EASTER: THE DEVIL’S HOLIDAY
By 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 intend3e 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.
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.
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.”
 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