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by Alexander Hislop Chapter III, Section II, Easter What does the term Easter mean? Easter is nothing else than Astarte, one of the titles of Beltis, the queen of heaven.
THE BIBLE TEACHES THE OBSERVANCE OF THE Passover!
How and When was it changed and by Who?
The following is a copy of the letter that the Roman Emperor Constantine sent out to all the inhabitants of the Roman Empire that he was king over. In this letter are his reasons to change the Lord's Passover to a different day and give it a different name called Easter. The net affect was the taking of a pagan day of worship and calling it a holy day given to Christians by God. This is a lie that was foretold by God through Daniel when he said the fourth beast would think to change times and laws (Daniel 7:23-25).
From the Letter of the Emperor to all those not present at the Council. (Found in Eusebius, Vita Const., Lib. iii., 18-20.)
When the question relative to the sacred festival of Easter arose, it was universally thought that it would be convenient that all should keep the feast on one day; for what could be more beautiful and more desirable, than to see this festival, through which we receive the hope of immortality, celebrated by all with one accord, and in the same manner?
It was declared to be particularly unworthy for this, the holiest of all festivals, to follow the custom [the calculation] of the Jews, who had soiled their hands with the most fearful of crimes, and whose minds were blinded. In rejecting their custom,(1) we may transmit to our descendants the legitimate mode of celebrating Easter, which we have observed from the time of the Saviour's Passion to the present day [according to the day of the week].
We ought not, therefore, to have anything in common with the Jews, for the Saviour has shown us another way; our worship follows a more legitimate and more convenient course (the order of the days of the week); and consequently, in unanimously adopting this mode, we desire, dearest brethren, to separate ourselves from the detestable company of the Jews, for it is truly shameful for us to hear them boast that without their direction we could not keep this feast. How can they be in the right, they who, after the death of the Saviour, have no longer been led by reason but by wild violence, as their delusion may urge them? They do not possess the truth in this Easter question; for, in their blindness and repugnance to all improvements, they frequently celebrate two passovers in the same year [See note below via the scriptures regarding two Passovers in the same year].
We could not imitate those who are openly in error. How, then, could we follow these Jews, who are most certainly blinded by error? for to celebrate the passover twice in one year is totally inadmissible. But even if this were not so, it would still be your duty not to tarnish your soul by communications with such wicked people [the Jews]. Besides, consider well, that in such an important matter, and on a subject of such great solemnity, there ought not to be any division. Our Saviour has left us only one festal day of our redemption, that is to say, of his holy passion, and he desired [to establish] only one Catholic Church.
Think, then, how unseemly it is, that on the same day some should be fasting whilst others are seated at a banquet; and that after Easter, some should be rejoicing at feasts, whilst others are still observing a strict fast. For this reason, a Divine Providence wills that this custom should be rectified and regulated in a uniform way; and everyone, I hope, will agree upon this point.
As, on the one hand, it is our duty not to have anything in common with the murderers of our Lord; and as, on the other, the custom now followed by the Churches of the West, of the South, and of the North, and by some of those of the East, is the most acceptable, it has appeared good to all; and I have been guarantee for your consent, that you would accept it with joy, as it is followed at Rome, in Africa, in all Italy, Egypt, Spain, Gaul, Britain, Libya, in all Achaia, and in the dioceses of Asia, of Pontus, and Cilicia.
You should consider not only that the number of churches in these provinces make a majority, but also that it is right to demand what our reason approves, and that we should have nothing in common with the Jews.
To sum up in few words: By the unanimous judgment of all, it has been decided that the most holy festival of Easter should be everywhere celebrated on one and the same day, and it is not seemly that in so holy a thing there should be any division. As this is the state of the case, accept joyfully the divine favour, and this truly divine command; for all which takes place in assemblies of the bishops ought to be regarded as proceeding from the will of God.
Make known to your brethren what has been decreed, keep this most holy day according to the prescribed mode; we can thus celebrate this holy Easter day at the same time, if it is granted me, as I desire, to unite myself with you; we can rejoice together, seeing that the divine power has made use of our instrumentality for destroying the evil designs of the devil, and thus causing faith, peace, and unity to flourish amongst us. May God graciously protect you, my beloved brethren.
These are the reasons given by Constantine to his followers as to why the Passover should be changed to easter:
1. It should be convenient to keep it on a fixed day
2. Change the date so as to reject the custom of the Jews (which would be to reject the commandment of God)
3. To separate themselves from the Jews.
4. That the Jews (and ultimately God) is in error for celebrating two Passovers in the same year (see note below)
5. That Jesus desired to establish one Catholic Church
6. That the Catholics should not have anything in common with those who murdered (crucified) Jesus Christ.
7. That the majority of the Catholic church has agreed that the date should be changed and set on a fixed day.
The Jews are accused of celebrating two passovers in the same year. God had made an exception for those who could not keep the passover on the day commanded being the 14th day of the first month.
Numbers 9:6-13 KJVAnd there were certain men, who were defiled by the dead body of a man, that they could not keep the passover on that day: and they came before Moses and before Aaron on that day: (7) And those men said unto him, We are defiled by the dead body of a man: wherefore are we kept back, that we may not offer an offering of the LORD in his appointed season among the children of Israel? (8) And Moses said unto them, Stand still, and I will hear what the LORD will command concerning you. (9) And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, (10) Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If any man of you or of your posterity shall be unclean by reason of a dead body, or be in a journey afar off, yet he shall keep the passover unto the LORD. (11) The fourteenth day of the second month at even they shall keep it, and eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. (12) They shall leave none of it unto the morning, nor break any bone of it: according to all the ordinances of the passover they shall keep it. (13) But the man that is clean, and is not in a journey, and forbeareth to keep the passover, even the same soul shall be cut off from among his people: because he brought not the offering of the LORD in his appointed season, that man shall bear his sin.
The letter Constantine sent out to the inhabitants in his kingdom is very much against the Jews and God's people and all those who desire to keep God's law. Today we would call this anti-Semitic. The Churches of God who are scattered all over the world like salt shaken from a shaker are not anti-Semitic. We take the same stance that Paul has taken in his letter to the Romans when he said: "For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Rom 10:11-13)
The Jews are our brothers and will also be saved: "I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?" (Rom 11:11-15)
"For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. (Rom 11:25-32)
We would encourage everyone to read Paul's letters to the Roman Church regarding our relationship to the Jews as outlined in chapters nine through twelve.
The churches of God (people of God) observe and keep holy the seventh day (Sabbath). We observe the 14th Passover as Christ set the example for us with the unleavened bread and wine preceded by the foot washing. We observe the first and last day of Unleavened Bread. We remove leavening from our homes for these eight days and do not eat foods puffed up with leavening. We also observe the Passover of the second month on the 14th in the same manner as it is observed in the first month if we have been prevented from keeping it as prescribed by God in His word as recorded by Moses in the book of Numbers (9:6-13). We also observe the rest of God's appointed times in their season: the day of Pentecost, the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, the Feast of Tabernacles and the Eighth Day.
"For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him (Jesus Christ, the Anointed One) shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Rom 10:11-17)
Why Do You Observe Easter? - Sermon