1 SAMUEL 16:7

But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.

In this verse God is trying to explain to Samuel that Saul the former King no longer had the blessing of God to rule over Israel. Saul had started out as a man passionate for the Lord but soon was distracted by things of this World, Greed, Power and Stature. Romans 12:2 tells us not to be conformed to this World but a renewing of the mind and may prove what is Good in the sight of the Lord. God explains to Samuel in Verse 7 that he refused Saul because he focused on who he was instead of how he got there he placed more importance on who and what instead of how and why. God continues to tell Saul that while man looks at the outer appearance and only sees what one has and who one is. God looks on the inside at a Man’s heart and soul. That God places value on what a man does and how he serves him and not the World. God doesn’t care what you drive, what you wear and how nice your house is, he cares about what’s in your heart. The Bible tells us the in Matthew 20:16  So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen. God didn’t choose the Pharisees to bring his word and love to the World he used Tax Collector’s, Murderers, liars, thief’s and fishermen to introduce the Gospel.  So my question is How are you serving the Kingdom of God? Are the things that you are doing today helping spread the Word of God? Are you bringing other’s to Christ by your actions?  Are you more worried about what you have, what you are wearing and how you are living in compared to the World or to what God wants and expects?

Easter, it’s Pagan roots and what it means to the Believer.

And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.
Acts 12:4

 

Easter for millions across the World is time to celebrate the Crucifixion and Resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ. But over several centuries other traditions have found their way in, such as Easter Baskets full of Candy, pictures taken with the Easter Bunny, Dinner with the Family, coloring Eggs then hunting for them and Yes, Cadbury eggs. But sadly all of the traditions we celebrate have pagan roots and many believers aren’t even aware of it. I ultimately believe that we take power away from these pagan rituals when we put Christ first and recognize Easter isn’t about Easter eggs and bunnies but about Jesus and his sacrifice for us.

Is Easter ever mentioned in the Bible?

 Yes and No, Some point to Acts 12:4 as the reference verse in the Bible as to where Easter originated from. And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. The King James translators substituted the Word Easter for the Greek Word Pascha which means Passover. The word Easter does not properly occur in Scripture. The vast majority of scholars recognize this and have documented this “error” many times. As a matter of fact, the word Easter only appears in the King James Version of English bible translations. It does not exist in any other English bible translation. Even the King James Version was forced to remove it from its revised version, known as the New King James Version. The truth is there is no evidence in the New Testament as Easter being recognized as a Jewish Holiday or way to commemorate Jesus’s death and resurrection.

What is Passover?

 The Jewish people celebrate Passover or Pascha as a commemoration of their liberation by God from slavery in Egypt and their freedom as a nation under the leadership of Moses. It commemorates the story of the Exodus as described in the Hebrew Bible especially in the Book of Exodus, in which the Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt

The Passover ritual, prior to Deuteronomy, is widely thought to have its origins in an apotropaic rite, unrelated to the Exodus, to ensure the protection of a family home, a rite conducted wholly within a clan. Hyssop was employed to daub the blood of a slaughtered sheep on the lintels and door posts to ensure that demonic forces could not enter the home.

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 In Deuteronomy, Passover is a spring festival which during the existence of the Jerusalem Temple was connected to the offering of the “first-fruits of the barley”, barley being the first grain to ripen and to be harvested in the Land of Israel.

 In Israel present day, Passover is the seven-day holiday of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, with the first and last days observed as legal holidays and as holy days involving holiday meals, special prayer services, and abstention from work;

 If Easter isn’t found in the Bible where does it come from and what does it actually mean?

 To understand where Easter came from we must understand the time period in which many of it’s traditions came from. In Ancient times people were far more connected with the land and the cycles of the nature than we are today. Spring, when fertility returned after a long winter was a welcomed time of the year. Many celebrated this time of the year by worshiping their gods and goddesses with feast and rituals. Among such deities were Baal and Astarte of Ashtoreth which were condemned frequently in the Bible due to sex being typically used during rituals to promote fertility. Sadly this is where many of our traditions have originated from with pagan roots such as Spring fertility rights that uses symbols such as eggs and rabbit which represent rapid reproduction. Because of their nature in reproduction, rabbits were associated with Ishtar, the goddess of fertility. This is where Christians borrowed the tradition of the Easter bunny. Ancient Babylonians believed an egg fell into the Euphrates River from the moon. Queen Ishtar was apparently “hatched” from this egg. This moon egg was called Ishtar’s egg; which became known as the Easter egg.

Most Christians are unaware that Easter is a pagan festival merged with Christianity. Noah’s son, Ham, married a woman called Ashtoreth. In some cultures, Ashtoreth is called Ishtar, which is transliterated in English as Easter. Ashtoreth made herself “the Queen of Heaven;” the goddess of fertility and became an object of worship. This idol worship of Ashtoreth, later merged with Christianity as Easter, is specifically forbidden in the scriptures.Image result for ashtoreth queen of heaven

 Jeremiah 7:18 The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.

Judges 2:13-14 And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.

14 And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies.

 Accordingly, Samuel counselled Israel to forsake Ashtoreth (Ishtar) worship: “Then Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, ‘If you return to the LORD with all your hearts, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths from among you, and prepare your hearts for the LORD, and serve him only; and he will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines.” 1 Samuel 7:3

Sun Worship has also intermingled itself in Easter Celebrations. Many Christians and Churches hold Sun rise services on Easter morning. The word Easter also means movement towards the rising Sun, people would hold rituals and worship this event.

Biblical evidence is found in the Story of Ham and Ashtoreth who had a Son named Nimord and after Ham ‘s death Nimrod married his own mother Ashtoreth and became a powerful king in Babylon. When Nimrod was killed Ashtoreth deitified him as Sun god or Life giver.

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 Ezekiel 8:16-17 And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD’S house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east. Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose.

 After the death of Nimrod, Ashtoreth gave birth to Tammuz, a son she claimed was Nimrod reborn. When Tammuz was killed by a wild boar, Ashtoreth started a ritual of 40 days of mourning for Baal worshippers, when no meat was allowed to be eaten. This pagan tradition of “weeping for Tammuz” is specifically proscribed in the scriptures.

 God said to Ezekiel: Ezekiel 8:13-14 “Turn again, and you will see greater abominations that they are doing.” So he brought me to the door of the north gate of the LORD’S house; and to my dismay, women were sitting there weeping for Tammuz.”

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 Nevertheless, weeping for Tammuz has been absorbed into Christianity by the institution of Lent; a 40-day period of fasting and prayer observed in some Christian denominations as a prelude to Easter. Just like Easter, Lent is not scriptural. Neither the word nor the custom exist in the bible. Lent begins, according to Christian tradition, on Ash Wednesday; which is also pagan. The ashes were said to be the seed of the Indian fire god, Agni, deemed to have the power to forgive sins.

 Why is Easter always held a different times year after year?

 The date for Easter changes from year to year. Sometimes it is in March and sometimes in April. Easter moves from year to year because the date has nothing to do with the death and resurrection of Jesus but with the changing cycles of the moon. Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first Vernal Equinox full moon; which is consecrated by pagans as Ishtar’s Sunday. This signifies the astronomical arrival of spring. The pagan belief is that the sun dies at winter Christmas and is reborn at spring Easter.

 Jewish Passover also has a moving calender, To ensure that Passover did not start before spring, the tradition in ancient Israel held that the first day of Nisan would not start until the barley was ripe, being the test for the onset of spring. If the barley was not ripe, or various other phenomena  indicated that spring was not yet imminent, a month would be added. However, since at least the 4th century, the date has been fixed mathematically.

 So what does Easter mean to the Believer?

 Easter is when we celebrate the most important event in history, the Crucifixion and Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Our whole foundation of our Biblical belief is based on his sacrifice and the meaning behind it. God knew men were influenced by Flesh and needed to see things in order to believe. So he manifested himself into flesh and came here as his son Jesus Christ born of a Virgin mother. He came here to show us his power by performing miracles and rebuking demons that had run rampant so we could “see” for our selves. He came here to show us how to Love our fellow man no matter their social status or health. By doing this he healed the lame and sick and he didn’t do this with the Pharisees but with liers, cheaters and murders who later became his disciples and were responsible for spreading the Gospel.  

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 Most importantly Jesus’s sole purpose of coming here was to display the greatest offering of Love, himself. He suffered days of physical abuse that involved beatings, whipping and taunting far worse than any of us could imagine. Think about how great this abuse was because it was meant to take on every sin of every person born in the past, present and future, how great this suffering must have been. It brings me to tears to know what pain his physical body endured for all of us and it greatly makes my soul hurt and sob knowing that people aren’t even grateful for it or even appreciate it. They go about daily lives not even thinking of him or acknowledging his presence around them.

 Jesus allowed himself to go through these beatings but nothing compared to the ultimate sacrifice that relived us from Law and gave us Grace. He was given a crown of thorns and made to carry his cross for miles after these beatings, he was paraded around to be spit on, to be kicked and things thrown at him. What great humility he suffered the most powerful being in creation allowing himself to be spit on and all of this for you. He then was nailed to this cross and hung for all of man kind to see then and now.

Resurrection of Jesus Christ by myjavier007

 But the story doesn’t end their My God, the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, the Alpha and Omega rose three days later. To show his power one more time, to show the World how great he is and that he is the only living God and creator of all. He did this for you and if you don’t know him as your personal savior or do and have forgotten how great this display of Love is, I beg and plead for you to get on your face as I did and tell him how great he is and how you are Thankful for his Love. Tell him you are sorry for not putting him first and sorry for those who don’t accept him in their lives.

 If you are not saved here is some Scripture for you to read then pray the simple prayer I am also giving you

 1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

 Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one

Romans 3:23 For all have fallen short of the Glory of God

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

 Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

 Now pray this Prayer Verbally as Romans 10:9 states, That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

 Lord Jesus, I come to you today as a sinner and broken I acknowledge this, I also come to you believing that you died for me to take my sins and forgive them Lord, I am grateful for you and this display of love and ask today Lord for you to forgive me and save me from myself and sins. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ Amen