HOW YOU ARE PORTRAYED DEPENDS ON WHO IS WRITING YOUR STORY

HOW YOU ARE PORTRAYED DEPENDS ON WHO IS WRITING YOUR STORY

Michael Jeshurun

CURRENT NEWS . . . .

A biker is passing the zoo when he sees a little girl leaning into the lion’s cage. Suddenly, the lion grabs her by the cuff of her jacket and tries to pull her inside to slaughter her under the eyes of her screaming parents.

The biker jumps off his bike, runs to the cage and hits the lion square on the nose with a powerful punch. Whimpering from the pain the lion jumps back, letting go of the girl, and the biker brings her to her terrified parents, who thank him endlessly.

A New York Times reporter has watched the whole event. The reporter says, “Sir, this was the most gallant and brave thing I saw a man do in my whole life.” The biker replies, “Why, it was nothing, really, the lion was behind bars. I just saw this little kid in danger, and acted as I felt right.”

The reporter says, “Well, I’m a journalist from the New York Times, and tomorrow’s paper will have this story on the front page… so, what do you do for a living and what political affiliation do you have?”

The biker replies, “I’m a U.S. Marine and a Republican.”
The following morning the biker buys The New York Times to see if it indeed brings news of his actions, and reads, on the front page:

“U.S. MARINE ASSAULTS AFRICAN IMMIGRANT AND STEALS HIS LUNCH.”

MORAL – Now as a true child of God you may be ridiculed, maligned and spoken evil of in this present evil world! But your day to be vindicated is coming!

“And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel?” [1Kings 18:17]

“It is no unusual thing for God’s upright ministers to be spoken of as troublers of peoples and nations. Faithful Amos was charged​ with conspiring against Jeroboam the second, and told that the land was not able to bear all his words (Amos 7:10). The Saviour Himself was accused of “stirring up the people” (Luke 23:5). It was said of Paul and Silas at Philippi that they did “exceedingly trouble the city” (Acts 16:20), and when at Thessalonica they were spoken of as having “turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6).

There is therefore no higher testimony to their fidelity than for the servants of God to evoke the rancor and hostility of the reprobate. One of the most scathing condemnations that could be pronounced on men is contained in those terrible words of our Lord to His unbelieving brethren: “The world cannot hate you: but Me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil” (John 7:7). But who would not rather receive all the charges which the Ahabs can heap upon us than incur that sentence from the lips of Christ!

It is the duty of God’s servants to warn men of their danger, to point out that the way of rebellion against God leads to certain destruction and to call upon them to throw down the weapons of their revolt and flee from the wrath to come. It is their duty to teach men that they must turn from their idols and serve the living God, otherwise they will eternally perish. It is their duty to rebuke wickedness wherever it be found and to declare that the wages of sin is death. This will not make for their popularity, for it will condemn and irritate the wicked, and such plain speaking will seriously annoy them.

Those who expose hypocrites, resist tyrants, oppose the wicked, are ever viewed by them as troublemakers. But as Christ declared, “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you” (Matthew 5:11, 12).”

[A.W. Pink – “The Life of Elijah”]

EASTER – THE DEVIL’S HOLIDAY

EASTER – THE DEVIL’S HOLIDAY

Dr. C. Matthew McMahon

Easter has little to do with real Christianity. Does that surprise you? It should not. For example, Easter was not popular with the Puritans or the Pilgrim settlers in America. Neither Puritans or Pilgrims had use for ceremonies associated with religious festivals invented in either pagan history, or reinvented by Roman Catholicism. In actuality, here in the America’s only after the bloodshed Civil War did Easter “begin again” to be accepted. As Walsh states in his “Holy Time and Sacred Space in Puritan New England” (Walsh, American Quarterly, Vol. 32, No. 1 (Spring, 1980), pp. 79-95) “The New England [Pilgrims] like Reformed Protestants everywhere, rejected traditional Roman Catholic and Anglican beliefs and practices that organized time around consecrated churches, railed-off altars, holy shrines, miraculous wells, and that supposed the flow of time to be an irregular succession of holy days and sacred seasons. The Reformers argued, what was intended as a crutch for others had become a cast for Christians who willingly accepted the obligation of constant worship. They for whom all days are holy can have no holidays.” (See, for example, The Sermons of John Calvin Upon the Fifth Book of Moses called Deuteronomie, trans. Arthur Golding (London: H. Middleton, 1583).

The Post Reformation pastors and theologians of the day, following the Reformers, abolished Easter, among other things. In June 1647, England Parliament, headed by the Puritans at Westminster, passed legislation abolishing Christmas and other holidays: “Forasmuch as the feast of the nativity of Christ, Easter, Whitsuntide, and other festivals, commonly called holy-days, have been heretofore superstitiously used and observed; be it ordained, that the said feasts, and all other festivals, commonly called holy-days, be no longer observed as festivals; any law, statute, custom, constitution, or canon, to the contrary in anywise not withstanding.” (Daniel Neal, The History of the Puritans (London, 1837; rpt. Minneapolis: Klock , p. 45).
The Puritans “proposed a stricter observance of Sundays, the Lord’s Day, along with banning the immoral celebration of Christmas — as well as Easter, Whitsun and saints’ days.” (Patino, Marta, The Puritan Ban on Christmas). The reason the puritans denied the celebration of any holy days was a biblical foundation to deny the “dressing up” of any other day than what God had specifically prescribed in Lord’s Day worship. “Holy days’ have no such prescription — there is no Scriptural command, approved example, or good and necessary inference, which warrants tying specific acts of redemption to ‘holy’ days of our own choosing.” (Chris Coldwell, The Religious Observance of Christmas and ‘Holy Days’ in American Presbyterianism) (I would encourage the reader to read the entire article that Coldwell has at that link which covers not only Easter, but other holidays.)In “The Quest for Purity: Dynamics of Puritan Movements” by Walter E. a Van Beek, he states, “Because Easter invariably fell on a Sunday, this was a problem for Puritan preachers who were consistent with their repudiation of of the traditional calendar. The usual solution was to preach a sermon that had no direct connection with Easter.” (Page 77.) How would a congregation today take a non-Easter sermon on Easter Sunday? What would your reaction be, reader?

Rightly so, the Westminster Confession states in the appendix entitled, “An Appendix, Touching Days and Places for Public Worship,” the following, “The key clause of interest to this study is, “Festival days, vulgarly called Holy-days, having no warrant in the word of God, are not to be continued.” Later Presbyterian theology followed suit. While people “say” they adhere to the Confession, they dip hardboiled eggs into food coloring, and buy Easter Baskets for their children. Robert Dabney states in abolishing Easter, “The objections are: first, that this countenances “will-worship,” or the intrusion of man’s inventions into God’s service; second, it is an implied insult to Paul’s inspiration, assuming that he made a practical blunder, which the church synods, wiser than his inspiration, had to mend by a human expedient; and third, we have here a practical confession that, after all, the average New Testament Christian does need a stated holy day, and therefore the ground of the Sabbath command is perpetual and moral.” (Robert Lewis Dabney “The Christian Sabbath: Its Nature, Design and Proper Observance”, Discussions: Theological and Evangelical (Richmond: Whittet and Shepperson, 1890) 1. 524-525. See also, “The Sabbath of the State,” 2.600.)

What do we find when entering into Roman Catholicism’s “borrowing” of paganism? John Gill states, “Popish festivals were observed very early, long before the Pope of some arrived to the height of his ambition. The feast of Easter was kept in the second century, as the controversy between Anicetus and Polycarp, and between Victor and the Asiatic churches, shews.” (John Gill, Sermon 57: A Dissertation on the Rise and Progress of Popery, page 17; Ages Ultimate Library, 2004). We find their continued alliance with breaking the regulative principle, and the replacement of true worship, with worshipping that which is unholy. They institute unscriptural burdens such as Lent, fast days, sacred rites that control their kingdom with superstitions and false religion guised in the cloak of “authority” and hide the truth from people to damn them for all eternity. One such deception is their introduction of the “Christian festival of Easter.” Look around and you will see the world-wide acceptance of the chocolate bunny and hardboiled egg. It is harmless, right?

What does one find when looking at the celebration of Easter? The term “Easter” is certainly not Christian, and is of Chalcedonian origin. Easter is nothing else than Astarte, one of the titles of Beltis, the queen of heaven, whose name, as pronounced by the people at Nineveh, was evidently identical with that now in common use today. That name, as found by Layard on the Assyrian monuments, is Ishtar – the devil or Satan.[1]

Worship of the devil in this way was introduced to the English people through the Druids who worshipped the devil through nature.

Take a moment and note that Romanism or Druidism for that matter, would not openly say “they are worshipping the devil.” Of course they would deny it. However, the Scripture is exceedingly clear that any doctrine not brought to men through the Triune Godhead, and the Savior Jesus Christ, is a doctrine of demons and therefore, a worshipping of the devil. This certainly applies not only to the contemporary church when it introduces destructive heresies, or twists Paul’s words to their own destruction, as Peters states, but also applies to false religious ideas that pull people away from the one true Savior and only God Jesus Christ. One cannot introduce false religion without partaking of demonic influences and devil worship in that light.

As a result of Druidic worship, and influences that have penetrated into Romanism, contemporary Christendom of almost every flavor still has those influences lingering today in their worship, and their Sunday morning bulletins around the time of Easter. The Druids would worship in lighting a fire in the center circle and each worshipper putting in a “bit of oat-cake in a shepherd’s bonnet; they all sit down, and draw blindfold a piece from the bonnet. One piece has been previously blackened, and whoever gets that piece has to jump through the fire in the centre of the circle, and pay a forfeit. This is, in fact, a part of the ancient worship of Baal, and the person on whom the lot fell was previously burnt as a sacrifice.” Scripture deems this “walking through the fire” or “fire sacrifice.” God condemns the practice of making children walk through the fire in Leviticus 18:21, “You shall not give any of your children to offer them to Molech, and so profane the name of your God: I am the LORD.”

Easter, then, traces back through Astarte was also worshipped in ancient times, and that from the name Astarte, whose name in Nineveh was Ishtar, the religious workings during the month of March and April, as now practiced in most of Christendom, are called by the name of Easter. In ancient times the pagans called this time of the year Easter-monath.

Even Socrates, the ancient philosopher, describes the different ways in which Easter was observed in different countries in his time during the fifth century. He states, “Thus much already laid down may seem a sufficient treatise to prove that the celebration of the feast of Easter began everywhere more of custom than by any commandment either of Christ or any Apostle.” (Hist. Ecclesiast.) Even Socrates, the philosopher of the 5th Century (not the pagan 5th century BC philosopher) knew Easter was not a Christian doctrine.

Socrates Scholasticus (aka Socrates of Constantinople) said, “Neither the apostles, therefore, nor the Gospels, have anywhere imposed the ‘yoke of servitude’ on those who have embraced the truth; but have left Easter and every other feast to be honored by the gratitude of the recipients of grace. Wherefore, inasmuch as men love festivals, because they afford them cessation from labor: each individual in every place, according to his own pleasure, has by a prevalent custom celebrated the memory of the saving passion. The Saviour and his apostles have enjoined us by no law to keep this feast: nor do the Gospels and apostles threaten us with any penalty, punishment, or curse for the neglect of it, as the Mosaic law does the Jews. It is merely for the sake of historical accuracy, and for the reproach of the Jews, because they polluted themselves with blood on their very feasts, that it is recorded in the Gospels that our Saviour suffered in the days of ‘unleavened bread.’ The aim of the apostles was not to appoint festival days, but to teach a righteous life and piety. And it seems to me that just as many other customs have been established in individual localities according to usage. So also the feast of Easter came to be observed in each place according to the individual peculiarities of the peoples inasmuch as none of the apostles legislated on the matter. And that the observance originated not by legislation, but as a custom the facts themselves indicate” (Schaff, P. (1997). The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers Second Series Vol. II. Socrates, Sozomenus: Church Histories. (130).)

Where did people begin worshipping “gods” on Easter? Hislop explains, “The forty days’ of fasting during the Romanist 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. It was held in spring by the Pagan Mexicans, for thus we read in Humboldt, where he gives account of Mexican observances: “Three days after the vernal equinox…began a solemn fast of forty days in honor of the sun.” Such a Lent of forty days was observed in Egypt which was held expressly in commemoration of Adonis or Osiris, the great mediatorial god. At the same time, the rape of Proserpine seems to have been commemorated, and in a similar manner; for Julius Firmicus informs us that, for “forty nights” the “wailing for Proserpine” continued; and from Arnobius we learn that the fast which the Pagans observed, called “Castus” or the “sacred” fast, was, by the Christians in his time, believed to have been primarily in imitation of the long fast of Ceres, when for many days she determinedly refused to eat on account of her “excess of sorrow,” that is, on account of the loss of her daughter Proserpine, when carried away by Pluto, the god of hell. As the stories of Bacchus, or Adonis and Proserpine, though originally distinct, were made to join on and fit in to one another, so that Bacchus was called Liber, and his wife Ariadne, Libera (which was one of the names of Proserpine), it is highly probable that the forty days’ fast of Lent was made in later times to have reference to both.

Among the Pagans this Lent seems to have been an indispensable preliminary to the great annual festival in commemoration of the death and resurrection of Tammuz, which was celebrated by alternate weeping and rejoicing, and which, in many countries, was considerably later than the Christian festival, being observed in Palestine and Assyria in June, therefore called the “month of Tammuz”; in Egypt, about the middle of May, and in Britain, sometime in April. To conciliate the Pagans to nominal Christianity, Rome, pursuing its usual policy, took measures to get the Christian and Pagan festivals amalgamated, and, by a complicated but skilful adjustment of the calendar, it was found no difficult matter, in general, to get Paganism and Christianity–now far sunk in idolatry–in this as in so many other things, to shake hands. The instrument in accomplishing this amalgamation was the abbot Dionysius the Little, to whom also we owe it, as modern chronologers have demonstrated, that the date of the Christian era, or of the birth of Christ Himself, was moved FOUR YEARS from the true time.

Whether this was done through ignorance or design may be matter of question; but there seems to be no doubt of the fact, that the birth of the Lord Jesus was made full four years later than the truth. This change of the calendar in regard to Easter was attended with momentous consequences. It brought into the Church the grossest corruption and the rankest superstition in connection with the abstinence of Lent. Let anyone only read the atrocities that were commemorated during the “sacred fast” or Pagan Lent, as described by Arnobius and Clemens Alexandrinus, and surely he must blush for the Christianity of those who, with the full knowledge of all these abominations, “went down to Egypt for help” to stir up the languid devotion of the degenerate Church, and who could find no more excellent way to “revive” it, than by borrowing from so polluted a source; the absurdities and abominations connected with which the early Christian writers had held up to scorn. That Christians should ever think of introducing the Pagan abstinence of Lent was a sign of evil; it showed how low they had sunk, and it was also a cause of evil; it inevitably led to deeper degradation. Originally, even in Rome, Lent, with the preceding revelries of the Carnival, was entirely unknown; and even when fasting before the Christian Pasch was held to be necessary, it was by slow steps that, in this respect, it came to conform with the ritual of Paganism. What may have been the period of fasting in the Roman Church before sitting of the Nicene Council does not very clearly appear, but for a considerable period after that Council, we have distinct evidence that it did not exceed three weeks.”

So we have the history of “Easter” and its popular observances today confirm the testimony of history as to its Babylonian character, such as the hot-crossed buns that are so tasty.

The hot cross buns of Good Friday, and the dyed eggs of Easter Sunday, figured in the Chaldean rites just as they do now. The “buns” were used in the worship of the queen of heaven, the goddess Easter, as early as the days of Cecrops, the founder of Athens–that is, 1500 years before the Christian era. Jeremiah 7:18 states, “The children gather wood, the fathers kindle fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven. And they pour out drink offerings to other gods, to provoke me to anger.” Jeremiah uses the word “bun” which is where the concept was derived. The Hebrew word was pronounced Khavan, which in Greek became sometimes Kapan-os. The Hebrew shows how Khvan, pronounced as one syllable, would pass into the Latin panis, “bread,” and the second how, in like manner, Khvon would become Bon or Bun. The hot cross buns are not now offered, but eaten, on the festival of Astarte; but this leaves no doubt as to where the original idea came from.

What about the Ishtar Eggs? Where do we get bunnies and eggs in baskets and egg hunts during a Christian holy-day? The origin of the Paschal eggs is just as pagan. The ancient Druids bore an egg, as the sacred emblem of their order. Hislop says, “In the Dionysiaca, or mysteries of Bacchus, as celebrated in Athens, one part of the nocturnal ceremony consisted in the consecration of an egg. The Hindo fables celebrate their mundane egg as of a golden color. The people of Japan make their sacred egg to have been brazen. In China, at this hour, dyed or painted eggs are used on sacred festivals, even as in this country. In ancient times eggs were used in the religious rites of the Egyptians and the Greeks, and were hung up for mystic purposes in their temples. From Egypt these sacred eggs can be distinctly traced to the banks of the Euphrates. The classic poets are full of the fable of the mystic egg of the Babylonians.” Hyginus, the poet states, “An egg of wondrous size is said to have fallen from heaven into the river Euphrates. The fishes rolled it to the bank, where the doves having settled upon it, and hatched it, out came Venus, who afterwards was called the Syrian Goddess”–that is, Astarte, or Easter. So the Easter Egg became one of the symbols of Astarte, and its occult meaning had reference to the ark during the time of the flood, in which the whole human race were shut up, as the chick is enclosed in the egg before it is hatched.

The egg, then, became used as a symbol for the whole world as Noah and his family, after the destruction was the “whole world” floating on the waters of the flood. Hislop states, “The coming of the egg from heaven evidently refers to the preparation of the ark by express appointment of God; and the same thing seems clearly implied in the Egyptian story of the mundane egg which was said to have come out of the mouth of the great god. The doves resting on the egg need no explanation. This, then, was the meaning of the mystic egg in one aspect. As, however, everything that was good or beneficial to mankind was represented in the Chaldean mysteries, as in some way connected with the Babylonian goddess, so the greatest blessing to the human race, which the ark contained in its bosom, was held to be Astarte, who was the great civiliser and benefactor of the world. Though the deified queen, whom Astarte represented, had no actual existence till some centuries after the flood, yet through the doctrine of metempsychosis, which was firmly established in Babylon, it was easy for her worshippers to be made to believe that, in a previous incarnation, she had lived in the Antediluvian world, and passed in safety through the waters of the flood. Now the Romish Church adopted this mystic egg of Astarte, and consecrated it as a symbol of Christ’s resurrection. A form of prayer was even appointed to be used in connection with it, Pope Paul V teaching his superstitious votaries thus to pray at Easter this specific prayer, “Bless, O Lord, we beseech thee, this thy creature of eggs, that it may become a wholesome sustenance unto thy servants, eating it in remembrance of our Lord Jesus Christ…” (Scottish Guardian, April, 1844).

That Semiramis, under the name of Astarte, was worshipped not only as an incarnation of the Spirit of God, but as the mother of mankind, we have very clear and satisfactory evidence. There is no doubt that “the Syrian goddess” was Astarte (LAYARD’S Nineveh and its Remains). Now, the Assyrian goddess, or Astarte, is akin to simply worshipping the devil. Astarte is not Jesus Christ, is not the Triune Godhead, is not biblical, but everything that God prohibits. The bunny with its fertility connotations and the ancient pagan festivals that used rabbits as symbols of fertility in Babylonian times or the use of eggs, or the use of candy (which derived from the use of pomegranates and oranges that were also used in ancient times of pagan rituals) is identified as devil worship by any thinking Christian. It is no wonder that the use of the symbol of the dove itself as a Christian symbol did not come from the idea of the Spirit resting as a dove upon Christ during His baptism, but as a representative of the Mother of the gods, in whom that Spirit was said to be incarnate, was celebrated as the originator of some of the useful arts and sciences. And we find very readily in Greek mythology that the character attributed to the Minerva, whose name Athena as a synonym for Beltis, the well known name of the Assyrian goddess. Athena, the Minerva of Athens, is universally known as the “goddess of wisdom,” the inventress of arts and sciences.

We have Rome borrowing pagan rituals to change the date of Christ’s entrance into the world by 4 years to compensate amalgamating the celebration of devil worship with Christianity; the adoption of Ishtar, or Astarte, Easter, as a Papist degradation of worship; the violation of the regulative principle in deeming a day to be worshipped as such, the entrance of eggs from Druidic worship, or pomegranates and oranges that turned into chocolate bunnies and Ishtar eggs for a candy basket to give on Easter Sunday, and the Babylonian influences of pagan rituals through every aspect of Easter and we find you, reader, going out this week to apply this all to little Johnny and little Debbie because everyone else is doing it at church.

If you want to be a Papist, then call yourself a Papist, or a Druid, or a Grecian worshipper of the devil. Don’t call yourself Christian by upholding a blatantly obvious demonic holy-day that God abhors. When you partake of such wicked schemes, God’s anger is aroused, and He states in Deuteronomy 32:17, “They sacrificed to demons that were no gods, to gods they had never known.” When you give your child their Easter basket, recall God’s words, and heed the Psalmist in Psalm 106:37, “They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons.” Know that you serve the same blasphemies that Romanism has brought into Christendom, and that the Scriptures rightly warns the covenant people of God that they should abstain from such things and be separate.

1 Timothy 4:1 states, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons.” When you worship using the devil’s teachings, you give heed to demonic influences and introduce them to your children. You might say, “Hey, come on. It’s just a chocolate bunny, some jelly beans and a few hardboiled eggs right?” No. It is a giving of your mind, heart and family over to the trinkets of the devil and the worship of his holy-day that has been resurrected and founded on demonic influences and teachings – it is devil worship. If you celebrate Easter, you spit in the face of Jesus Christ who is to be worshipped not on one day in the year on “Resurrection Sunday”, but all the days of all your life – for He is the Redeemer of the Covenant people of God every day. One should not desire to carry parts of the package of Romanism following papist theological ideas with Lent, Good Friday, Palm Sunday, Easter, etc. The Romanist Holy Week is the culmination of events marking the final days of Jesus before Easter Sunday. These are the days:

Palm Sunday – The Sunday before Easter Sunday recalling Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem a week before dying on the cross.

Holy Monday – Jesus’ cleansing of the temple and turning over the tables of the money changers to purify the house of worship.

Holy Tuesday – Jesus’ talk with his disciples on the Mount of Olives about the soon to come destruction of Jerusalem.

Holy Wednesday – The day Judas decided to betray Jesus in exchange for 30 pieces of silver.

Maundy Thursday – The Last Supper of Jesus and his time in the garden with his disciples who would not stay awake before his arrest.

Good Friday – The day Jesus died on the cross.

Holy Saturday – The final day of Lent and the Holy Week.

Easter Sunday – The resurrection of Jesus.

However, we have been delivered through the Scriptures from following such man-made things.

There is a great difference between the works of the devil and the works of the Triune God. The devil deceives by subtle manipulation (Hey, Easter is not all bad; or – redeem it for God!), and the Triune Godhead commands nothing more than perfect obedience to His will and Word (Thou Shalt not worship any other gods, nor shall you worship God according to the commandments of men). The devil wants you to worship Jesus Christ in the manner that demonic teachings lay out Easter. God commands you to worship Him as His Word dictates. Deuteronomy 4:2 states, “You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you.” The devil is the father of lies and wants you to believe the lie that Easter is a Christian holiday, like Lent and Christmas. But our true Father is in heaven who commands us today, as Acts 17:30-31 states, “to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead,” who is Jesus Christ. You should talk about that day and wonder, Christian, if you will stand when He appears. There is safety in appearing in the righteousness of Christ on the Day of Judgment. But there is no safety in any degree of comprises for the sake of a few jelly beans.

POST SCRIPT

I do not want Christians to be leery of buying a bag of jelly beans or eating a Cadbury Egg. It is not that jelly beans or chocolate bunnies are evil in and of themselves. Buy some jelly beans during the 4th of July and have at them. Make some chocolate bunnies and eat them up during January or September. But do not associate yourself or your family with the Romanist amalgamation of pagan rituals during the March-April time of Lent, Good Friday, Palm Sunday and Easter. Those associations are in direct violation of God’s commands, and those associations overrule your plea to Christian Liberty because God is very clear about His worship. As Revelation 19:10 states, “Worship God.”

[1] See Alexander Hislop’s work, “The Two Babylons” which outlines the history behind these pagan origins in great depth. The work can be found online here: http://philologos.org/__eb-ttb/intro.htm

YOU MAY HAVE CELEBRATED AND OBSERVED THE PAGAN FESTIVAL OF EASTER BEFORE YOU WERE SAVED, BUT NOW AS A SAVED CHRISTIAN GOD COMMANDS YOU TO REPENT!

YOU MAY HAVE CELEBRATED AND OBSERVED THE PAGAN FESTIVAL OF EASTER BEFORE YOU WERE SAVED, BUT NOW AS A SAVED CHRISTIAN GOD COMMANDS YOU TO REPENT!

God does not want His church to take pagan days, and those pagan and popish rites and paraphernalia that go with them and adapt them to Christian use. He simply commands us to abolish them altogether from the face of the earth forever. YOU may not be offended by the Easter eggs and the Easter bunnies and the selection of a pagan day to celebrate Christ’s resurrection, but GOD is offended! God commands us to get rid of the monuments and paraphernalia of paganism!

If your wife was promiscuous before you married her would you be offended if she had pictures of her old boyfriends on her dresser? Would it bother you if she celebrated the various anniversaries relating to her past relationships? Would you be offended if she kept and cherished the various rings, jewelry and mementos given to her by her old boyfriends? Of course you would be offended! The Lord God is infinitely more zealous of His honor than you are; He is a jealous God. Could Israel take festival days to Baal, Ashteroth, Dagon and Molech and alter them to make them pleasing to God? Of course not! The Bible makes very clear which kings of Judah pleased God the most. God is pleased when idols, their temples, their religious dress, earrings, sacred houses, sacred trees, poles, ornaments, rites, names and days are utterly cut off from the earth, never again to be restored.

God wants His bride to eliminate forever the monuments, the days, the paraphernalia and the mementos of idolatry. “Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain” (Jer. 10:2-3). “Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods” (Deut. 12:31).

Christians must not only put away the monuments of past idolatry but also everything associated with present idolatry. Easter like Christmas is one of the most important holy day in Roman Catholicism. The term ‘Easter’ is not of Christian origin. It is another form of Astarte, one of the titles of the Chaldean goddess, the queen of heaven. The festival of Pasch [Passover and the Feast of Unleavens] was a continuation of the Jewish [that is, God’s] feast….from this Pasch the pagan festival of ‘Easter’ was quite distinct and was introduced into the apostate Western religion, as part of the attempt to adapt pagan festivals to Christianity.” (W.E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger, William White, Jr., Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, article: Easter, p.192)

The Roman Catholic Church hates the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Roman church uses human inventions, such as Christmas and Easter, to keep millions of people in darkness. The fact that millions of Bible-believing Protestants are observing a Roman Catholic holy day which has not been commanded anywhere in God’s Word reveals the sad state of modern Evangelicalism.

“We cannot conform, communicate, and symbolize with the idolatrous Papists, in the use of the same, without making ourselves idolaters by participation.” Our attitude should be that of the Protestant Reformer Bucer who said, “I would to God that every holy day whatsoever besides the Lord’s day were abolished. That zeal which brought them first in, was without all warrant of the Word, and merely followed corrupt reason, forsooth to drive out the holy days of the pagans, as one nail drives out another. Those holy days have been so tainted with superstitions that I wonder we tremble not at their very names.”

The common objection against the argument that pagan monuments must be abolished is that these things occurred so long ago as to be harmless to us. But this is totally untrue. Not only do we have the present idolatry of Romanism, but there is a revival going on at this very moment in Europe and North America of the old pagan European religions. The radical feminist movement is presently reviving the fertility goddesses and gods of the ancient Near East. God’s law-Word says to get rid of the monuments to idolatry. God’s law is not rendered null and void with the passage of time.

The ONLY day that God has authorized as a holy day is the Lord’s day. If the church wants to please Jesus Christ and honor Him, then it should do so by keeping His day and by setting an example to the outside world. When Christians make Easter or Christmas more special than the Lord’s Day, they disobey the teachings of Christ and dishonor His day!

[copied from sources on the web]

FAITH THE ‘TITLE-DEED’ OF THE BELIEVER

 

 

FAITH THE ‘TITLE-DEED’ OF THE BELIEVER

“Now faith is the SUBSTANCE of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” [Heb 11:1]

Kenneth Wuest has the following to say about Hupostasis in Hebrews 11:1 in his Wuest Word Studies

THE TITLE-DEED TO ANSWERED PRAYER – “FAITH is the substance of things hoped for” (Heb. 11:1 ). The Greek word translated “substance” had a technical meaning in the business world of the first century. It referred to one’s property or effects. It was used in such expressions as “Out of this ESTATE I declare that my husband owes me,” or, “more land than I actually POSSESS,” the capitalicized words being the translation of the word. It was also used to refer to “the whole body of documents bearing on the ownership of a person’s property, deposited in the archives, and forming the evidence of ownership.” Moulton and Milligan in their “Vocabulary of the Greek Testament” say of these uses, “These varied uses are at first sight somewhat perplexing, but in all the cases there is the same central idea of something that underlies visible conditions and guarantees a future possession.” Thus, they translate “Faith is the title-deed of things hoped for.”

To substantiate this usage, there is in “Living Yesterdays,” a delightful brochure by H. R. Minn, the story of a woman named Dionysia. She is described as “a woman of set jaw and grim determination.” It seems that she had lost a case in a local court over a piece of land to which she laid claim. Not satisfied with the decision of a lower court, she determined to take her case to a higher court in Alexandria. She sent her slave to that city, with the legal documents safely encased in a stone box. On the way, the slave lost his life in a fire, which destroyed the inn where he had put up for the night. For 2,000 years, the sands of the desert covered the ruins of the inn, the charred bones of the slave, and the stone box.

Archaeologists have recently uncovered these remains. In the box, they found the legal documents. They read the note, which this woman had sent to the judge in Alexandria, “In order that my lord the judge may know that my appeal is just, I attach my HUPOSTASIS.” That which was attached to this note, she designated by the Greek word translated “substance” in Heb. 11:1. The attached document was translated and found to be the title-deed to the piece of land, which she claimed as her own possession, the evidence of her ownership.

What a flood of light is thrown upon this teaching regarding faith. The act of exercising true faith as one prays, or as one leans on the resources of God, is itself the title-deed or evidence of the sure answer to our prayer or the unfailing source of the divine supply. It is God’s guarantee in advance that we already possess the things asked for. They may still be in His hands, awaiting the proper time for their delivery, but they are ours. If the answers to our prayers are not forthcoming at once, let us rest content with the title-deed, which God has given us, namely, a Holy Spirit energized act of faith. We may be absolutely certain that our God will honor this title-deed at the right moment.

When you own property, you are given a ‘title-deed’ to prove your ownership . . . it is yours, and no-one can take it from you. Your God given ‘faith,’ is a title-deed that God holds on your behalf, His promised land. No-one can take this from you . . . there is no persuasion or pressure that can change your ‘stance.’. . . because of its ‘substance’ . . . He stands under you. You can own something that you do not see, and it is no less yours.

“Now faith is the SUBSTANCE of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” [Heb 11:1]

GODLY MUSIC FOR CHILDREN

GODLY MUSIC FOR CHILDREN

Children love music. A happy child is a singing child who sings and hums as he works or plays. When my wife and I sang in a choral group, one of the things that impressed us was that the singing captivated the attention of four and five year olds for an hour and a half. Music ministers to all age levels in a way that preaching and teaching can never do.

The music that you and your children sing and listen to is more important than you may realize. The songs that we sing and listen to permanently shape our understanding of who God is and what the Christian life is all about. The songs that children learn are often remembered the rest of their lives. For that reason it is important that children have not only children’s songs but that they also learn songs that they will sing when they are adults. Children need children’s songs. However, if we give our children only children’s things that are apropriate for their age, we are training them to be children when they grow up. That is a mistake that is being made today and we are seeing the results in many college age young people. Many do not know how to be mature adults.

It is important for children to learn hymns and other Godly songs that they will sing when they become adults . Hymns have a wealth of spiritual truths in them. A hymn with four or five verses will often have 30 to 40 spiritual truths expressed in it in comparison with praise and worship choruses which usually have only a few spiritual truths. Singing only choruses is like eating only french fries. Make sure you have a meal to go with your “fries”. Don’t neglect the goldmine of teaching and worship for you and your children in hymns. Children love to listen to well-sung hymns.

The following is significant for anyone who is involved in training children in the ways of the Lord. In Psalms 44:11,12 it says, “Rid me, and deliver me from the hand of strange children, whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood: That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth-, that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace.” The result of ridding ourselves of ungodly influences is that our sons will be mature, and grown up in their youth, and that our daughters will be stable, mature, and refined. They will be pillars – able to stand on their own and providing support.

A problem today is that young men are not grown up in their youth. One juvenile court judge said that girls used to be the stablizing influence even though the guys were doing things they shouldn’t. However, today girls are no longer a stabilizing influence. They are involved in as bad or worse things than the guys. The sad thing is that many young people in the church are not much different than ungodly young people.

Music plays a more important part in the problem and in the solution than I realized. As I looked at the context of Psalms 144, I noticed that verse 11 “Rid me…” was also given before that in verses seven and eight. In between these verses on ridding ourselves of ungodly influences is verse nine which says, “I will sing a new song unto Thee, 0 God; upon a psaltry and an instrument of ten strings I will sing praises unto Thee.” Of all the places in the Bible about singing a new song, this is the only one that contrasts it with what it is not, and gives the blessing of singing a new song.

A new song is not one from strange children – the ungodly. Nor is it vain words or falsehood. Songs borrowed from the ungodly do not result in mature young people. The blessing of singing only a new ( a decidedly Godly) song and ridding ourselves of ungodly influences is young people who are mature and who are prepared to make an impact for God’s Kingdom. They also stand out in sharp contrast to society around them because of their uprightness. One of the characteristics of those who have rid themselves of music with a backbeat is bright eyes. This is especially noticeable in children and young people. Music with a backbeat dulls the eyes.

We encourage you to raise the standard and provide decidedly Godly music for your family – music that is without question Godly music. Earthly entertainment is for a moment, eternity is forever.

Taken from Biblical Research Reports

GOD ORDAINS AND PURPOSES ALL THINGS!

GOD ORDAINS AND PURPOSES ALL THINGS!

God is not a fortuneteller, a soothsayer, a mere predictor. He doesn’t have a crystal ball. He knows what’s coming because He plans what’s coming and He performs what He plans. In Isaiah 46:10 He says “My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all My purpose!” He does not form purposes and wonder if someone else will take responsibility to make them happen. “I will accomplish all My purpose!”

So, based on this text, here’s what I mean by the sovereignty of God: God has the rightful authority, the freedom, the wisdom, and the power to bring about everything that He intends to happen. And therefore, everything He intends to come about does come about. Which means, God plans and governs all things.

When He says, “I will accomplish all My purpose,” He means, “Nothing happens except what is My purpose.” If something happened that God did not purpose to happen, He would say, “That’s not what I purposed to happen.” And we would ask, “What did You purpose to happen?” And He would say, “I purposed this other thing to happen which didn’t happen.” To which we would all say, then, “But You said in Isaiah 46:10, ‘I will accomplish all My purpose.’” And He would say, “That’s right.” Therefore, what God means in Isaiah 46:10 is that nothing has ever happened, or will ever happen that God did not purpose to happen. Or to put it positively: Everything that happened or will happen is purposed by God to happen.

“God worketh ALL THINGS after the counsel of His own will!” [Eph 1:11]

Hallelujah!

[Quoted from desiringgod.org]

THE DOCTRINE OF ELECTION – A TRUTH TO BE KNOWN

 THE DOCTRINE OF ELECTION – A TRUTH TO BE KNOWN

Michael Jeshurun

We have come across not a few who contend that the ‘doctrine of Election’ though it may be true is not for us to know. Election and predestination are ‘God’s business’ and we need not break our heads over it.”

Is that what the BIBLE teaches?

Here’s what the Scripture says –
“The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” [Deut 29:29]

Read that again – “but those things WHICH ARE REVEALED belong unto us and to our children!”

And WHAT has God revealed apart from the who He is and what He expects of man . . . why, He has revealed to us that He is a DISCRIMINATING GOD who has mercy on whom He will and hardens whom He will! [Romans 9:18]

THE BIBLE EXPLICITLY TEACHES ELECTION in both the old and the new testaments and those who fail to see it are either men who are spiritually BLIND who must be born again or just plain REBELLIOUS men who willfully reject the teaching of God’s word because it is NOT AGREEABLE to their feelings and plausible to their understanding. Every Christian MUST believe in some kind of election, for the great God hath chosen to ‘REVEAL IT’ in His Word! And while the Scriptures leave unexplained many things about the doctrine of Election, they make very plain the FACT that there HAS BEEN AN ELECTION!

“What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the ELECTION HATH OBTAINED IT, and the rest were blinded!” [Rom 11:7]

The most eminent apostle of them all who wrote more than half the New Testament, towards the end of his ministry confessed to the Ephesian Church – “I KEPT BACK NOTHING THAT WAS PROFITABLE UNTO YOU, but have showed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house.” [Acts 20:20]

And WHAT was one of those ‘profitable’ doctrines which he did not keep back from the Ephesians? Why ELECTION and PREDESTINATION!

“According as He hath CHOSEN US IN HIM BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: Having PREDESTINATED US unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will etc” [Ephesians 1:4,5]

And Paul was not the only one who taught Election and Predestination, but so did ALL OF THE APOSTLES! It is either expressly stated, strikingly illustrated, or clearly implied!

The Apostle Peter starts off his very first letter thus – “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus . . . ELECT ACCORDING TO THE FOREKNOWLEDGE OF GOD THE FATHER, through sanctification of the Spirit . . .” [1Pet 1:1-3]

And John that apostle of love was so full of the doctrine of election that he even addresses a sister in Christ as “the Elect lady” [2John 1:1] You can’t get more ‘Reformed’ than that!

GOD WANTS HIS PEOPLE TO KNOW THE TRUTH OF HIS ELECTION AND SOVEREIGN GRACE or He had not filled the pages of His Book speaking about it!

“but those things WHICH ARE REVEALED belong unto us and to our children!” [Deut 29:29]

And the reason why God has revealed the doctrine of Election in His Book is because as all other Biblical doctrines the Doctrine of Election and we might add the Doctrine of Man’s Total Depravity are profitable to us!

“ALL SCRIPTURE is given by inspiration of God, and is PROFITABLE for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” [2Timothy 3:16,17]

The doctrine of Election which we hold and contend for gives God ALL the glory and puts man where He belongs – i.e. in the dust! And the Holy Spirit has seen fit to reveal it in His Word and holy men of God through the ages have contended for it and in some cases have even laid down their lives for it!

Such a precious truth as this must not be neglected or set aside! It must be preached from the rooftops!

“What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that PREACH YE UPON THE HOUSETOPS!” [Matt 10:27]

BUT TRUTH IS NEVER POPULAR and this is especially so with the truth of Election! It is not taught to gain favour with men. The preacher whose goal is to ‘win friends and influence people’ must needs AVOID this doctrine or explain it away to the satisfaction of the religious goats who warm his pews! . . . and sadly many have done just that!

In fact, to mention it before some, is like shaking the proverbial red flag before an enraged bull. It arouses the fiercest passions of their nature, and brings forth a torrent of abuse and calumny. But, because men have fought against it, or because they hate it, or perhaps misunderstand it, is no reasonable or logical cause why we should turn the doctrine adrift, or cast it behind our backs. The real question, the all-important question, is not “How do men receive it? But, IS IT TRUE?”.

“It is the duty of every theologian to subordinate his theories to the Bible, and teach not what SEEMS TO HIM TO BE TRUE OR REASONABLE, but simply WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES. The question as to whether Election and Reprobation are true, is not to be decided by ascertaining which is more agreeable to our feelings or the more plausible to our understanding, but which is consistent with the doctrines of the Bible and the facts of experience.” (Dr. Charles Hodge).

“The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this Law.” [Deut 29:29]

NAMES OF GOD’S ELECT NEVER BLOTTED OUT

NAMES OF GOD’S ELECT NEVER BLOTTED OUT

Thomas Watson

When God calls a man, He does not repent of it.  God does not, as many friends do, love one day, and hate another, or as princes, who make their subjects favorites, and afterwards throw them into prison.

This is the blessedness of a saint; his condition admits of no alteration.  God’s call is founded upon His decree, and His decree is immutable.  Acts of grace cannot be reversed.  God blots out His people’s sins, but not their names.

GRACE THAT CONQUERS

GRACE THAT CONQUERS

Gerald D. Buss

Some while ago, a gamekeeper was walking through part of the estate for which he was responsible, when he heard the moaning of a dog. He turned aside and found a dog with its leg trapped in a snare. When he first tried to approach the dog to free it, he was met with snarls and vicious growls. But notwithstanding the hostile dog, he managed at length to release its leg, whereupon the dog turned and licked his face appreciatively and followed him as if it was his own dog.

What a picture is this of the effects of grace!

When the Lord begins to call a sinner by His grace, the natural heart of that sinner is totally opposed to God and godliness. This is seen when the sinner says: “We will not have this Man to reign over us.” [Luke 19:14]

But grace conquers this in the end, and by love changes the heart, renews the will, and turns the feet to Zion’s hill.

CHRIST THE FAIREST AMONG TEN THOUSAND

CHRIST THE FAIREST AMONG TEN THOUSAND

C.H. Spurgeon

“I am the Rose of Sharon, and the Lily of the valleys.” [SoS 2:1]

Whatever there may be of beauty in the material world, Jesus Christ possesses all that in the spiritual world in a tenfold degree! Amongst flowers the rose is deemed the sweetest, but Jesus is infinitely more beautiful in the garden of the soul than the rose can be in the gardens of earth! He takes the first place as the fairest among ten thousand!

He is the sun, and all others are the stars; the heavens and the day are dark in comparison with Him, for the King in His beauty transcends all. “I am the rose of Sharon!” This was the best and rarest of roses. Jesus is not “the rose” alone, He is “the rose of Sharon,” just as He calls His righteousness “gold,” and then adds, “the gold of Ophir” – the best of the best. He is positively lovely, and superlatively the loveliest!

There is variety in His charms. The rose is delightful to the eye, and its scent is pleasant and refreshing; so each of the senses of the soul, whether it be the taste or feeling, the hearing, the sight, or the spiritual smell, finds appropriate gratification in Jesus. Even the recollection of His love is sweet. Take the rose of Sharon, and pull it leaf from leaf, and lay by the leaves in the jar of memory, and you shall find each leaf fragrant long afterwards, filling the house with perfume. Christ satisfies the highest taste of the most educated spirit to the very full.

The greatest amateur in perfumes is quite satisfied with the rose: and when the soul has arrived at her highest pitch of true taste, she shall still be content with Christ, nay, she shall be the better able to appreciate Him. Heaven itself possesses nothing which excels the rose of Sharon. What emblem can fully set forth His beauty? Human speech and earth-born things fail to tell of him. Earth’s choicest charms commingled, feebly picture His abounding preciousness. Blessed rose, bloom in my heart forever! Amen!