As we approach the end
of time on this earth, and the power of the Antichrist increases, the pressure
to conform to the events of the world is getting stronger and stronger. Very few
pastors and Christian churches today will take a stand on the issue of pagan
holidays and what Christians should do.
The Truth About Easter
From Babylon, Mystery Religion
Reverend Ralph Woodrow, 1965
Fish, Friday, and the Spring Festival
We have seen right from the
scriptures that Friday was very definitely NOT the day of the week on which
Christ was crucified. Yet each Friday many Catholics abstain from meat (substituting
fish in its place) supposedly in remembrance of the Friday crucifixion.
Roman Catholics in the United States are no longer required by their church to
abstain from meat on Fridays (as formerly) - except during Lent - nevertheless
many still follow the custom of fish on Friday.
Having seen how numerous
doctrines and rites were adopted into the Roman Catholic church from paganism,
we need not be surprised to find that numerous attempts were also made to
"Christianize" certain popular pagan days and their accompanying
customs. Has this been the case with Friday and fish? Certainly the
scriptures never associate Friday with fish. On the other hand, there is
evidence of the basic idea among the philosophies of the pagans!
The word "Friday" comes
from the name of "Freya", who was regarded as the goddess of peace,
joy and FERTILITY by the ancient pagans. And as the
symbol of her fertility, the FISH was regarded as being sacred to her! How
the fish has from the very early times been a symbol of fertility. It was
a well known symbol of fertility among the ancient Babylonians, as well as the
Assyrians, Phoenicians, the Chinese, and others. The very word
"fish" comes from the original word "dag" implying increase
or fecundity. The reason the fish was used as a symbol of fertility is
seen by the simple fact that it has a very high reproduction rate. For
example, a single cod fish annually spawns upwards of 9,000,000 eggs; the
flounder, 1,000,000; the sturgeon, 7,000,000; the perch, 400,000; the mackerel,
500,000; the herring, 10,000; etc. And so, from ancient times, the fish
has been a symbol of sexual fertility, and thus was associated with the goddess
of fertility - Freya - Friday! Now we are beginning to see the real
significance of Friday and fish.
The Romans called the goddess of
sexual fertility by the name of Venus. And thus it is from the name of the
goddess Venus that our modern words "venereal" and "venereal
disease" have come. Friday was regarded as her sacred day, because it
was believed that the planet Venus ruled the first hour of Friday and thus it
was called dies Veneris. And to make the significance complete, the
fish was also regarded as being sacred to her. The accompanying
illustration, as seen in "Ancient Pagan and Modern Christian
Symbolism", shows the goddess Venus with her symbol, the fish. The
similarities betwee the two, would indicate that Venus and Freya were originally
one and the same goddess and that original being the mother-goddess of Babylon.
same association of the mother goddess with the fish-fertility symbol is
evidenced among the symbols of the goddess in other forms also. The fish
was regarded as sacred to Ashtoreth, the name under which the Israelites
worshipped the pagan goddess. And in ancient Egypt, Isis
is represented with a fish on her head, as seen in the accompanying
In view of these things
concerning Friday being named after the goddess of sexual fertility, Friday
being that day from olden times was regarded as her sacred day, and since FISH
was her sacred symbol; it seems more than a mere coincidence that to this day,
Catholics are taught that Friday is a special day, a day of abstinence from
meat, a day to eat fish!
Now we have already noticed that
Friday was not the day of the crucifixion of Christ and neither was Easter
Sunday morning the time of His resurrection, as is commonly assumed. Surely
then, this is not the true foundation for the observance of Easter.
From where then does Easter observance come? Did the apostles ever observe
Easter? Did the early Christians dye easter eggs or go to the bakery and
buy hot cross buns? Did Peter or Paul ever conduct an Easter sunrise
service? Where did all of these customs come from?
To begin with, let us consider
the very word "Easter" itself. The word "Easter"
appears once in the King James Version of the Bible:"...intending
after Easter to bring him forth to the people..."(Acts
12:4). The original word that is here translated "easter"
is "pascha" which is (as ALL scholars know and recognize) the Greek
word for PASSOVER and has no connection with the English word "Easter"
whatsoever. (See for yourself by checking ANY Bible dictionary) The King James
Version is the only version of the Bible that has inserted the word Easter
instead of Passover in this text. It is well known that the word
"Easter" is not a Christian expression, not in its original
meaning. The word itself, as the dictionaries and encyclopedias explain,
comes from the name of a pagan goddess, the goddess of spring. Easter is
but a more modern form of Ishtar, Eostre, Ostera, or Astarte. Ishtar,
another name for Semiramis of Babylon, was pronounced as we pronounce
"Easter" today! And so the name of the Spring Festival,
"Easter", is definitely paganistic, the name being taken from the name
of the goddess.
And not only is the name
"Easter" of pagan origin, but we shall see that the traditional
customs and observances of this season originated in paganism also. A good
example of this can be seen in the well known usage of the Easter egg.
From the "egg-rolling" on the White House lawn to the yard of the most
humble home, eggs are colored, hid, hunted, and eaten -- each year at the
"Easter" season. But where did this custom of using eggs at this
season begin? Are we to suppose that Christians of the New Testament dyed
eggs? Do eggs have anything to do with Christ or His resurrection?
answer is obvious. Such usage is completely foreign to the Bible.On the other hand, the egg was a
sacred symbol among the Babylonians! They believed an old fable about an
egg of wondrous size which was supposed to have fallen from heaven into the
Euphrates River. From this marvelous egg --according to the ancient story
-- the goddess Astarte (Easter), was hatched. And
so the egg came to symbolize the goddess Easter. From Babylon (the MOTHER
of false religion) humanity was scattered to the various parts of the earth and
with them they took the idea of the Mystic Egg. Thus we find the egg as a
sacred symbol among many nations.
ancient Druids bore an egg as the sacred emblem of their idolatrous order.
The procession of Ceres in Rome was preceded by an egg. In the Mysteries
of Bacchus, an egg was consecrated as part of their ceremony. China, yet
today, uses dyed or colored eggs in their sacred festival. In Japan, an
ancient custom has been to make their sacred egg a hard brazen color. In
Northern Europe in pagan times, eggs were colored and used as symbols of the
goddess Easter. The illustration shows two ways in which the pagans
represented their sacred eggs. On the left is is the sacred egg of Helioplis; on the right, the Typhon's
Egg. Among the Egyptians, the egg was associated with the sun -- the
"golden egg." Their dyed eggs were used as sacred offerings at the Easter
Says the Encyclopedia Britannica:
"The egg as a symbol of fertility and of renewed life goes back to the
ancient Egyptians and Persians, who had also the custom of coloring and eating
eggs during their spring festival." None can dispute the fact that
the egg as a sacred symbol has been a part of pagan festivities from ancient
How then, we ask, did this custom
come to be associated with Christianity? Its adoption into the Romish
"church" is but further evidence of the great compromise that was made
with paganism -- a compromise to gain popularity with both sides! And as
when other rites were adopted by the "church", apostate leaders
attempted to find some similarity between the pagan rite and some Christian
event; so in this case, it was suggested that as the chick comes out of the egg,
so Christ came out of the tomb! Thus, fallen church leaders (void of the
Holy Spirit) told the people that the egg was the symbol of the resurrection of
Christ! Pope Paul V even appointed a prayer in connection with the egg!
"Bless, O Lord, we beseech thee, this thy creature of EGGS, that it may
become wholesome sustenance unto thy servants, eating it remembrance of our Lord
Jesus Christ," etc. And so another "mixture" passed into
Babylon Modern and has in turn become a part of present day customs.
Now even as the fish was
associated with the goddess as a sign of sexual fertility, so also, the egg was
but another symbol of fertility. When we think about it, it is tragic that
such a vile symbolism came to be associated with Christianity, when in reality
such things have no connection with TRUE Christianity at all! And even as
fish and eggs were fertility symbols of the Mystery religion, so also is the
Easter Rabbit (the Hare) a symbol of fertility. "Like the easter egg,
the easter hare," says the Encyclopedia Britannica , "came to
Christianity from antiquity. The hare is associated with the moon in the
legends of the ancient Egypt and other peoples...Through the fact that the
Egyptian word for hare, UM, means also 'open' and 'period', the hare came to be
associated with the idea of periodicity, both lunar and human, and with the
beginning of new life in both the young man and young woman, and so a symbol of
fertility and of the renewal of life. As such, the hare became linked with
Easter...eggs." Thus both the Easter Rabbit and Easter eggs were
symbols of sexual significance, symbols of fertility!
Another custom that is closely
connected with the Easter season is the baking and eating of "hot cross
buns." Again, this appears at first glance to be a Christian custom
because of the shape or marking on the buns of the cross. But, as we have
seen earlier, the cross symbol is not a Christian symbol. On the other
hand, as early as the days of Cecrops, founder of Athens (1500 B.C.), such buns
were used in the worship of the queen of heaven. "The history of the
cross bun goes back to... the LIBA offered to Astarte" -- the Queen of
Heaven. In the days of Jeremiah, God rebuked His people for the practice
in which "the children gather wood, and the fathers
kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make CAKES to the queen of
heaven... Therefore thus saith the Lord God: Behold, mine anger and my fury
shall be poured out upon this place" (Jeremiah
7:18-20; 44:17-19, 25). Now in these two chapters of Jeremiah, the
word translated "cake" is "kavvan" meaning "bun."
(In all other places in the Bible, except in these two chapters, the word cakes
is translated from different words.) And so here was some type of special
cake (or bun) as part of the Mother Goddess worship. These buns were very
possibly made in the shape of a cross or marked with a cross, for this symbol
was regarded as sacred to her.
Another Easter custom that is
celebrated in many parts of the land is Easter Sunrise Service. The
common assumption is that such services honor Christ because He rose on Easter
Sunday morning just as the sun was coming up! But though this is widely
believed, we have already seen that the resurrection of Christ did not occur at
sunrise. It was yet DARK when Mary Magdalene came to the tomb on the first
day of the week and the tomb was already empty! (John 20:1)
Since our Lord's resurrection did not take place at dawn, then surely this is no
basis for sunrise services.
On the other hand, there was a
type of sunrise service that was a part of old pagan customs connected with sun-worship!
Now we do not mean to imply that Christian people today literally worship the
sun in their Easter sunrise services. Nor do we say that the Catholic who
bows before the monstrance sun-image and worships the round, sun-shaped host, is
literally worshipping the sun. But what we are saying is that such
practices are an obvious mixture of paganism with Christianity.
In the Old Testament of the
Bible, God's people went into Babylonian captivity because they mixed
sun-worship rites into their worship. God showed this to the prophet
he brought me into the inner court of the LORD'S house," said the
prophet, "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." (Ezekiel
8:16) Here then were people that had known God, yet they allowed this
mixture of sun-worship to enter in and defile them.
But was this worship conducted at
SUNRISE? Yes. It was definitely a sunrise service, for the
scriptures declare that they worshipped the sun toward the EAST. And of
course the sun is in the east at early morning -- at sunrise!
It was also to the east that the
prophets of Baal looked in the days of Elijah! As we have already seen,
the sun was regarded as the representative of Baal (the deified Nimrod).
Therefore, when Elijah challenged the false prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel
with the words: "The God that answers by FIRE, let
him be God", he was meeting Baal worship on its own grounds -- fire
being regarded as the representation of the sun-god. And at what time of
the day was it that these false prophets of Baal started calling on him?
It was as Baal (the SUN) made his first appearance over the eastern horizon; for
it was at "morning", that is, DAWN (I Kings
18:26) Of course no answer came from the sun-god Baal, so they
continued until noon and the rest of the day.
Rites connected with the dawning
sun (in one form or another) were known in many ancient nations. Those who
made the Sphinx in Egypt, built it to watch for the rising sun in the
east. From Mount Fuji-yama, Japan, prayers are made to the rising sun:
"The pilgrims pray to their rising sun while climbing the mountain
sides...sometimes one may see several hundreds of Shinto pilgrims in their white
robes turning out from their shelters, and joing their chants tot he rising
sun." And the pagan Mithrists of Rome (whom we have already
mentioned) met together at dawn in honor of the sun god.
Now turning again to the Eighth
Chapter of Ezekiel in which the prophet saw 25 men looking to the east at
sunrise, we notice that they didn't seem to think it mattered much if such an
observance was mixed in with their worship. They evidently thought it was
a "light thing." But concerning this, God spoke to Ezekiel:
"Hast thou seen this, O Son of man? Is it a
light thing...that they commit the abominations which they commit here?...and,
lo, they put the branch to their nose" (Verse
17) This rite of putting the branch to the nose was also associated
with the dawn of the sun in the east. This was an idolatrous ritual of
holding up a branch of tamarisk (called barsom) to the nose at daybreak while
they sang hymns to the rising sun.
It is evident that such sunrise
services were RELIGIOUS gatherings. But is there any indication that these
services were conducted at the "Easter" season, in the spring of that
year? Yes, there is! Actually, as we already briefly mentioned, the
very name "Easter" comes from the name of the pagan goddess of SPRING
and this was the time of her festival. She was regarded as the goddess of
the rising light in the east, as the very word "East-er" shows.
"The English EASTER...is at all events connected with the east and
sunrise..." Thus the dawn of the sun in the "east", the
name "easter", and the Spring season season are all connected.
But to further see the connection
between the sunrise services, the goddess Easter, and the Spring season,
let us consider the following: In the old fables of the Mystery cults, their
"savior", Tammuz, was worshipped with various rites at the Spring
season. According to the legends, after he was slain, he went into the
underworld. But through the weeping of his "MOTHER", Ishtar
(Easter), he mystically was revived. And the sign of his supposed coming
to life again, was represented in the springing forth of the vegetation in
Each year a spring festival
dramatically represented this supposed "resurrection" from the
underworld: "The resurrection of Tammuz through Ishtar's grief was
dramatically represented ANNUALLY in order to insure the success of the crops
and the fertility of the people...Each year men and women had to grieve with
Ishtar over the death of Tammuz and celebrate the god's return, in order to win
anew her favor and her benefits!" When the new vegetation began to
come forth, those ancient people saw in this a symbol that their
"savior" had come from the underworld, and this coming forth was
supposed to be the thing that ended winter and caused Spring to begin.
Now turning once again to Ezekiel
Eight, we find that along with the worship of the sun toward the east, the
practice of weeping with Ishtar for Tammuz was also observed. As we read
in verse 14:
there sat women weeping for Tammuz"! And then in the verses
that follow, Ezekiel saw the sun-worship rites. So here, even the people
that had known God, had mixed the Babylonian religion into their worship --
weeping with Ishtar the "Mother" for the dead Tammuz. This was a
part of the Spring Festival (the spring forth of new life, new vegetation, etc.,
supposedly representing the coming forth of Tammuz from the underworld.)
And closely connected with these SPRING festivities were the rites in which men
looked to the east, to the rising sun at dawn!
Now since the true Savior, our
Lord Jesus Christ, in reality did rise (not merely in nature, plants,
etc.); and since His resurrection was in the spring of the year (though
slightly earlier than the pagan festival of olden times) it was not too hard for
the church of the fourth century (now greatly departed from the true faith
anyway) to merge the pagan spring festival into Christianity, attaching
the various phases of it to Christ. In this way, it would appear to be a Christian
Festival, yet at the same time, it would retain many of its ancient
customs. In this way, both sides were coaxed into the professing
"church." In speaking of this merger, the Encyclopedia
Britannica says: "Christianity...incorporated in its celebration of the
great Christian feast day many of the heathen rites and customs of the Spring
festival" -- the ancient pagan festival!
The evidence then is clear:
today's observance of Easter is not purely Christian. Its customs are
plainly a MIXTURE, a mixture of paganism and Christianity. Some feel,
however, that we can take these various customs and use them to honor
Christ. After all, it is reasoned, do not most Christians think of Christ
at this season? Though the pagans worshipped the sun toward the east,
could we not have sunrise services to honor the resurrection of Christ, even
though this is not the time of the day He rose? And even though the egg
was used by pagans, can't we continue its use and pretend it symbolizes the
large rock that was in front of the tomb? In other words, some feel we can
take all of these pagan beliefs and ideas, and instead of applying them to the
false gods as the heathen did, we will use them to glorify Christ. At
first glance, this might SEEM like good reasoning. But this idea of adding
pagan customs into the worship of the true God is utterly and absolutely
condemned in the Bible! Here is what God says: "TAKE HEED... that
thou inquire not after their gods (pagan gods), saying: How did these
nations serve their gods? Even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt NOT do so unto the LORD thy God...What thing soever I command you, observe
to do it; thou shalt not ADD thereto..." (Deuteronomy
12:30-32). Plainly then, our God does not want to add anything to
His worship. He does not want us to use customs and rites that the heathen
used, even though we might claim to use them to honor HIM.
Having adopted the pagan Spring
festival of Ishtar or Easter into the fallen church, it was but a natural step
to adopt the old "fast" that preceded the Spring festival also.
Today, this period of forty days before Easter is known as lent. In
olden times, these forty days were observed with weeping, fasting, and
self-chastisement for Tammuz (to gain anew his favor) so he would come forth
from the underworld, end winter, and cause spring to begin. According to
the old legends, Tammuz was forty years old when he was killed by a wild
boar. And so forty days (a day for each year he lived on earth) were set
aside to "weep for Tammuz." The observance of this period of
time in honor of Tammuz was not only known at Babylon, but it was also known
among Phoenicians, the Egyptians, and, for a time, even among God's Old
Testament people when they fell into apostasy (Ezekiel 8).
The forty days' of abstinence of
lent was known among the Devil worshippers of Koordistan who inherited the
spring observance from their early masters, the Babylonians. Such an
observance was also known among the pagan Mexicans who observed "a solemn
fast of forty days in honor of the sun." "Among the
pagans," says Hislop, "this lent seems to have been an indispensable
preliminary to the great annual festival in commemoration of the death and
resurrection of Tammuz."
Today, lent (the period of forty
days before Easter) is likewise considered a very important part of the Roman
Catholic religion. But such a belief is not founded on the Bible, but is
as we have seen a doctrine whose roots are in Babylonish paganism. As this
paganism and Christianity were mixed together, little by little, pagan
"lent" was merged into the professing "church", only now
supposedly to honor Christ instead of the pagan sun gods to which it had
formerly been used. It was during the sixth century that the Pope
officially instituted the observance of Lent, calling it a "sacred
fast", and ordered the people abstain from meat and a few other foods for
the length of its duration.
In our time, some Catholics may
not eat chocolate bars, others may abstain from butter, another may smoke one
cigarette a day instead of twenty, another may give up drinking during this
time. But what lasting results are accomplished through such an
observance? None. In fact, this is the very type of apostasy that
Paul warned could enter in. He mentioned that when the departure from the
true faith came, men would teach "doctrines of devils"
(pagan doctrines) and especially mentioned one of these doctrines of "commanding
to abstain from meats (foods)" (I Timothy
Of course, to the world that does
not understand the "mystery" of all of this, they think lent and days
of "abstinence" are most surely of Christian origin and are of great
virtue. But in reality, just the opposite is the teaching of the Bible and
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