Sunday morning – the sunrise service – standing with their faces toward the east, as the sun is rising, in a service of worship which honors the sun god and his mythical idolatrous consort, goddess Easter (“From Eostre, the goddess of dawn whose festival was celebrated at the spring equinox” Webster’s Dictionary). Revelation 12:9 tells us that “the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world”. There is even a song within the Christian Community entitled “Let us Break Bread Together.” The lyrics have within the song this phrase; “When I fall on my knees with my face towards the rising sun, O Lord have mercy on me.” Yes, millions are deceived into believing this is a Christian holiday (not a Biblical holy day) and practice every Easter the identical form of the ancient sun worship of the sun god Baal! Throughout the Bible this is revealed as the most abominable of all idolatry in the sight of Elohim!
How Easter Crept Into the Church
Such is the origin of and early history of Easter. How then was this pagan festival injected into the professing Christian religion, as a substitute for an ordinance of Elohim?
Before revealing the astonishing account of this great deception, two facts must be firmly fixed in the mind. First, Yahushua 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. “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day (the return of Yahuhsua) shall not come, except there come a falling away first” (2 Thessalonians 2:3). Prophesying a popular, universal falling away from the faith once delivered to the Thessalonians, Paul stated, “The mystery of iniquity doth already work” (2 Thessalonians 2:7). And this was said around 20 years after the Church began! He was referring to the “Chaldean Mysteries,” of which Easter and Christmas were the two chief festivals. Second, although Yahushua said the gates of hell would never prevail against His Church, yet it is prophesied in the New Testament to be a “little flock” and never as a great, large, popular, universal church. “Fear not, little flock: for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). This is a fact the world does not realize today!
Two Churches – One False, One True
In the New Testament two churches are described. One is described as a partner with the political elements of this world. This church is described in Revelation 13 as the part having seven heads. These are the seven religious belief systems of the world that nearly all can be separated into. In Daniel 2 the religions or churches of this world are described in the feet and toes of the statue being of part clay and part of iron; a mixture of the political and religious bodies of this world. In Revelation 13, the seven heads are associated with the ten horns which represent the political powers of this world. The New World Order that will be in power for 42 months soon after the “time of trouble” spoken of in Daniel 12:1. This body is pictured in Revelation chapter 17 with great pomp, ritual and display, decked in purple, scarlet and gold – proud, worldly, and boastful. She is pictured as a Universal deceiver – all nations having drunk of her false doctrines, their spiritual perceptions so blurred by her paganized teachings and practices they are unable to clearly distinguish truth from error! She is drunken with the blood of the saints she has caused to be martyred. She is riding on a beast who is none other than Satan who we saw earlier deceiving the whole world (Revelation 12:9). Babylon is the Mother Church from which all her daughters, the religions of this world, have derived their pagan beliefs from and from where they originated – ancient Babylon during the days of Nimrod and Semiramis and Tammuz. Babylon has infected every religion on the face of this planet with her whoredoms. We have been seeing how even the Christian denominations are infected with its teachings and practices. When Elohim scattered the inhabitants of ancient Babylon after confusing their languages they carried the pagan customs, practices, and teachings with them as they spread over the face of the earth. But where is the true Church of Elohim?
True Church – Small and Scattered
Did the true Church of Elohim, of which Yahushua Messiah is the living, directing Head become perverted – did it merely apostatize into the systems described above? No! The gates of hell have never prevailed against the true Church of Elohim, and never will! The true Church has never fallen! It has never ceased! But the true Church of Elohim is pictured in the Bible as the “little flock.” The New Testament describes this Church as continually being persecuted, despised by the popular churches because it is not of this world, nor loves the things of this world. It has kept itself unspotted from the world! It has always kept the commandments of Elohim, and she has had the faith of Yahushua. “And the dragon [Satan – Revelation 12:9] was wroth with the woman [Elohim’s true Church], and went to make war with the remnant of her seed [the last remaining faithful ones] which keep the commandments of Elohim [as they were before they were changed by man and which include the Lunar-solar Sabbath] and have the testimony of Yahushua [‘The testimony of Yahushua is the spirit of prophecy’ (Revelation 19:10) which always has been a part of Elohim’s true Church (Revelation 1:7)]. It has kept Elohim’s Feast Days and not the pagan festivals. It has been empowered with the Spirit of Elohim! That Church has never been the popular church at Rome but has been hunted down and persecuted by that entity. That Church has always existed, and it exists today! Then where did it go? Where was it during the Middle Ages [or Dark Ages] when mankind was deprived of the light of the Word of Elohim? Where is it today?
First, remember this Church was never large, never politically powerful, or a world renown organization of men. It is a spiritual body composed of those who are walking in all of Elohim’s ways known or to be made known to mankind. It is composed of all whose hearts and lives have been changed by the Spirit of Elohim [have been "born again" (John 3:3-8)], whether visibly together, or individually scattered. Under the scourage of continual persecution and opposition from the organized forces, whether religious or political, of this world, it is difficult for such a people to remain united and organized together. Ezekiel foretold it in Ezekiel 34:5-12: “And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered. My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, My [little] flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them [except to hunt them down and kill them]. Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of Yahuwah; as I live saith Yahuwah Elohim, surely because My [little] flock became a prey, and My [little] flock became meat to every beast of the field, because neither did My shepherds search for My [little] flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not My flock; therefore, O you shepherds hear the word of Yahuwah; thus saith Yahuwah Elohim; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require My [little] flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the [little] flock [from the errors they have been feeding them]; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves anymore; for I will deliver My [little] flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them. For thus saith Yahuwah Elohim; Behold, I, even I, will both search My sheep, and seek them out. As a shepherd seeketh out His flock in the day that He is among His sheep that are scattered; so I will seek out My sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.” Jeremiah 23:1-2 also foretold the scattering of the true sheep of Elohim. Yahushua also foretold it in Matthew 26:31. And the Apostolic Church was soon scattered by persecution. The early believers worshipped in church homes and not in pagan temples renamed churches where were images of pagan deities renamed with Christian titles resided. The church (Greek – ekklesia - "the called out ones") consisted of those who had been “called out” (Isaiah 41:9) and was never associated with a building. Just as Israel had been called out of Egypt, Elohim has called people out of the world to follow Him and to become His servants. “But thou, Israel. art My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham My friend. Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art My servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away” (Isaiah 41:8-9, emphasis added). Most think they are a part of Elohim’s church by simply being born into a family that belongs to a Christian Church. But all “must be born again” (John 3:3-7).
Ignored by Most Histories
You will not read much of the true Body of Messiah in the secular histories of this world. No, the world little notes, nor long remembers, the activities of this “little flock” which were hated and despised by the world and the religions of the world. They were driven into the wildernesses of this world by persecution, always opposed, usually scattered. But there are enough references to it in authentic histories to show that it has continued through every century up until today. The prophecies bring this Church into focus in the 12th chapter of Revelation. There you see she is shown to be persecuted and driven into the wilderness for 1260 years through the Middle Ages.
Even in Paul’s days, many attending at Antioch, at Jerusalem, at Ephesus, at Corinth and many other places began to apostatize and turn away from the truth. Divisions sprang up. Those individuals, who were unconverted, turned from the truth and Elohim’s way of life, and were not a part of Elohim’s true Church, even though assembling with those who were. The “mystery of iniquity” was already working inside those visible churches. This apostasy increased and by the year A.D. 125 the majority in most churches, especially those composed of mainly Gentile-born converts, were continuing in many of their old pagan beliefs and customs and practices, though professing to be Christian. See Galatians 4:9-11. Gradually, a smaller and smaller portion of the visible churches going by the name of “Christian” remained, truly yielded to Elohim and obeying and following His truth and led by His Spirit. After the Emperor Constantine took control of the visible, professing Church in the early fourth century, this visible organization became almost wholly pagan, and began excommunicating or persecuting and putting to death all who held to the truths of the Word of Elohim and who refused to compromise the principles contained in the Word of Elohim! Finally, it became necessary for the true Christians to flee as a scattered people from the jurisdiction of Rome in order to truly worship Elohim in spirit and in truth! Thus the visible, organized Church which rose to power and supported by the civil authorities was the false Church, in belief and practice, and totally pagan with the names of pagan deities and practices Christianized (given Christian names).
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 a quick, brief history of it from the Encyclopedia Britannica (11th Edition, Volume VIII, pp. 828-829): “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 festivals [that is Elohim’s Feast days], though in a new spirit, as commemorations of events which those festivals [Feast days] had foreshadowed. Thus the Passover with a new conception, added to it of Christ as the true Paschal Lamb and the first fruit 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 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 (first month) at evening . . . without regard to the day of the week. The pagan calendar and the Biblical calendar do not harmonize. The Gentile Christians on the other hand [that is the beginning of the Roman Church, now substituting pagan teachings for true Biblical 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 [They were not observing the Biblical calendar].” See our study on the Three Days and Three Nights by clicking on the shaded area. “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 day of the first sacred (Biblical) month instead of (observing) the pagan Easter.]
“Polycarp, the disciple of John the Evangelist, and bishop of Smyrna, visited Rome in AD 159 [sic] to confer with Anicetus, the bishop of that see [Rome], on the subject, and urged the tradition which he had received from the apostles of observing the 14th day. Anicetus, however, declined. About forty years later (AD 197), 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 Revelation 2 and 3 – the Churches established through the Apostle Paul]. That province was the only portion of Christendom which still adhered to the Jewish usage [which was according to the Old Testament]. 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 Elohim’s way, as Yahushua, 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 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 Nicea in A.D. 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 Roman Church now decreed that none should be allowed to follow the ways of Messiah – 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 ‘Quartodecimani’, and the dispute itself is known as the ‘Quartodeciman contorversy’.”
Thus you see how the politically organized church at Rome grew in size and power by adopting popular pagan practices and how she gradually stamped out the true teachings, doctrines and practices of Messiah and the true Church who continued to follow the Bible as their standard by which they tested all teachings, doctrines and practices.
True Christians Kept Passover
The New Testament reveals that Yahushua, the Apostles and the New Testament Church, both Jewish-born and Gentile-born, observed Elohim’s (Lunar-solar) Sabbaths weekly, and Elohim’s Feast days annually, according to the Biblical method of calendation and not by the pagan system of calendation.
Take your Bible and carefully read Acts 2:1 (Pentecost); Acts 12:3-4 (remember the word “Easter” is a mistranslation in the KJV – originally in the Greek was “Pascha” meaning “Passover,” and so corrected in the Revised Standard Version; Acts 18:21; Acts 20:6, 16; 1 Corinthians 16:8. Eusebius, historian of the early centuries of the Church, speaks of the true Christians observing Passover of the 14th day of Nisan, the first month of the Biblical Calendar. “A question of no small importance arose at that time. For the parishes of all Asia, as from an older tradition, held that the fourteenth day of the moon [the month], on which day the Jews were commanded to sacrifice the lamb, should be observed as the feast of the Saviour’s Passover . . . the bishops of Asia, led by Polycrates, decided to hold to the old custom handed down to them. He, himself, in a letter which he addressed to Victor and the church of Rome, set forth in the following words the tradition which had come to him: ‘We observe the exact day; neither adding, nor taking away. For in Asia also great lights have fallen asleep, which shall rise again on the day of Master’s coming, when He shall come with glory from heaven, and shall seek out all the saints. Among these are Philip, one of the twelve apostles . . . and, moreover, John, who was both a witness and a teacher, who reclined upon the bosom of the Lord . . . and Polycarp in Smyrna, who was a bishop and martyr, Sagaris . . . the blessed Papirius, or Melito . . . All these observed the fourteenth day of the Passover according to the Gospel, deviating in no respect, but following the rule of faith’” (Ecclesiastical History, book V, Chapters XXIII and XXIV). But as the false paganized “Christian” church grew in size and political power, decrees were passed in the fourth century A.D. imposing the death sentence upon Christians found keeping Elohim’s Sabbath or Elohim’s Feast days. Finally, in order to keep the true way of Elohim, many Christians (composing the true Church) fled for their lives. But another large portion of the true Church of Elohim, failing to flee, yet remaining true to Elohim’s truth, paid with their lives in martyrdom. They loved obedience to Elohim more than their lives! “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto death” (Revelation 12:11, emphasis added). The question one must ask themselves today, do I? But through all generations, through every century, though persecuted, scattered, unrecognized by the world, many true Christians have kept alive the truths entrusted to the true Church of Elohim – “which keep the commandments of Elohim [as originally given and before they were changed by the papacy, to include the seventh day Sabbath as determined by the Lunar – solar calendar), and have the testimony of Yahushua” (Revelation 12:17).
What God Did Command
“Communion” often called the “Lord’s Supper,” is actually the Passover - as the observance should be properly called. On observing the Passover, as on every practice, Jude exhorts “that we should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). Now that we know the pagan origin of the Easter celebration, let us clear the web of error that covers the truth about keeping the Passover, the memorial of Messiah’s death. Let us examine the way Yahushua observed this Feast day because we cannot go wrong if we follow His example. “And when the hour was come, He [Yahushua] sat down . . . And He took bread, and gave thanks, and broke it, and gave unto them, saying, This is My body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of Me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in My blood, which is shed for you” (Luke 22:14-20). Notice, it was “when the hour was come,” that Yahushua introduced the unleavened bread and wine. There was a definite time – a definite hour – when He held this ordinance as an example for us to follow. Notice, too, He commanded them to observe it – “This do.” And why? “In remembrance of Me,” said Yahushua. He instituted this New Testament way of observing the Passover. Yahushua knew that His time had come. “For even Messiah our Passover is sacrificed for us” (1 Corinthians 5:7). The Passover had always been held during the night of the 14th day of Elohim’s first month which began at sunset of the thirteenth day, according to the Biblical Calendar. See Exodus 12:6, 18, 42. Yahushua was taking steps on that night before He died that His disciples and all His followers in the future might observe the Passover according to the manner in which He had set it up for them. The Passover as originally given to the nation of Israel pointed forward to the ultimate sacrifice to be made for all of mankind. After that sacrifice was completed, Messiah’s followers could look back with rejoicing knowing that the sacrifice had been completed for our redemption.
Even though Yahushua celebrated the “last supper” with His disciples on the night prior to the Passover, I believe we should partake of the “Last Supper” during the night of the 14th just as it was set up prior to Israel leaving Egypt. Yahushua knew He would not be alive on the Passover because He would be slain on the “preparation day of the Passover” (John 19:14). Again go to Three Days and Three Nights by clicking on the shaded area to see the proper sequence of events which took place during the last days of Yahushua prior to and including His death, burial and resurrection. Remember Yahushua commanded: “This do in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19). Why? Because the Passover was commanded to be observed “forever.” The Passover was to be observed annually, along with the days of Unleavened Bread. “Thou shalt therefore keep this ordinance in its season year to year” (Exodus 13:10, emphasis added). Yahushua set us as an example (1 Peter 2:21), observing this ordinance at the same time once a year (Luke 2:42). Suppose the Israelites in Egypt had observed this ordinance at some other time than that set by Elohim? They would not have been saved when the angel of death passed by that night! Elohim does things on time. He has given us an exact time for this ordinance. Yahushua instituted the New Testament symbols “when the hour was come.”
The Ordinance of Humility
In giving us their accounts, Matthew, Mark and Luke describe the taking of unleavened bread and wine (grape juice). But John relates another part of this ordinance. In John 13, we notice that after the Passover supper was ended ((John 13:2), Yahushua took a towel (John 13:4) and began to wash His disciples’ feet (John 13:5). “So after He had washed their feet, and taken His garments, and was set down again, He said unto them, Know you what I have done to you? You call Me Master and Lord: and you say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you” (John 13:12-15, emphasis added). If any of you are wondering if this ordinance of humility is a command to you, then turn to Matthew 28:19, 20. Here Yahushua said to these same disciples, “Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in My (Yahushua’s) name [Acts 2:38, 8:16, 10:48, 19:5 Galatians 3:27]: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” So they were to teach others to observe ALL things whatsoever Yahushua had commanded them!
Kept Once a Year in the Apostolic Church
In 1 Corinthians 5:7-8, Paul tells the Corinthians: “Messiah our Passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven . . . but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” And in 1 Corinthians 11, He gives the directions regarding this ordinance. Some misunderstand verse 26 which says, “As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup,” by interpreting it “take it as often as you wish.” But it does not say that! It says “as often” as you observe it, you do show the Master’s death till He come.” Even Yahushua commanded, “This do you, as oft as you drink it, in remembrance of Me” (1 Corinthians 11:25). We do it in remembrance of the Master’s death – a memorial of His death. As you know memorials are celebrated annually, once a year, on the anniversary of the events commemorated. So we observe the memorial of Messiah’s death annually. And just as often as each year comes around, we are to “show the Master’s death till He come,” by keeping this memorial. Messiah instituted this ordinance on the eve of His death, and it is to be observed on the 14th day of Abib, according to the Biblical calendar, at the beginning of the day at sunset of the thirteenth (Exodus 12:18, 42). Elohim starts His days at sunset, not midnight or at the sunrise. Remember Yahushua was crucified on "the preparation day of the Passover" (John 19:14). Later in the night of the same day, which was the preparation day for the Passover, after Yahushua had gone out to the garden of Gethsemane, Judas Iscariot led the crowd to seize Yahushua. Then He was crucified later that same day, in the daylight part of the 13th day of the month of Abib. We are to observe the Passover on the 14th day of Abib as it was observed since the Exodus from Egypt, in spite of Yahushua partaking of the Passover meal, the “Last Supper” on the preparation day. Yahushua would be slain that same day prior to the Passover which would prevent Him from partaking of it on the Passover. The Passover lamb was slain prior to the beginning of the Passover in order that it could be prepared and roasted before the beginning of this High Sabbath day. “And you shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening [before the sunsets]” (Exodus 12:6). It was kept up and until the 14th day, and it was killed in the evening before sunset so all the work involved in the slaying of the lamb and preparing it, and roasting it would be finished prior to the beginning of the Passover which commenced at sunset. In spite of Yahushua’s partaking of the “Last Supper” on the day prior to the Passover, we understand why He did it, for He would be dead when the Passover would begin. By following the example Yahushua set in observing this sacred ordinance at the same time He had set it up at the Exodus of Egypt – the very same time the Passover was forever commanded to be observed – we continue to remember His death, annually on the Feast of the Passover. Some question the meaning of Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:27-29. The apostle is not speaking about a Christian being worthy or unworthy to take it. It is speaking of the manner in which it is done. We take it unworthily if we take it wrongly, in the wrong manner. Once we learn the truth about its observance, and yet take it any other time than when Elohim says, then we take it unworthily. We take it unworthily if we do not accept the body and blood of Messiah. So let us not take this most sacred ordinance to our condemnation, but take it worthily instead!
“Easter” a Mistranslation
Following the example of Yahushua and the apostles, the early Church observed the Passover, and the Days of Unleavened Bread which immediately followed. See Acts 12:3. The Spirit of Elohim inspired these words: “Then were the days of unleavened bread.” But in the next verse we read of “Easter.” We have already seen that “Easter” was injected into the Church years after the time of Messiah. Again, this word “Easter” is a mistranslation. The original Greek word is “pascha,” meaning Passover. In every other place, exactly the same word is used in the original and always rendered Passover. Many other translations faithfully render this verse in Acts as “intending after the Passover to being him forth to the people.” So this verse, instead of mentioning Easter, really proves that the Church, ten years after the death of Messiah, was still observing Passover.
What Does “Break Bread” Mean?
There are some denominations that read Acts 20:7 as a proof that the “Lord’s Supper” should be taken each Sunday morning. First notice that this verse was after the Days of Unleavened Bread (verse 6). Paul was preaching a farewell meeting, not on a Sunday morning. It was after midnight (verse 7), that they broke bread because they were hungry. When they “had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day,” Paul departed. So this was just an ordinary meal! The same expression “break bread” is found in Acts 27:34-35. “Wherefore I pray you to take some meat . . . he took bread . . . and when he broken it, he began to eat.” Also Acts 2:46: “And breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness.” This could not possibly have been the “Lord’s Supper” or more properly the Passover, because Paul says that if we take it to satisfy our hunger we take it to our condemnation (1 Corinthians 11:34). In that day, everyone “broke bread” at ordinary meals, because they did not have the kind of bread that we slice. Yahushua broke bread because it was at the Passover supper while eating a meal. We need to return to the faith once delivered to the saints. Let us humbly and obediently observe this sacred ordinance as we are commanded, at the scriptural time, after sunset, at the beginning of the 14th day of Abib according to the Biblical calendar.