Saturday, March 30, 2013

Shhhh, Don’t Tell Anyone: Hamas Won

By Andrew C. McCarthy

Barack Obama brought enough Chicago-style community organizing to Israel that Benjamin Netanyahu knew what he would have to do. If he hoped to keep the tepid support of his country’s essential but icy ally, Israel’s prime minister would have to do what he’d spent nearly three years steadfastly refusing to do. Netanyahu would have to apologize to a state sponsor of terrorism that openly, notoriously, and enthusiastically supports Hamas.

He would have to apologize to Turkey — to its prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Obama’s close friend and confidant.

He would have to apologize for military action taken in his country’s righteous defense against violent jihadists with close connections to Erdogan’s ruling party and, seamlessly, to the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as al-Qaeda.

As I recount in Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy, the violent jihadists in question were from the grotesquely named “Humanitarian Relief Foundation” or IHH (Insan Hak ve Hürriyetleri ve Insani Yardim Vakfi). The IHH is an Islamic “charity” based and basted in the Islamic supremacism of Erdogan’s Turkey. It is part of the Union of Good (sometimes referred to as the “Union for Good”), a jihadist umbrella enterprise that was designated by the United States government, during the Bush administration, as an international terrorist organization. Under the direction of a top Muslim Brotherhood honcho, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Union of Good’s main purpose is to transfer funds to Hamas, another designated terrorist organization. Besides being the Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch, Hamas boasts Turkey, our NATO “ally,” as its chief benefactor.

In late May 2010, IHH terrorists attempted to break Israel’s lawful naval blockade of the Gaza Strip. The blockade is necessary to stem the flow of weapons to Hamas, Gaza’s rulers having responded to Israel’s painful peace offering — its withdrawal in 2005 from territory it had captured in a war of Arab aggression — by stepping up their terror campaign against the Jewish state. In seeking to break the blockade, an act of war, the IHH was willfully abetted by the Turkish government.

Israeli officials had pleaded with their Turkish counterparts to prevent the terrorists from embarking on their “peace flotilla.” Members of Erdogan’s government and party not only turned a deaf ear; they sold the jihadists the offending vessel, the Mavi Marmara. They allowed the jihadists — armed with flares, night-vision goggles, 150 bulletproof vests, 200 gas masks, several dozen slingshots, 200 knives, 20 axes, 50 wooden clubs, 100 assorted iron bars, etc. — to board the ship without inspection. When the inevitable high-seas confrontation occurred, the Israeli Defense Forces tried to subdue the terrorists with paintball guns. The IDF resorted to lethal force only after being premeditatedly and savagely attacked — with several of its sailors seriously wounded. In that response, nine of the terrorists were killed.

Squeezed by Obama, Netanyahu would have to apologize for the killing of those terrorists.

More often than not these last five years, Israel’s prime minister has felt President Obama’s heel on the back of his neck. In stark contrast, Turkey’s prime minister has enjoyed Obama’s warm embrace. In Ankara, Erdogan hosts the leaders of Hamas and Hezbollah as foreign dignitaries. He accuses Israel of turning Gaza into a “concentration camp.” Only days before Netanyahu’s coerced apology, Erdogan — whose history of anti-Semitism is infamous — publicly pronounced that Zionism is a “crime against humanity.”

This heinous accusation, “crime against humanity,” has become something of a verbal tic with Erdogan. He cavalierly applies it to Israel’s self-defense from thousands of jihadist rockets fired into its territory, and to the suggestion by European governments that the millions of Muslims who’ve immigrated to the West ought to assimilate into their new societies. Nevertheless, Obama openly regards Erdogan as one of his most trusted partners on the world stage. “The bottom line is that we find ourselves in frequent agreement upon a wide range of issues,” said Obama of Erdogan in March 2012, upon seeking him out at a South Korea summit for advice on the crisis in Syria, the tumult in Egypt, the nukes in Iran — even the challenges of raising daughters.

With Obama on the phone egging him on, Netanyahu abased himself. Not only did he apologize to Turkey, he further capitulated to Erdogan’s demand that Israel pay compensation to the Mavi Marmara “victims.” After the apology, Erdogan briefed his Hamas confederates and announced he would be visiting them in Gaza next month. Predictably, he has since announced that Netanyahu’s humiliating act of contrition will not be sufficient to restore diplomatic relations between the two nations. Just as predictably, other Islamic states are now preparing demands for apologies and compensation for sundry exercises of Israeli self-defense against jihadist terror.

There has been no shortage of speculation about why Israel caved. Perhaps it was anxiety over Iranian nukes and Syrian tumult — the hope that rapprochement with Turkey would give Washington more maneuvering room to protect Israel’s interests. Perhaps there were financial considerations, including billions potentially to be made in the exportation of natural gas. None of these explanations is very satisfying. But that is beside the point. For Americans, what matters is not what this episode says about shifts in Israeli policy. It is the sea-change in U.S. counterterrorism that most concerns us.

We now know that Hamas has won.

In 2011, Erdogan made a startling pronouncement on Charlie Rose’s PBS program:
Let me give you a very clear message. I don’t see Hamas as a terror organization. Hamas is a political party. And it is an organization. It is a resistance movement trying to protect its country under occupation. So we should not mix terrorist organizations with such an organization.
Really? Is this what we now mean by regular politics: In the 1987 charter by which it proclaimed its existence, Hamas explained that it formed in order to “join its hands with those of all jihad fighters for the purpose of liberating Palestine.” Clarifying that Hamas is “one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers . . . the Muslim Brotherhood Movement … the largest Islamic movement in the modern era,” the charter elaborates:
Our struggle against the Jews is extremely wide-ranging and grave, so much so that it will need all the loyal efforts we can wield, to be followed by further steps and reinforced by successive battalions from the multifarious Arab and Islamic world, until the enemies are defeated and Allah’s victory prevails.
Invoking Islamic scripture, the charter further asserts:
Hamas has been looking forward to implement Allah’s promise whatever time it might take. The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him! [Citing authoritative hadiths.]
In its 25 years, Hamas has made good on its promise to kill. Yet Erdogan has been telling Obama since early 2009 that the United States must “redefine” what it means by “terror and terrorist organizations.” It is increasingly obvious that portraying Hamas as a “political party” and a “resistance movement,” rather than a terrorist organization, is one among the “wide range of issues” on which the president finds himself in agreement with the Turkish prime minister.

Yes, nominally, it is still a crime in the United States to provide material support to Hamas. But these days you have a better chance of being prosecuted under those immigration statutes the administration declines to enforce.

Hamas prosecutions went out with the 2008 Holy Land Foundation trial. Since then, the investigation of outfits proved by the Bush Justice Department to be cogs in the Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy to fund and otherwise encourage Hamas’s jihad against Israel have been dropped. Worse, some of those outfits, such as the Islamic Society of North America, are regular guests at the Obama White House. They are consulted in the formulation of Obama foreign policy, which — lo and behold — just happens to favor lavish financial and military support for the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt. As for Obama national-security policy, Islamic-supremacists have been invited to censor the materials used to train our law-enforcement and intelligence agents.

Realistically, how could anyone expect the Obama Justice Department to prosecute the financial support of Hamas when the Obama administration is actively engaged in thefinancial support of Hamas — sluicing hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Gaza, fully aware that it is under Hamas’s totalitarian control. In this, too, Obama is in concord with Erdogan, whose regime has similarly backed Hamas with hundreds of millions of dollars — news that comes to us courtesy of Turkey’s grateful friends at the Union of Good.

Until 2009, U.S. policy was straightforward: Hamas was a terrorist organization and America would not deal with it unless and until it acknowledged Israel’s right to exist and convincingly renounced violence. All that has changed, though. Under Obama’s governance, Islamic-supremacists are bankrolled even as they act on their pledge to destroy Israel. Israel, in turn, is expected to apologize.

Our military’s killing of Osama bin Laden, complemented by the controversial drone campaign, has given President Obama cover. The occasional terrorist is taken out, the administration beats its chest, and few notice that al-Qaeda is resurgent, that the administration spends far more time appeasing Islamists than killing terrorists, and that Hamas has won.

Welcome to the next four years.

Taqiyya, or the terrorist ‘art of deception'

By Anne-Diandra Louarn

A year after the Toulouse attacks by Mohamed Merah (pictured), French counterterrorism experts are monitoring the practice of "taqiyya" - or deceiving society by concealing one’s faith – and its uses in jihadist circles.

Nearly a year ago, as one of France’s longest-ever police sieges was about to end on the morning of March 22, 2012, Mohamed Merah – also known as “the Toulouse gunman” – uttered a cry that seemed enigmatic to the uninformed, but was weighted with meaning for counterterrorism experts.

“It’s not the money, it’s the deception that’s critical,” said the 23-year-old French-Algerian shortly before he jumped off his Toulouse apartment window and was gunned down by an elite French anti-terror unit.

The somewhat cryptic cry was a likely reference to “taqiyya” – a form of religious dissimulation or legal dispensation in which believers deny their faith or even commit blasphemous acts as a deception if they are seriously threatened or at risk of persecution.

"Concealment is a technique as old as the world," explained French anti-terrorism judge Marc Trévidic in an interview with FRANCE 24. “It’s also an essential component of any war strategy, regardless of the people involved.”

In Islam, taqiyya dates back to the time when Shiite Muslims were hounded and persecuted by the Sunni caliphs following the 7th century schism between the followers of the Prophet’s son-in-law, Ali, and the Sunni caliphate.

For the traditionally persecuted Shiite minority, deception – or taqiyya – was considered a matter of survival. Although the term does not exist in Sunni jurisprudence, there have been rare cases of Sunnis practicing taqiyya in extraordinary circumstances.

But it was not until the term was recovered by Sunni jihadists trained in the Afghan terror camps that it began to get the attention of counterterrorism experts as trained and radicalised young men began practising taqiyya as a means of integrating and disguising themselves in Western societies.

“Taqiyya, as it’s understood today, is actually a radicalised version of concealment, in the sense that some religious extremists have found 'dalils' (or 'evidence') in the Koran that would justify their actions,” said Trévidic.

From Afghanistan to Europe and Canada

In France, intelligence agencies have been aware of the radicalised adoption of taqiyya since the mid-1990s, when al Qaeda began to advocate this technique among recruits plotting attacks on Western targets. The message was also targeted at French citizens of North African origins.

“These people who took the path of taqiyya were called ‘sleepers’. This is when we began to discover that after their passage through the jihadist training camps in Afghanistan, the recruits were sent home and directed to make a show of their ordinary, integrated lives - sometimes even masquerading as unbelievers,” said Trévidic.

One of the best-known jihadist sleepers was the "Hamburg cell", the infamous group of radicalized students in that German city who went on to execute the September 11, 2001, attacks – including 9/11 leader Mohamed Atta.

Another example of a terrorist in disguise was Fateh Kamel, a handsome Algerian-Canadian who was sentenced to eight years in jail by a French court in 1999 for supporting a terrorist plot against targets in Paris.

Assessing the danger of Islamists

But while Merah’s behaviour may have been deceptive in keeping with taqiyya norms, his activities were well known to the French secret services, according to Trévidic.

According to the anti-terror judge, the challenge for French authorities is not so much to identify the followers of taqiyya, but to assess their threat levels. "That is the whole problem of the DCRI [Direction centrale du renseignement intérieur – or the French domestic intelligence agency] in the Merah case," noted Trévidic.

If Merah’s suspicious trips to places like Pakistan were being monitored and French intelligence agents were aware that he belonged to a small Toulouse-based Salafist group, they failed to distinguish between a low-level delinquent and a potentially dangerous Islamist militant – or at which point the former could become the latter.

Trévidic acknowledges that it’s a challenge for the DCRI to identify radicalised youth ready and capable of putting their plans into action. But that’s the strength of taqiyya followers: in the impoverished, immigrant-dominated French suburbs – or banlieues in French - they often behave like local gangsters or gang leaders. To escape the counterterrorism radar, it’s not uncommon for potential terrorists to engage in minor acts of delinquency.

‘Rediscovering what we already know’

"No country is truly equipped against concealment. What we know today is that practices such as taqiyya require a deep infiltration of our territory, an in-depth knowledge of groups and individuals, as well as an effective system of recovering and retrieving information in the field,” said Trévidic.

The dismantling of suspected sleeper cells, such as the March 7-8 arrests of three terror suspects in the southern French town of Marignane (a suburb of Marseille), has intensified in the wake of the Merah case. "In terrorism, we are constantly rediscovering what we already know," notes Trévidic.

It’s a view mirrored by Alain Gresh, deputy director of the left-wing monthly Le Monde Diplomatique. In an interview with FRANCE 24, Gresh noted that taqiyya is not a new phenomenon. "Who are the terrorists who shout their intentions from rooftops?" he asked.

In a blog post published on March 2, Gresh argued that the media treatment of taqiyya has sometimes been “racist” and inappropriate. "Some journalists have suggested that Arabs have a perverse way of thinking that is permitted by their religion. Concealment is not limited to radical Islam. It is found in all religious doctrines and even in political doctrines,” he noted.

Dangerous Times: America will Survive Obama

By James Lewis

Can America survive the age of O? Many conservatives are worried sick.

Some friends invited me to their Passover seder the other night, and for the first time I really paid attention to the meaning of the words. As you know, the seder celebrates the liberation of the Hebrew people -- the Jews -- from oppression and slavery in Egypt around the first millennium BCE. There has long been debate about the accuracy of that history, but skip that for now.

Ask yourself why liberation from slavery has dominated Jewish and later Christian thought for three thousand years? Jesus' Last Supper was a seder ceremony. Black churches used the Egyptian slavery of the children of Israel as a model for their own experiences of slavery and liberation. So have other liberation movements, including the Abolitionists and the American founders.

The Jewish flight from Egyptian slavery was a model of human liberation in the West, until Karl Marx twisted liberty into tyranny. But the struggle between freedom and control freaks is universal. It can be found in the Epic of Gilgamesh and in the family hell created by kids during teenage rebellion. Freedom is a basic yearning of the human spirit, and so is control freakery.

Now we have a president who confuses slavery and liberty, most obviously in the case of the Islamist Spring, which is certainly not an Arab Spring, since in Syria alone nearly 100,000 Arabs have killed each other by now. Some Spring!

To make the results clear beyond question, the Morsi regime in Egypt has just imposed a Sharia constitution that drops the provision against slavery. The reason for that is Islamic law: the Quran describes Mohammed raiding caravans and small towns to steal slaves, including his child bride. The Islamist world still applies slavery to wives and daughters. Thomas Jefferson tried to stop Libyan slave raiding of American merchant ships off the shores of Tripoli, but they never quite got the point.

In Islam it is not freedom but complete submission that is emphasized. Islam is radically different from Judaism and Christianity. It is a desert nomad religion. It reflects that culture.

Domestically, Obama is trying to create a Eurosocialist centralized economy. But in the liberal paradise of Europe the socialist model is failing right in front of our eyes today. Millions of people in Italy and Greece have had their incomes slashed in half and their taxes increased. The Euro is failing in all the weaker economies of Europe. The standard demagogic propaganda of Eurosocialism -- calling one's opponents racists and planetary poisoners -- is failing. In a few years the Arab-Iranian oil monopoly will crumble, when shale gas takes over its market share. Countries around the world are frantically searching for shale now that it can be converted into clean hydrocarbons. That will eliminate Islamist OPEC control of oil and allow freedom to emerge again.

Everywhere the Arab Spring has sprung, Islamist tyranny has replaced relative freedom -- for women most of all. Turkey used to be a modern country until the Islamofascists took over. Egypt used to be relatively tolerant, and kept the 30-year peace treaty with Israel, until Obama told Mubarak to resign. Wherever the Muslim world was poised between modernism and tradition, now the reactionary patriarchs are in control of hundreds of millions of people. Behind a solid wall of media censorship, women are being abused, intimidated, and beaten, with the official approval of imams and mullahs. Read the books of Ayaan Hirsi Ali if you have any doubts about that. Our feminists are playing deaf, but they know, they know. Under Obama the feminist movement has colluded in the enslavement of Muslim women in the "Arab Spring." (Just consider Naomi Wolf's new job with Al Jazeera.)

Pre-Obama, there were genuine movements towards modernity in the Muslim world, beginning with Turkey in 1922. Post-Obama, half a billion women are likely to be openly abused if they venture outside of the house without a male escort, much more vulnerable to blame for being sexually abused by the "justice" of Shariah law, and much more oppressed by the last nasty patriarchy in the world. Thank you, Liberator Obama.

Thomas Jefferson and Abe Lincoln would never, ever have gone along with the renewed fascist control of the Muslim world.

At the UN, 57 Muslim member regimes routinely smear and slander Israel and America, with European and American acquiescence. Brain-locked liberals around the world think this is all fine, and Obama the Messiah is beyond criticism.

Obama is all in favor of the Islamist Spring, because, whether he is Muslim or not, he is an Islamist sympathizer. There is no reasonable doubt anymore.

This is the worst news about an American president since the rise of Stalin, who also penetrated the U.S. with his agents.

My question is whether it will spell an end to the America we have known.

I think America will survive and ultimately win.

The reason is that control freaks are always self-deluded. Freedom is a yearning of the human spirit in America, but it is not limited to America.

No control freak in the world can really run a giant national economy, much less the world as a whole. People have tried to do such things for thousands of years. In general, centralized control fails, just as the Soviet command economy failed.

What about ObamaCare? Nationalized medicine will elect a lot of Democrats. Ordinary people will learn to get around the inevitable medical rationing, the way they do in Europe. We will all become Italians. Medical vacations abroad will offer an increasingly attractive alternative to American socialized medicine. Private medical care is always being tried in Europe, and some of it works very well. Now it will become global, with private medicine competing with nationalized bureaucracy. Mexico is already becoming a medical travel destination, with international approval for some of its medical centers.

Even in the face of Obamanism, the high-tech revolution is increasingly hard to control. Lenin placed all his technological control bets on electrification of the Soviet Union. When a new industrial revolution commenced with the appearance of cheap computers, the Soviets could never keep up.

When shale technology (invented in America) begins to work in Poland, the Eastern Med, China, and Ireland, the Greens will suddenly decide that natural gas is good for us. Their favorite control whip won't work anymore.The biotech revolution is exploding, along with space travel, web talk, and a hundred other new and hard-to-control inventions.

Even today the stock market is rising, a leading indicator of growth. The market is already discounting the expected effects of ObamaCare.

Will it work? Not forever. But it will continue the long, long struggle between control freaks and regular people. Just think Soda Jerk Bloomberg in New York, who has now decided to control restaurant portion sizes in the city. Will that work? Of course not.

So -- will American freedom survive Obama?

I think so, yes. But the country will look very different when the uproar dies down.

Conservatives should think globally, and mobilize the forces of freedom around the world. They exist. Every time an impoverished African buys a cellphone the global free market expands. We must find freedom-loving peoples, make strong alliances, and resist the control freaks, who also exist around the world.

The Cold War was won by a Western alliance that finally won the sympathies of regular people in the Soviet Empire. The Evil Empire crumbled from within. All it took was a unified front by the West combined with its own internal protest movement.

The Long Jihad war can be won the same way. With instant globalization there is no other way. This is an ideological war, and free peoples have won such struggles before.

As for American conservatives, we should heed Winston Churchill, who saw very bad times indeed:

"Never give in -- never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy."

The Pagan Origin of Easter

By David J. Meyer

Easter is a day that is honored by nearly all of contemporary Christianity and is used to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.The holiday often involves a church service at sunrise, a feast which includes an "Easter Ham", decorated eggs and stories about rabbits.

Those who love truth learn to ask questions, and many questions must be asked regarding the holiday of Easter.

Is it truly the day when Jesus arose from the dead? Where did all of the strange customs come from, which have nothing to do with the resurrection of our Savior?

The purpose of this tract is to help answer those questions, and to help those who seek truth to draw their own conclusions.

The first thing we must understand is that professing Christians were not the only ones who celebrated a festival called "Easter."

"Ishtar", which is pronounced "Easter" was a day that commemorated the resurrection of one of their gods that they called "Tammuz", who was believed to be the only begotten son of the moon-goddess and the sun-god.

In those ancient times, there was a man named Nimrod, who was the grandson of one of Noah's son named Ham.

Ham had a son named Cush who married a woman named Semiramis. Cush and Semiramis then had a son named him "Nimrod."

After the death of his father, Nimrod married his own mother and became a powerful King.

The Bible tells of of this man, Nimrod, in Genesis 10:8-10 as follows: "And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad,and Calneh, in the land of Shinar."

Nimrod became a god-man to the people and Semiramis, his wife and mother, became the powerful Queen of ancient Babylon.

Nimrod was eventually killed by an enemy, and his body was cut in pieces and sent to various parts of his kingdom.

Semiramis had all of the parts gathered, except for one part that could not be found.

That missing part was his reproductive organ. Semiramis claimed that Nimrod could not come back to life without it and told the people of Babylon that Nimrod had ascended to the sun and was now to be called "Baal", the sun god.

Queen Semiramis also proclaimed that Baal would be present on earth in the form of a flame, whether candle or lamp, when used in worship.

Semiramis was creating a mystery religion, and with the help of Satan, she set herself up as a goddess.

Semiramis claimed that she was immaculately conceived.

She taught that the moon was a goddess that went through a 28 day cycle and ovulated when full.

She further claimed that she came down from the moon in a giant moon egg that fell into the Euphrates River.

This was to have happened at the time of the first full moon after the spring equinox.

Semiramis became known as "Ishtar" which is pronounced "Easter", and her moon egg became known as "Ishtar's" egg."

Ishtar soon became pregnant and claimed that it was the rays of the sun-god Baal that caused her to conceive.

The son that she brought forth was named Tammuz.

Tammuz was noted to be especially fond of rabbits, and they became sacred in the ancient religion, because Tammuz was believed to be the son of the sun-god, Baal. Tammuz, like his supposed father, became a hunter.

The day came when Tammuz was killed by a wild pig.

Queen Ishtar told the people that Tammuz was now ascended to his father, Baal, and that the two of them would be with the worshipers in the sacred candle or lamp flame as Father, Son and Spirit.

Ishtar, who was now worshiped as the "Mother of God and Queen of Heaven", continued to build her mystery religion.

The queen told the worshipers that when Tammuz was killed by the wild pig, some of his blood fell on the stump of an evergreen tree, and the stump grew into a full new tree overnight. This made the evergreen tree sacred by the blood of Tammuz.

She also proclaimed a forty day period of time of sorrow each year prior to the anniversary of the death of Tammuz.

During this time, no meat was to be eaten.

Worshipers were to meditate upon the sacred mysteries of Baal and Tammuz, and to make the sign of the "T" in front of their hearts as they worshiped.

They also ate sacred cakes with the marking of a "T" or cross on the top.

Every year, on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox, a celebration was made.

It was Ishtar's Sunday and was celebrated with rabbits and eggs.

Ishtar also proclaimed that because Tammuz was killed by a pig, that a pig must be eaten on that Sunday.

By now, the readers of this tract should have made the connection that paganism has infiltrated the contemporary "Christian" churches, and further study indicates that this paganism came in by way of the Roman Catholic System.

The truth is that Easter has nothing whatsoever to do with the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We also know that Easter can be as much as three weeks away from the Passover, because the pagan holiday is always set as the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox.

Some have wondered why the word "Easter" is in the the King James Bible.

It is because Acts, chapter 12, tells us that it was the evil King Herod, who was planning to celebrate Easter, and not the Christians.

The true Passover and pagan Easter sometimes coincide, but in some years, they are a great distance apart.

So much more could be said, and we have much more information for you, if you are a seeker of the truth.

We know that the Bible tells us in John 4:24, "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."

The truth is that the forty days of Lent, eggs, rabbits,hot cross buns and the Easter ham have everything to do with the ancient pagan religion of Mystery Babylon.These are all antichrist activities!

Satan is a master deceiver, and has filled the lives of well-meaning, professing Christians with idolatry.

These things bring the wrath of God upon children of disobedience, who try to make pagan customs of Baal worship Christian.

You must answer for your activities and for what you teach your children.

These customs of Easter honor Baal, who is also Satan, and is still worshiped as the "Rising Sun" and his house is the "House of the Rising Sun."

How many churches have "sunrise services" on Ishtar's day and face the rising sun in the East?

How many will use colored eggs and rabbit stories, as they did in ancient Babylon.

These things are no joke, any more than Judgement day is a joke.

I pray to God that this tract will cause you to search for more truth.

We will be glad to help you by providing more information and by praying for you.

These are the last days, and it is time to repent, come out and be separate.

The True Origin of Easter

By David C. Pack

Most people follow along as they have been taught, assuming that what they believe and do is right. They take their beliefs for granted. Most do not take time to prove why they do the things that they do.

Why do you believe what you believe? Where did you get your beliefs? Is the source of your religious beliefs the Bible—or some other authority? If you say the Bible, are you sure?

What about Easter? Since hundreds of millions keep it, supposedly in honor of Jesus Christ’s Resurrection, then certainly the Bible must have much to say about it. Surely there are numerous verses mentioning rabbits, eggs and egg hunts, baskets of candy, hot cross buns, Lent, Good Friday and sunrise services—not to mention Easter itself.

Easter requires close scrutiny and this booklet examines it carefully.

Bible Authority for Easter?

The Bible is the source for all things Christian. Does it mention Easter? Yes.

Notice Acts 12:1. King Herod began to persecute the Church, culminating in the brutal death of the apostle James by sword. This pleased the Jews so much that the apostle Peter was also taken prisoner by Herod. The plan was to later deliver him to the Jews. Verse 3 says, “Then were the days of unleavened bread.” The New Testament Church was observing these feast days described in Leviticus 23. Now read verse 4: “And when he [Herod] had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions [sixteen] of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.”

Is this Bible authority for Easter?

This passage is not talking about Easter. How do we know? The word translated Easter is the Greek word pascha (derived from the Hebrew word pesach; there is no original Greek word for Passover), and it has only one meaning. It always means Passover—it can never mean Easter! For this reason, we find a Hebrew word used in the Greek New Testament. Once again, this Hebrew word can only refer to Passover. And other translations, including the Revised Standard Version, correctly render this wordPassover.

Instead of endorsing Easter, this verse really proves that the Church was still observing the supposedly Jewish Passover ten years after the death of Christ!

Now let’s go to the other scriptures authorizing Easter. This presents a problem. There are NONE! There are absolutely no verses, anywhere in the Bible, that authorize or endorse the keeping of Easter celebration! The Bible says nothing about Lent, eggs and egg hunts, baskets of candy, etc., although it does mention hot cross buns and sunrise services as abominations, which God condemns. We will examine them and learn why.

The mistranslation of Acts 12:4 is a not-so-subtle attempt to insert a pagan festival into scripture for the purpose of authorizing it. We will examine the Passover more closely later.

A Brief Look at Passover

The well-known Old Testament Passover story centers on God’s deliverance of Israel from Egypt through ten miraculous plagues. These included how the death angel would “pass over” all the houses where the Israelites lived. They were instructed to put blood over their doorposts to ensure that only the firstborn of Egypt would die. In this first Passover, it was only the blood of the slain lamb that protected each Israelite home. While Egypt suffered the plague of death, the Israelite firstborn were delivered by blood. By obeying God’s command and by faith in His promise to protect them, they were spared from death.

The Passover account is found in Exodus 12:12-14. Verse 14 states that the Passover ceremony was commanded by God to be an annual memorial feast to be kept by Israel “forever.” (This command is repeated in Leviticus 23:5.) Exodus 12:15 introduces the seven-day festival called the Days of Unleavened Bread (also repeated in Leviticus 23:6-8), which was to immediately follow the Passover feast each year. This is why Acts 12:3 states, “Then were the days of unleavened bread,” before mentioning the Passover in the next verse. These days were always kept in conjunction with one another.

What About the New Testament?

If the Passover was instituted forever, then New Testament instruction for its observance should be clear. This instruction is found in I Corinthians 5:7-8: “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast [of unleavened bread, which always followed Passover, as explained above]…”

Christ, as the Lamb of God (John 1:29; Acts 8:32; I Peter 1:19; Rev. 5:6), replaced the Old Testament lamb eaten on Passover evening each year. The New Testament symbols of the bread and wine were instituted so that Christians could eat the body and drink the blood of Christ, the true Lamb of God. Jesus’ sacrifice replaced the need to kill a spring lamb. Luke 22:19 shows that Jesus substituted the bread and wine to be taken annually in commemoration of His sacrifice for the remission of our sins—both spiritual and physical.

(Read our free booklet How Often Should the Lord’s Supper Be Taken? It proves Christ did not replace Passover with a different festival! Also, it makes plain that the only thing that He replaced was the spring lamb with His own sacrifice—and the institution of the bread and wine to symbolize it!)

Early Christians kept the Passover, not Easter. Notice this from the Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th edit., Vol. 8, p. 828: “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 continued to observe the Jewish festivals [God’s festivals of Leviticus 23], 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…continued to be observed.”

The original apostles and early New Testament Church did not observe Easter. Notice: “In the second century A.D., Easter Day was, among Christians in Asia Minor [these would be the Gentile churches that Paul raised up in places such as Philippi, Colossae, Galatia, etc.—and he warned the Galatians (4:9-10) about taking days such as Easter] the 14th of Nisan [or Abib] the seventh month of the [civil] Jewish calendar” (World Almanac, 1968 edit., p. 187). The date described here is not Easter Day, but rather the Passover—which was kept on the 14th day of the first month (Nisan) of the sacred calendar. The apostles and early Church did not observe Easter!

Despite the overwhelming proof that God’s Holy Days, as listed in Leviticus 23, are still to be kept by Christians today (Acts 2:1; 12:3; 18:21; 20:6, 16; I Cor. 5:7-8; 16:8), almost no one who claims to believe in the God of the Bible keeps them! Almost no one who professes to worship Jesus Christ observes the Passover as He commanded! Why?

Since instruction to observe Easter is not in the Bible, and God’s permanent command to keep Passover is, then where did Easter originate? After surveying the origin of Passover, we are ready to study the origin of Easter.

When Easter Came to America

Easter has long been known to be a pagan festival! America’s founders knew this! A children’s book about the holiday, Easter Parade: Welcome Sweet Spring Time!, by Steve Englehart, p. 4, states, “When the Puritans came to North America, they regarded the celebration of Easter—and the celebration of Christmas—with suspicion. They knew that pagans had celebrated the return of spring long before Christians celebrated Easter…for the first two hundred years of European life in North America, only a few states, mostly in the South, paid much attention to Easter.” Not until after the Civil War did Americans begin celebrating this holiday: “Easter first became an American tradition in the 1870s” (p. 5). Remarkable! The original 13 colonies of America began as a “Christian” nation, with the cry of “No king but King Jesus!” The nation did not observe Easter within an entire century of its founding. What happened to change this?

Where Did Easter Come From?

Does the following sound familiar?—Spring is in the air! Flowers and bunnies decorate the home. Father helps the children paint beautiful designs on eggs dyed in various colors. These eggs, which will later be hidden and searched for, are placed into lovely, seasonal baskets. The wonderful aroma of the hot cross buns mother is baking in the oven waft through the house. Forty days of abstaining from special foods will finally end the next day. The whole family picks out their Sunday best to wear to the next morning’s sunrise worship service to celebrate the savior’s resurrection and the renewal of life. Everyone looks forward to a succulent ham with all the trimmings. It will be a thrilling day. After all, it is one of the most important religious holidays of the year.

Easter, right? No! This is a description of an ancient Babylonian family—2,000 years before Christ—honoring the resurrection of their god, Tammuz, who was brought back from the underworld by his mother/wife, Ishtar (after whom the festival was named). As Ishtar was actually pronounced “Easter” in most Semitic dialects, it could be said that the event portrayed here is, in a sense, Easter. Of course, the occasion could easily have been a Phrygian family honoring Attis and Cybele, or perhaps a Phoenician family worshipping Adonis and Astarte. Also fitting the description well would be a heretic Israelite family honoring the Canaanite Baal and Ashtoreth. Or this depiction could just as easily represent any number of other immoral, pagan fertility celebrations of death and resurrection—including the modern Easter celebration as it has come to us through the Anglo-Saxon fertility rites of the goddess Eostre or Ostara. These are all the same festivals, separated only by time and culture.

If Easter is not found in the Bible, then where did it come from? The vast majority of ecclesiastical and secular historians agree that the name of Easter and the traditions surrounding it are deeply rooted in pagan religion.

Now notice the following powerful quotes that demonstrate more about the true origin of how the modern Easter celebration got its name:

“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 wordEos: “dawn”], and in Germany, Ostara [this comes from the German word Ost: “east,” which is the direction of dawn]” (Englehart, p. 4).

As we have seen, many names are interchangeable for the more well-known Easter. Pagans typically used many different names for the same god or goddess. Nimrod, the Bible figure who built the city of Babylon (Gen. 10:8), is an example. He was worshipped as Saturn, Vulcan, Kronos, Baal, Tammuz, Molech and others, but he was always the same god—the fire or sun god universally worshipped in nearly every ancient culture. (Read our free booklet The True Origin of Christmas to learn more about this holiday and Nimrod’s part in it.)

The goddess Easter was no different. She was one goddess with many names—the goddess of fertility, worshipped in spring when all life was being renewed.

The widely-known historian, Will Durant, in his famous and respected work, Story of Civilization, pp. 235, 244-245, writes, “Ishtar [Astarte to the Greeks, Ashtoreth to the Jews], interests us not only as analogue of the Egyptian Isis and prototype of the Grecian Aphrodite and the Roman Venus, but as the formal beneficiary of one of the strangest of Babylonian customs…known to us chiefly from a famous page in Herodotus: Every native woman is obliged, once in her life, to sit in the temple of Venus [Easter], and have intercourse with some stranger.” Is it any wonder that the Bible speaks of the religious system that has descended from that ancient city as, “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH” (Rev. 17:5)?

We must now look closer at the origin of other customs associated with the modern Easter celebration.

The Origin of Lent

According to Johannes Cassianus, who wrote in the fifth century, “Howbeit you should know, that as long as the primitive church retained its perfection unbroken, this observance of Lent did not exist” (First Conference Abbot Theonas, chapter 30). There is neither biblical nor historical record of Christ, the apostles or the early Church participating in the Lenten season.

Since there is no instruction to observe Lent in the Bible, where did it come from? A forty-day abstinence period was anciently observed in honor of the pagan gods Osiris, Adonis and Tammuz (John Landseer, Sabaean Researches, pp. 111, 112). Alexander Hislops, The Two Babylons, pp. 104-105, says this of the origin of Lent: “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 of forty days was held in spring by the Pagan Mexicans…Such a Lent of forty days was observed in Egypt…”

Lent came from paganism, not from the Bible! (To learn more about the Lenten season, read our article “The True Meaning of Lent.”)

Eggs, Egg Hunts and Easter

Eggs have always been associated with the Easter celebration. Nearly every culture in the modern world has a long tradition of coloring eggs in beautiful and different ways. I once examined a traveling display of many kinds of beautifully decorated egg designs that represented the styles and traditions of virtually every country of modern Europe.

Notice the following: “The origin of the Easter egg is based on the fertility lore of the Indo-European races…The egg to them was a symbol of spring…In Christian times the egg had bestowed upon it a religious interpretation, becoming a symbol of the rock tomb out of which Christ emerged to the new life of His resurrection” (Francis X. Weiser, Handbook of Christian Feasts and Customs, p. 233). This is a direct example of exactly how pagan symbols and customs are “Christianized,” i.e., Christian-sounding names are superimposed over pagan customs. This is done to deceive—as well as make people feel better about why they are following a custom that is not in the Bible.

Notice: “Around the Christian observance of Easter…folk customs have collected, many of which have been handed down from the ancient ceremonial…symbolism of European and Middle Eastern pagan spring festivals…for example, eggs…have been very prominent as symbols of new life and resurrection” (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1991 ed., Vol. 4, p. 333).

Finally, the following comes from Egyptian Belief and Modern Thought, James Bonwick, pp. 211-212: “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 are still in China and Europe. Easter, or spring, was the season of birth, terrestrial and celestial.”

What could be more plain in showing the true origin of the “Easter egg”? An “Easter” egg is just an egg that pertains to Easter. God never authorized Passover eggs or Days of Unleavened Bread eggs, but there have been Easter eggs for thousands of years!

It naturally progressed that the egg, representing spring and fertility, would be merged into an already pagan springtime festival. Connecting this symbol to Christ’s Resurrection in the spring required much creativity and human reasoning. However, even highly creative human reasoning has never been able to successfully connect the next Easter symbol to anything Christian, because there is not a single word about it anywhere in the New Testament!

The Easter Bunny

Here are two additional quotes from Francis Weiser about the origin of the “Easter bunny”: “In Germany and Austria little nests containing eggs, pastry and candy are placed in hidden spots, and the children believe that the Easter bunny, so popular in this country, too, had laid the eggs and brought the candy” (p. 235) and “The Easter bunny had its origin in pre-Christian fertility lore…The Easter bunny has never had religious symbolism bestowed on its festive usage…However, the bunny has acquired a cherished role in the celebration of Easter as the legendary producer of Easter eggs for children in many countries” (p. 236).

Here is further proof of the origin of Easter eggs and rabbits. It demonstrates how no one has ever been able to connect the Easter bunny to anything Christian, let alone to the Bible: “The Easter bunny is not a true Christian symbol” (John Bradner, Symbols of Church Seasons and Days, p. 52), and “Although adopted in a number of Christian cultures, the Easter bunny has never received any specific Christian interpretation” (Mirsea Eliade, The Encyclopaedia of Religion, p. 558).

None of this will stop scores of millions of professing Christians from decorating their lawns and houses with Easter bunnies each spring.

Consider this last quote: “The hare, the symbol of fertility in ancient Egypt, a symbol that was kept later in Europe…Its place has been taken by the Easter rabbit” (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1991 ed., Vol. 4, p. 333).

Even in modern times, rabbits have remained common symbols of fertility. While their rapid rate of reproduction is well known, another problem arises with rabbits—they do not lay eggs! While both are clearly fertility symbols, there is no logical way to connect them. In a world filled with pagan tradition, truth and logic can be lost. Merging these symbols with Christianity makes an already idolatrous practice worse.

There is nothing Christian about any of these symbols. The true history of these fertility symbols, rabbits and eggs, is completely unknown to all the unsuspecting children who have been led by adults to think them so special.

The entire concept that these are Christian is a lie foisted on innocent children who will believe that “the moon is made of cheese” just because someone tells them so. While these are shocking facts, they are true nonetheless.

A Counterfeit Savior?

One of the central themes of the New Testament is that Jesus Christ came to die for mankind’s sins and offer redemption to a world cut off from God.

The master counterfeiter (Satan the devil, called the “god of this world” in II Cor. 4:4) seeks to counterfeit every aspect of God’s plan. He “deceives the whole world” (Rev. 12:9). As the arch-deceiver, he would not be content to counterfeit all other aspects of Christianity but not the identity and worship of the true Savior!

Who is the real “savior” central to the “Easter Sunday” tradition? Is it the Jesus Christ of the Bible? If you say “yes,” are you sure? History answers this question plainly, with this:

First notice that “…the conception of a Saviour-God was quite normal in the ancient pagan world…a conception of salvation underlies the notion of such Gods as Osiris, Attis, and Adonis…” (John M. Robertson, Christianity and Mythology, p. 395).

And then this: “It has often been urged that this belief in the Resurrection of Jesus is due to ideas of divine resurrection current in the contemporary world…stories of Attis, Adonis, and Osiris…In the pagan stories the rising again is a joyous reversal of defeat; in the Christian story it is the complement of victorious death. It may be said that Attis and Osiris saved by rising again, Jesus by dying…the Easter observance did not arise at once out of belief in the Resurrection, but developed later by gradual stages out of the Jewish Pasch. The notion implied in the Easter greeting Christ is risen is a secondary development; the idea comes from this festival and from its occurrence in spring; the festival does not come from the idea. The idea of Christ’s resurrection was injected into the old practice of Easter observance and not the other way around” (A. Nock, Early Gentile Christianity and its Hellenistic Background, pp. 105-107).

And, finally, the powerful theme of this oft-repeated counterfeit is made most clear by the famous historian, James George Frazer: “Now the death and resurrection of Attis were officially celebrated at Rome on the 24th and 25th of March, the latter being regarded as the spring equinox, and…according to an ancient and widespread tradition Christ suffered on the 25th of March…the tradition which placed the death of Christ on the 25th of March…is all the more remarkable because astronomical considerations prove that it can have had no historical foundation…When we remember that the festival of St. George in April has replaced the ancient pagan festival of the Parilia; that the festival of St. John the Baptist in June has succeeded to a heathen Midsummer festival of water; that the festival of the Assumption of the Virgin in August has ousted the festival of Diana; that the feast of All Souls [following Halloween] in November is a continuation of an old heathen feast of the dead; and that the Nativity of Christ himself was assigned to the winter solstice in December because that day was deemed the Nativity of the Sun; we can hardly be thought to be rash or unreasonable in conjecturing that the other cardinal festival of the Christian church—the solemnization of Easter—may have been in like manner, and from like motives of edification, adapted to a similar celebration of the Phyrigian god Attis at the vernal equinox…It is a remarkable coincidence…that the Christian and the heathen festivals of the divine death and resurrection should have been solemnized at the same season…It is difficult to regard the coincidence as purely accidental” (The Golden Bough, Vol. I, pp. 306-309).

We can summarize the above source. The Roman Catholic Church had a practice of incorporating pagan festivals—of pasting “Christian” names over them and calling them “Christian.” This was done to make “Christianity” more palatable and familiar to heathen worshippers, whom the Church was trying to attract. How did such a state of affairs develop?

It can now be better understood why the apostle Paul wrote the Corinthians to beware of the subtle deceit of “another Jesus whom we have not preached.” He said, “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that comes preaches another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if you receiveanother spirit, which you have not received, or another gospel, which you have not accepted…” (II Cor. 11:3-4).

People today can think that they are worshipping the true Savior when they are really worshipping afalse savior—another Jesus! The entirety of traditional Christianity is actually worshipping Baal, the mediator and sun god, who was named after his “wife” Ishtar (who was actually his mother Semiramis)—who we will later see is the one the Bible calls the “Queen of Heaven.”

People can worship in ways that represent things that are far different than what they sincerely believe or intend. Consider the following classic example.

Sunrise Services

Sunrise services are mentioned in the Bible. But what God says about this custom is not what you expect. Notice these astonishing verses. The prophet Ezekiel was being shown, in vision, an important prophecy concerning the sins of God’s people in our time.

The entire context of these verses needs to be examined carefully to understand the heightening condemnation toward which God builds in His conclusion: “…Turn you yet again, and you shall see greater abominations that they do…and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz…And He brought me into the inner court of the LORD’S house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of theLORD, 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, Have you seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing…that they commit the abominations which they commit here? For they…have returned to 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.” (Ezek. 8:13-18).

Observing sunrise services is serious to God! He so hates this vile practice that He will ultimately destroy all who persist in it (Ezek. 9)!

It is no “light thing” to God that many millions do this every Easter! It may seem “beautiful,” “religious,” and “deeply moving” to those participating in it, but God has forbidden His true people to devise their own religious customs and ideas. He is not interested in what people may personally feelor think is right. He is interested in those who care about what He thinks! As far as God is concerned, ancient sun worship, dressed up in Easter finery and bonnets, is just modern packaging of a very old, idolatrous pagan custom.

Consider God’s own words in Deuteronomy 12:28-32 (NKJ): “Observe and obey all these words which I command you…When…you…dwell in their land, take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them…and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods…Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.”

God tells Christians to never mix what is godly with what is pagan—or the true with the false! Do not let men tell you that what God says makes no difference. It does!

Hot Cross Buns

When I was in the first grade, all the children in my class had to sing a solo of his or her choice. I will never forget this terrifying moment. I was so embarrassed and nervous that I picked the shortest song in our little songbook, “Hot Cross Buns,” and sang it before the class. Of course, I had no idea what I was singing. Though short (it was only fifteen words), I have never forgotten the lesson of its meaning.

Notice Jeremiah 7:18: “The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.” The cakes offered to the queen of heaven were these same hot cross buns that millions of children sing about today (Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, p. 107). What seems so innocent is not innocent at all.

Who is the “queen of heaven”?

Ashtaroth—The Queen of Heaven

Astarte (Easter)-worship was always associated with the worship of Baal or sun worship. Astarte was Baal’s wife. Notice that another name for Astarte was Ashtaroth. The following quote makes this point clear: “What means the term Easter itself? It is not a Christian name. It bears its Chaldean origin on its very forehead. Easter is nothing else than Astarte, one of the titles of Beltis, the queen of heaven…Now, the Assyrian goddess, or Astarte, is identified with Semiramis by Athenagoras (Legatio, vol. ii. p. 179), and by Lucian (De Dea Syria, vol iii. p. 382)…Now, no name could more exactly picture forth the character of Semiramis, as queen of Babylon, than the name of ‘Asht-tart,’ for that just means ‘The woman that made towers’…Ashturit, then…is obviously the same as the Hebrew ‘Ashtoreth’” (Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, pp. 103, 307-308).

Notice this conclusive quote from Microsoft Encarta Multimedia Encyclopaedia: “Ishtar was the Great Mother, the goddess of fertility and the QUEEN OF HEAVEN.” So, in actuality, Ashtaroth (Ishtar) was Nimrod’s harlotrous, mother/wife widow, Semiramis, as many other ancient historians attest! Easter is now established as none other than the Ashtaroth of the Bible! We can now examine the scriptures that show how God views the worship of this pagan goddess—by any name!

God Calls Easter Evil

Now that we know that Easter is the goddess Ashtaroth, we need to look into the Bible and see what God thinks of her. Look at this verse: “And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD…And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth [Easter]” (Jdg. 2:11, 13).

The context shows that God allowed His people to be taken from their land into captivity as a result ofthis sin! It continues, explaining how God delivered His people over and over again through a series of judges. After each deliverance, Israel returned to the same false gods, which in turn brought anothercaptivity, via conquest by the nations around them. They never seemed to learn, as verse 19 makes clear: “And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they returned, and corrupted themselves…in following other gods…and…they ceased not from their own doings, nor from theirstubborn way.” In chapter 10, verse 6, Israel repeats this pattern of stubbornness. And God, just as stubbornly, still calls it evil.

Baal and Ashtaroth worship reappeared during Samuel’s time. Samuel told Israel, “…put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the LORD, and serve Him only…Then the children of Israel did put away Baalim and Ashtaroth, and served the LORD only” (I Sam. 7:3-4). Later, in I Samuel 12:10-11, Samuel publicly recounted Israel’s history to them. He reminded them that they continually returned to obeying God, only to fall backwards into idolatry again and again!

It has been said that “The only thing man has learned from history is that no one learns from history.” George Santayana took it further, saying, “Those who do not learn the lesson of history are doomed to repeat it.”

This lesson describes ancient Israel—but it also describes today’s modern world. Because Israel could not stay on track, they were eventually taken into captivity, becoming lost to history! After one more captivity and punishment, prophecy reveals that Christ will gather them for the last time at His Return.

One Final Example

The Bible states that King Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived. Yet, he made a mistake that God considered so great that, after his death, He punished Solomon by removing the kingdom from his son.

His mistake?

He married a woman who led him into the worship of Easter (Ashtaroth). Notice I Kings 11:4-6: “For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods…For Solomon went after Ashtaroth the goddess of the Zidonians…And Solomon did evil in the sight of theLORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father.” Verses 11-12 demonstrate that the kingdom was taken from his son.

Two Churches: The Great Switch

There are two completely different churches pictured in the New Testament. One, the true Church that Jesus built, is described as the bride of Christ, forsaking involvements with this world and its customs in order to be pure when He comes for her. But, throughout the New Testament, it was prophesied that false teachers would creep in and gain control of the church organization. True Christians would have to flee from many of their original congregations to continue to obey God. They would, therefore, be a “little flock,” often scattered, never having political power in this world.

The world has kept little track of this small, scattered, persecuted Church, but Christ promised that He would never leave or forsake it and that “the gates of hell [the grave] shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). Though it has periodically had to scatter for its life (Acts 8:1; Dan. 12:7), Christ has faithfully kept His promise to remain with it, empowering and strengthening it through His Spirit. Despite continual persecution—even during periods of great martyrdom by the large popular churches that have always sought to destroy it—a remnant has always remained throughout the last nearly 2,000 years. It has continued to “keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus” (Rev. 14:12).

God has always commanded His Church not to keep pagan festivals! This little Church has been willing to obey Him. The entire inset 12th chapter of Revelation gives a brief overview of its history, right up to and through the time that God protects it just before the Return of Christ.

Paul warned the Thessalonian congregation, “…the mystery of iniquity does already work” (II Thes. 2:7). This mystery was already having an influence within the true Church just twenty years after Christ established it in 31 A.D. It was the very Chaldean Mystery, embodied in Christmas and Easter—its two greatest festivals! Invariably, the arrival of these false pagan celebrations required true Christians to flee.

It is this same pattern at work that has caused this booklet to have to be written. Since the death of Herbert W. Armstrong (the leader of the Church of God from 1934 to 1986), the prophesied “falling away” (the Greek word apostasia here means “to defect from truth”) before the Return of Christ (II Thes. 2:1-3) has now occurred. Many of Mr. Armstrong’s writings are no longer available and all have been rewritten by The Restored Church of God.

Thus, the previously described true Church organization joined the other church, portrayed as a harlotrous queen (like Semiramis/Easter) riding a beast with seven heads (Rev. 17). These heads represent the historic revivals of the Holy Roman Empire. This whorish woman symbolizes a powerful, politically organized church. Gradually, this church, centered at Rome, adopted more and more pagan doctrines and practices until the only discernible difference between it and pagan religion was its use of the name of Jesus Christ. This is how Easter came to be celebrated in place of the true Christian Passover.

This “mother church” has many “daughter denominations,” and the entire system masquerades under the banner of “Christianity,” when they are really the “Babylon Mystery Religion.” The Bible pictures her as a universal deceiver with all “Christian” countries made drunk with her false doctrines! She is pictured as being made drunk with the blood of the saints, while, at the same time, bragging that she is the true church. All of her daughters have adopted her pagan practices.

The Quartodeciman Controversy: From Passover to Easter

What does history say about how and when the idolatrous pagan festival of Easter came to replace the Passover service ordained by God? A series of extensive quotes tell this story—commonly referred to as the “Quartodeciman Controversy.” Several sources are quoted so that the story of how the counterfeit Easter came to replace Passover will be perfectly clear. This problem—Passover versus Easter—became so pivotal, as a test of the power of the great church that wished to stamp out the “little flock,” that eventually disobedience brought the death sentence upon any who continued to keep either God’s Sabbath or His true festivals.

Make no mistake! Whether one keeps God’s Passover or celebrates the pagan Easter is serious!

First notice the following by Eusebius (a well-known historian of the early Church) from his work,Ecclesiastical History, Book V, chapters XXIII and XXIV: “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, 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 down 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 the Lord’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; and Thraseas, bishop and martyr from Eumenia…the 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.”

The 1967 New Catholic Encyclopedia states, “Quartodeciman, a term used to describe the practice in the early Church of celebrating Easter on the 14th of Nisan (die quarta decima), the day of the Jewish Passover (Ex. 12:6). Quartodecimanism, prevalent in Asia Minor and Syria in the 2nd century, emphasized the death of Christ, the true Paschal victim (Jn. 18:28; 19:42), while Roman practice emphasized the observance of Sunday as the day of the Resurrection. Implicit in these two positions is the disputed chronology of Holy Week. As Christianity separated from Judaism, gentile Christians objected to observing the principal Christian feasts on the same day as the Jewish Passover.

“Roman efforts to induce the Quartodecimans to abandon their practice were unsuccessful. On a visit to Rome (c. 155), St. Polycarp of Smyrna amicably discussed the question with Pope Anicetus without, however, reaching agreement. Pope Victor (189-198) sought unity through a series of synods held in both East and West; all accepted the Roman practice except the Asiatic bishops. When Victor attempted coercion by excommunication, St. Irenaeus of Lyons intervened to restore peace (Eusebius,Hist. Eccl. 5.23-25). During the 3rd century Quartodecimanism waned; it persisted in some Asiatic communities down to the 5th century” (Vol. 12, p. 13).

The following very lengthy statement from the Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th Edition, well summarizes and details the story of how Easter slowly came to replace the Passover by A.D. 325 within visible, organized “Christianity”: “Although the observance of Easter was at a very early period in the practice of the Christian Church [false], a serious difference as to the day for its observance soon arose between the [true] Christians of Jewish and those of Gentile decent, which led to a long and bitter controversy…The Jewish Christians…(observed) the 14th day of the moon at evening…without regard to the day of the week. The Gentile Christians (Roman Catholics)…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 (Roman Catholic) kept Easter on the 1st day of the week, while the Eastern Churches [including the remnant of the true Church] followed the Jewish rule [the true Christian Passover].

“Polycarp, the disciple of John the Evangelist (last of the 12 apostles), and bishop of Smyrna, visited Rome in 159 (sic) to confer with Anicetus, the bishop of that see, 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 (197), the question was discussed in a very different spirit between Victor, bishop of Rome, and Polycrates, metropolitan of proconsular Asia. That province [embracing churches founded through the apostle Paul, like Antioch and all of those identified in Revelation 2 and3 as the true Church] was the only portion of Christendom which still adhered to the 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 [correct] Eastern usage. He was, however, restrained (by counsel from other bishops) from actually proceeding to enforce the decree of excommunication…and the Asiatic churches retained their usage unmolested. We find the Jewish usage (the true New Testament Passover) 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 [Roman Emperor] 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. [Or, in other words, no one was allowed to follow the example of Christ and the true Church He founded!]…The FEW who afterwards separated themselves from the unity of the [politically organized] church, and continued to keep the 14th day, were named Quartodecimani [from the Latin word for 14], and the dispute itself is known as the Quartodeciman controversy” (Vol. VIII, pp. 828-829).

This is a very powerful quote making absolutely plain the full story of what happened and how it happened. History records that Polycarp was martyred on the way back from Rome (burned to death in a farmhouse), just days after his meeting with Anicetus over the issue of keeping Passover or Easter. He was almost certainly killed because he would not compromise regarding the proper keeping of the Passover.

The 1967 New Catholic Encyclopedia states this: “Occasionally, the Quartodecimans celebrated Easter on the day that other Christians were observing Good Friday. Originally both observances were allowed, but gradually it was felt incongruous that Christians should celebrate Easter on a Jewish feast, and unity in celebrating the principal Christian feast was called for” (Vol. 5, p. 8).

Now read this quote from the same source, concluding the matter of how the Council of Nicea “decided,” for all, the matter of Easter versus Passover: “As for Easter, the Fathers decreed (1) that all Christians should observe it on the same day, (2) that Jewish customs should not be followed, and (3) that the practice of the West, of Egypt, and of other Churches should remain in force, namely, of celebrating Easter on the Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox” (Vol. 5, p. 433).

The 1909 edition of The Catholic Encyclopedia says, “After the Pope’s strong measures the Quarterdecimans seemed to have gradually dwindled away. Origen in the “Philosophumena” (VIII, xviii) seems to regard them as a mere handful of wrong-headed nonconformists. SECOND PHASE—The second stage of the Easter controversy centers around the Council of Nicaea [A.D. 325] granting that the great Easter festival was always to be held on a Sunday, and was not to be coincident with a particular phase of the moon, which might occur on any day of the week” (Vol. 5, p. 228).

The truth is that the Passover was always tied directly to the moon, regardless of the day of the week on which it fell! (The word month is derived from moon.) The 14th day of Nisan (Abib) was God’s instruction (Exodus 12:1-6)—not the nearest Sunday to this or any other date.

This same edition of The Catholic Encyclopedia, when describing the final decision at Nicaea in A.D. 325, quotes the words of the Emperor Constantine, writing to all the churches: “At this meeting the question concerning the most holy day of Easter was discussed, and it was resolved by the united judgment of all present that this feast ought to be kept by all and in every place on one and the same day…And first of all it appeared an unworthy thing that in the celebration of this most holy feast we should follow the practice of the Jews, who have impiously defiled their hands with enormous sin…for we have received from our Saviour a different way [this is false because Christ did not ever instruct “a different way”]…And I myself have undertaken that this decision should meet with the approval of your Sagacities in the hope that your Wisdoms will gladly admit that practice which is observed at once in the city of Rome and in Africa, throughout Italy and in Egypt…with entire unity of judgment.” (Vol. 5, p. 228).

Finally, this same source continues a few paragraphs later with, “The final decision always lay with accepted ecclesiastical authority…was primarily a matter of ecclesiastical discipline and not astronomical science” (p. 229). These two short phrases make it clear that church authority at Rome, and not God’s Word, determined whether Easter or the Passover would be kept.

Only the “few” remained faithful to the truth—and it has always been this way. Eventually, as the false pagan church grew in political influence, the death penalty was imposed on anyone found keeping God’s seventh-day Sabbath or His other Festivals, such as the Passover. True Christians have always had to flee to wherever they could continue keeping God’s commandments and truths. (Read our free book Where Is the True Church? – and Its Incredible History!.)

Throughout the centuries, though ignored and persecuted by the world, these same Christians (a single true Church of God) have always held to and kept the truth of God on this vital doctrinal point—as well as many other true biblical doctrines!

The Passover Was Commanded

We have already seen that God never instructed, but rather actually commanded against, keeping Easter. It has always been His purpose that the Passover should be kept once a year—forever. The early portions of this booklet briefly discussed the New Testament instruction to keep the Passover through the newly instituted symbols of the bread and wine.

The New Testament Passover also includes an ordinance of humility called the footwashing. This instruction is found in John 13:2-15 and was commanded by Christ to be taught to all who would learn God’s doctrines. Christ commanded His disciples, “Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them…Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:19-20).

This instruction includes the Passover, with the footwashing and the symbols of the bread and wine. It also includes keeping the Days of Unleavened Bread and the rest of God’s annual feast days. If you are determined to no longer participate in this world’s Easter tradition, then the previously offered booklet How Often Should the Lord’s Supper Be Taken? will help you learn what is entailed in keeping God’s New Testament Passover service. The Restored Church of God can help you learn how to do this.

What Will You Do?

Can Easter be kept “in honor of Christ”? Some may say, “Okay, I know Easter comes from paganism—but I’m not pagan! I celebrate it in honor of Christ. I focus on Him.” Because God knew that Israel would feel this way when they encountered the religious customs of pagan nations, and would try to use false customs to honor the true God, He gave the instruction in Deuteronomy 12:28-32. God always commanded that people worship Him exactly as He instructed! So did Christ.

Read our free booklet Christ’s Resurrection Was NOT on Sunday. It explains how and why the “Sunday Resurrection” idea came into use as a means of endorsing Sunday-keeping (worshipping on the day of the sun, or the sun’s day) in place of keeping God’s true Sabbath day. Also read our related article, “Christ’s Crucifixion Was Not on Friday.”

Jesus told the Pharisees, “Thus have you made the commandment of God of none effect by yourtraditionin vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matt. 15:6,9). Mark’s parallel account adds an important element: “Full well you REJECT the commandment of God, that you may keep your own tradition” (7:9). These verses have clear application to those who reject the Passover that they may keep pagan Easter.

Hundreds of millions keep the rank idolatrous pagan feast known as Easter, believing themselves to be honoring Jesus Christ! Most are in complete ignorance of what they are doing. God’s answer to all is “…the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commands all men every where to repent” (Acts 17:30)!

From Easter Back to the Passover

The following is from the conclusion of Herbert W. Armstrong’s booklet The Plain Truth About EASTER. It follows a brief overview of the importance of keeping God’s Passover instead of pagan Easter:

“We need to return to the faith once delivered. Let us humbly and obediently observe this sacred ordinance [Passover] as we are commanded, at the scriptural time, after sunset, the 14th of Abib [Nisan] according to the Sacred Calendar.”

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