Warning from Deuteronomy 13:1-4 – Part 2

“If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them.’ Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams: for YHVH your God proveth you, to know whether ye love YHVH your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after YHVH your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.” Deuteronomy 13:1-4

As stated in Part 1 on this series, “Warning from Deuteronomy 13:1-4“, a problem I see in Protestant Christianity here in the West is that we are taught to regard the New Testament higher than the Old Testament. We are taught who God is and what he expects of us as his children through the lens of the New Testament and the doctrines of man.

Unfortunately, in doing so we hear that the commandments of God have either changed or been put away in part, despite the fact that Matthew 5:17-18 records Jesus (Yeshua) as saying,

“Think not that I came to destroy/weaken the law or the prophets: I came not to destroy/weaken, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass away from the law, till all things be accomplished.”

Since the teaching in Western Christianity/Catholicism is that the law of the Old Testament has been put away or does not apply to the believer in Jesus (Yeshua), we do not recognize that the warning of Deuteronomy 13:1-4 applies to the Christian believer. We don’t make the connection that the very prophets warned about, who are saying, ‘Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them. are the priests/preachers in Catholicism & Protestant Christianity that promote Sunday Sabbath, Christmas & Easter!

EASTER

What does Scripture say about Easter?

There is NO reference in Scripture regarding “Easter”. However, the King James Version of the Bible uses “Easter” in one verse, Acts 12:4:

“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.”

The Greek word translated here as “Easter” is:

G3957
pascha
pas’-khah
Of Chaldee origin (compare [H6453]);

The Hebrew word referred to here is:

H6453
pesach
peh’-sakh

The Greek word, “pascha” is translated as “Passover” in the KJV (New Testament) 28 times and once as “Easter”. The Hebrew word, “pesach” appears in the KJV (Old Testament) 49 times and is always translated as “Passover”.

What does Scripture say about Passover?

The first mention of Passover is in Exodus 12.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye 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. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’s passover.

“For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.

“And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever. Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel. And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you.

“And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even. Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land. Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread.

“Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover. And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning. For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you.

“And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever. And it shall come to pass, when ye be come to the land which the LORD will give you, according as he hath promised, that ye shall keep this service. And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service? That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the LORD’s passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped.”

 

Then, the LORD (YHVH) gave restrictions concerning the Passover at the end of the same chapter.

“And the LORD said unto Moses and Aaron, This is the ordinance of the passover: There shall no stranger eat thereof: But every man’s servant that is bought for money, when thou hast circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof. A foreigner and an hired servant shall not eat thereof. In one house shall it be eaten; thou shalt not carry forth ought of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall ye break a bone thereof. All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof. One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.”

Here we see that a “stranger shall not eat thereof“. However, if a stranger that sojourneth among you wishes to partake of the passover, he is to “let all his males be circumcised” and “he shall be as one that is born in the land“.

Then in Leviticus 23, it says:

“These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons. 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. In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.”

NOTE: Passover is referred to as the LORD’s [YHVH’s] Passover in both of these chapters (Exodus 12 and Leviticus 23). 

In Numbers 9:1-14, it says:

“And the LORD spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt, saying, Let the children of Israel also keep the passover at his appointed season. In the fourteenth day of this month, at even, ye shall keep it in his appointed season: according to all the rites of it, and according to all the ceremonies thereof, shall ye keep it.

“And Moses spake unto the children of Israel, that they should keep the passover. And they kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the first month at even in the wilderness of Sinai: according to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so did the children of Israel.

“And there were certain men, who were defiled by the dead body of a man, that they could not keep the passover on that day: and they came before Moses and before Aaron on that day: And those men said unto him, We are defiled by the dead body of a man: wherefore are we kept back, that we may not offer an offering of the LORD in his appointed season among the children of Israel? And Moses said unto them, Stand still, and I will hear what the LORD will command concerning you.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If any man of you or of your posterity shall be unclean by reason of a dead body, or be in a journey afar off, yet he shall keep the passover unto the LORD. The fourteenth day of the second month at even they shall keep it, and eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. They shall leave none of it unto the morning, nor break any bone of it: according to all the ordinances of the passover they shall keep it. But the man that is clean, and is not in a journey, and forbeareth to keep the passover, even the same soul shall be cut off from among his people: because he brought not the offering of the LORD in his appointed season, that man shall bear his sin.

“And if a stranger shall sojourn among you, and will keep the passover unto the LORD; according to the ordinance of the passover, and according to the manner thereof, so shall he do: ye shall have one ordinance, both for the stranger, and for him that was born in the land.”

After being in the wilderness forty years, Moses reminds the next generation (before they enter the promised land) of the instructions that were given the first year their parents were brought out of Egypt. We read in Deuteronomy 16:1-8:

“Observe the month of Abib, and keep the passover unto the LORD thy God: for in the month of Abib the LORD thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night. Thou shalt therefore sacrifice the passover unto the LORD thy God, of the flock and the herd, in the place which the LORD shall choose to place his name there. Thou shalt eat no leavened bread with it; seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread therewith, even the bread of affliction; for thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt in haste: that thou mayest remember the day when thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of thy life. And there shall be no leavened bread seen with thee in all thy coast seven days; neither shall there any thing of the flesh, which thou sacrificedst the first day at even, remain all night until the morning.

“Thou mayest not sacrifice the passover within any of thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee: But at the place which the LORD thy God shall choose to place his name in, there thou shalt sacrifice the passover at even, at the going down of the sun, at the season that thou camest forth out of Egypt. And thou shalt roast and eat it in the place which the LORD thy God shall choose: and thou shalt turn in the morning, and go unto thy tents. Six days thou shalt eat unleavened bread: and on the seventh day shall be a solemn assembly to the LORD thy God: thou shalt do no work therein.”

After the children of Israel left the wilderness and entered the Promised Land, we read in Joshua 5:1-12

“And it came to pass, when all the kings of the Amorites, which were on the side of Jordan westward, and all the kings of the Canaanites, which were by the sea, heard that the LORD had dried up the waters of Jordan from before the children of Israel, until we were passed over, that their heart melted, neither was there spirit in them any more, because of the children of Israel.

“At that time the LORD said unto Joshua, Make thee sharp knives, and circumcise again the children of Israel the second time. And Joshua made him sharp knives, and circumcised the children of Israel at the hill of the foreskins.

“And this is the cause why Joshua did circumcise: All the people that came out of Egypt, that were males, even all the men of war, died in the wilderness by the way, after they came out of Egypt. Now all the people that came out were circumcised: but all the people that were born in the wilderness by the way as they came forth out of Egypt, them they had not circumcised. For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till all the people that were men of war, which came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD: unto whom the LORD sware that he would not shew them the land, which the LORD sware unto their fathers that he would give us, a land that floweth with milk and honey. And their children, whom he raised up in their stead, them Joshua circumcised: for they were uncircumcised, because they had not circumcised them by the way. And it came to pass, when they had done circumcising all the people, that they abode in their places in the camp, till they were whole.

“And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you. Wherefore the name of the place is called Gilgal unto this day.

“And the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the month at even in the plains of Jericho. And they did eat of the old corn of the land on the morrow after the passover, unleavened cakes, and parched corn in the selfsame day. And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more; but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.”

Skipping forward to the time of the New Testament, we see the Passover is being celebrated. In Luke 2:41, it says,

“Now his [referring to Jesus’/Yeshua’s] parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.”

In John 2:13, we read,

“And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.”

Here we see the Passover referred to as the “Jews’ passover”, however there is no mention in any of the previous Scriptures that it is a “Jewish” holiday, so what could this reference mean in light of all previous Scripture? The Greek word translated as “Jews'” is “Ioudaios”.

G2453
Ioudaios
ee-oo-dah’-yos
From G2448 (in the sense of G2455 as a country); udaean, that is, belonging to Jehudah: – Jew (-ess), of Juda.

G2448
Iouda
ee-oo-dah’
Of Hebrew origin [H3063] or perhaps [H3194]; Judah (that is, Jehudah or Juttah), a part of (or place in) Palestine: – Judah.

H3063
yehu^da^h
yeh-hoo-daw’
From H3034; celebrated; Jehudah (or Judah), the name of five Israelites; also of the tribe descended from the first, and of its territory: – Judah.

This is referring to those who are either from/in the land of Judah or the tribe of Judah. It is not referring to a “religion” as we think of today (Judaism). 

Scripture indicates that the Passover is the LORD’s Passover (Exodus 12:11; Leviticus 23:5). It is for the children of Israel (aka Jacob) *and* the stranger who sojourns among them who has been circumcised. It is not for only those from/in the land of Judah or specifically from the tribe of Judah. Mention of “the Jews’ Passover” in the gospel of John tells me that the people who were keeping the LORD’s Passover in this account were from/in the land of Judah and/or specifically from the tribe of Judah.

NOTE: Circumcision is a physical act according to the Old Testament. We see it done in Genesis with Abraham and his offspring. It is an instruction given pertaining to the Passover and a commandment for baby boys to be circumcised at 8 days old. We also see it referenced in Joshua 5 (previously quoted) after the children of Israel entered the Promised Land. This will be discussed further in another post.

The Passover during the time of Jesus’ death is referenced in all four gospel accounts: Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 22, and John 11-19. It is referred to in a letter written by Paul to believers in Corinth (1 Corinthians 5:7). He tells the Corinthians to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread with the understanding that Christ is the Passover that was sacrificed for us.

“It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

Then in another letter to the Hebrews, the author refers to the Passover when giving an account of Moses’ faith. Hebrews 11:28 says,

“Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.”

But then, after Jesus’ death and resurrection, “Passover” is referred to as “Easter” in the KJV in Acts 12:4. Why?

“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. Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.”

We see in verse 3 that it was “the days of unleavened bread”, so naturally it was the time of Passover, but verse 4 seems to indicate a separate holiday was going on, Easter.  Hmm.

As previously mentioned, this separate holiday, known as “Easter”, is NOT what the original text says. The original text clearly states it is “Passover” that is being celebrated at this time.

What does Christianity say about Easter?

According to the Roman Catholic church, which is the “mother” of Protestant Christianity in the West, Easter is:

“The greatest and oldest Christian feast, which celebrates Christ’s Resurrection from the dead. Easter is the ‘feast of feasts,’ the solemnity of solemnities, the ‘Great Sunday.’ Christians prepare for it during Lent and Holy Week, and catchumens usually receive the Sacraments of Christian Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist) at the Easter Vigil (1169; cf. 647).” [taken from the glossary of The Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd Edition]

Scripture doesn’t teach this; it is a doctrine of man.

According to the Vatican, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, in “Part 1: The Profession of Faith, Section 2: The Profession of the Christian Faith, Chapter 2: I Believe in Jesus Christ, the Only Son of God, Article 3, Paragraph 3: The Mysteries of Christ’s Life” it says,

“…’All that Jesus did and taught, from the beginning until the day when he was taken up to heaven’,171 is to be seen in the light of the mysteries of Christmas and Easter.”

The quote (171) is referencing Acts 1:1-2:
 
“In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen.”

SOURCE: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p122a3p3.htm

The Catechism refers to “the mysteries of the Incarnation (conception and birth) and Paschal mystery (passion, crucifixion, death, burial, descent into hell, resurrection and ascension)” as “the mysteries of Christmas and Easter.”

It is interesting to note that the terms “Christmas” and “Easter” do not originate in Scripture. These are terms that have been designated outside of Scripture to define events described in Scripture.

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, in “Part 1: The Profession of Faith, Section 2: The Profession of the Christian Faith, Chapter 2: I Believe in Jesus Christ, the Only Son of God, Article 5, Paragraph 2: On the Third Day He Rose from the Dead” it says,

“639 The mystery of Christ’s resurrection is a real event, with manifestations that were historically verified, as the New Testament bears witness. In about A.D. 56 St. Paul could already write to the Corinthians: “I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve. . .”491 The Apostle speaks here of the living tradition of the Resurrection which he had learned after his conversion at the gates of Damascus.492”

491 1 Cor 15:3-4.
492 Cf. Acts 9:3-18.

SOURCE: http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p122a5p2.htm

Christianity recognizes and teaches that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, “a sign and wonder that has come to pass”, but then uses this sign/wonder to lead the people of YHVH away from service to Him through the annual observance of His Passover (and other feasts) and towards the service of other gods through the Mystery of Easter. Read on…

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd Ed., Part 2: The Celebration of the Christian Mystery, Section 1: The Sacramental Economy, Chapter 1: The Paschal Mystery in the Age of the Church, Article 1: The Liturgy – Work of the Holy Trinity” It says:

“1096 Jewish liturgy and Christian liturgy. A better knowledge of the Jewish people’s faith and religious life as professed and lived even now can help our better understanding of certain aspects of Christian liturgy. For both Jews and Christians Sacred Scripture is an essential part of their respective liturgies: in the proclamation of the Word of God, the response to this word, prayer of praise and intercession for the living and the dead, invocation of God’s mercy. In its characteristic structure the Liturgy of the Word originates in Jewish prayer. The Liturgy of the Hours and other liturgical texts and formularies, as well as those of our most venerable prayers, including the Lord’s Prayer, have parallels in Jewish prayer. The Eucharistic Prayers also draw their inspiration from the Jewish tradition. The relationship between Jewish liturgy and Christian liturgy, but also their differences in content, are particularly evident in the great feasts of the liturgical year, such as Passover. Christians and Jews both celebrate the Passover. For Jews, it is the Passover of history, tending toward the future; for Christians, it is the Passover fulfilled in the death and Resurrection of Christ, though always in expectation of its definitive consummation.”

SOURCE: http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p2s1c1a1.htm

The Catechism claims “Christians and Jews both celebrate the Passover“, however Christians are not taught to celebrate Passover as clearly laid out in Scripture, but rather through other means.

“1164 From the time of the Mosaic law, the People of God have observed fixed feasts, beginning with Passover, to commemorate the astonishing actions of the Savior God, to give him thanks for them, to perpetuate their remembrance, and to teach new generations to conform their conduct to them. In the age of the Church, between the Passover of Christ already accomplished once for all, and its consummation in the kingdom of God, the liturgy celebrated on fixed days bears the imprint of the newness of the mystery of Christ.”

“1170 At the Council of Nicaea in 325, all the Churches agreed that Easter, the Christian Passover, should be celebrated on the Sunday following the first full moon (14 Nisan) after the vernal equinox. Because of the different methods of calculating the 14th day of the month of Nisan, the date of Easter in the Western and Eastern Churches is not always the same. For this reason, the Churches are currently seeking an agreement in order once again to celebrate the day of the Lord’s Resurrection on a common date.”

SOURCE: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p2s1c2a1.htm

Scripture teaches the LORD’s Passover is to be done on the 14th day of the 1st month, not on the day of the sun. Also, Passover is not about the resurrection, it is about the death of the Lamb of God, the blood on the doorposts being the sign to be passed over. However, “Easter, the Christian Passover” is taught to be about “the Lord’s resurrection”. If the Christians and Jews are both celebrating “Passover” as the Catechism claims, then why aren’t the focus of their celebrations the same?

According to the teaching of the Catholic Church, the “mother” of Protestant Christianity, the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1) referred to in Scripture as the Day of Firstfruits (Numbers 28:26) or Feast of Weeks (Exodus 34:22, Deuteronomy 16:10,16), although it is *not* directly tied to Passover in Scripture, is taught to be the end of “the seven weeks of Easter”.

“731 On the day of Pentecost when the seven weeks of Easter had come to an end, Christ’s Passover is fulfilled in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, manifested, given, and communicated as a divine person: of his fullness, Christ, the Lord, pours out the Spirit in abundance.122”

122 Cf. Acts 2:33-36.

SOURCE: http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p1s2c3a8.htm

But where did “Easter” come from? Did it originate with the Catholic Church?

Here are some quotes compiled by David C. Pack in a booklet entitled, “The True Origin of Easter“:

“Since Bede the Venerable (De ratione temporum 1:5) the origin of the term for the feast of Christ’s Resurrection has been popularly considered to be from the Anglo-Saxon Eastre, a goddess of spring…the Old High German plural for dawn, eostarun; whence has come the German Ostern, and our English Easter” (The New Catholic Encyclopedia, 1967, Vol. 5, p. 6).

“The fact that vernal festivals were general among pagan peoples no doubt had much to do with the form assumed by the Eastern festival in the Christian churches. The English term Easter is of pagan origin” (Albert Henry Newman, D.D., LL.D., A Manual of Church History, p. 299).

“On this greatest of Christian festivals, several survivals occur of ancient heathen ceremonies. To begin with, the name itself is not Christian but pagan. Ostara was the Anglo-Saxon Goddess of Spring” (Ethel L. Urlin, Festival, Holy Days, and Saints Days, p. 73).

“Easter—the name Easter comes to us from Ostera or Eostre, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring, for whom a spring festival was held annually, as it is from this pagan festival that some of our Easter customs have come” (Hazeltine, p. 53).

“In Babylonia…the goddess of spring was called Ishtar. She was identified with the planet Venus, which, because…[it] rises before the Sun…or sets after it…appears to love the light [this means Venus loves the sun-god]…In Phoenecia, she became Astarte; in Greece, Eostre [related to the Greek word Eos: “dawn”], and in Germany, Ostara [this comes from the German word Ost: “east,” which is the direction of dawn]” (Englehart, p. 4).

SOURCE: http://rcg.org/books/ttooe.html

I have read various articles discussing the pagan practices surrounding Easter Eggs and the Easter Bunny, and I find them all disturbing, but when I was growing up, I never considered them a part of the Christian celebration of Easter. You can read more about some of these customs in the previously mentioned article, “The True Origin of Easter.”

However, there is one custom in particular I did practice as a Christian. I attended Sunrise Service on Easter morning. That is, until I read the following passage in Ezekiel 8:9-18:

“And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here. So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, pourtrayed upon the wall round about. And there stood before them seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel, and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, with every man his censer in his hand; and a thick cloud of incense went up.

“Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? for they say, the LORD seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken the earth. He said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they 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. Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? 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 toward the temple of the LORD, 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 that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose. 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.”

It wasn’t until later that I heard the “women weeping for Tammuz” is a reference linked to the 40 days of Lent. However, verse 16 is what caught my attention, “…their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east.”

After reading through many, many pages of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, I see so many references to Christ and the “sun” and the honor given to the “day of the sun” to replace the LORD’s Sabbath. It makes me cringe.

Personally, I don’t care to dig any deeper to find what “other gods” this teaching of man is pointing to. The fact that it is steering me away from the one true God, YHVH – the God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob, is enough to know I must reject their teaching.

I pray those who read this and are still submitting to the teaching that says, “Easter replaces Passover” repent and turn to the Father and His ways. Heed the warning of Deuteronomy 13:1-4. Serve the One who delivered you out of Egypt. Time is short, the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.

“If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them.’ Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams: for YHVH your God proveth you, to know whether ye love YHVH your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after YHVH your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.” Deuteronomy 13:1-4

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