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The Midnight Cry:
A Prophetic Witness to the Church Today

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The Truth About Easter

Should the Christian Church be keeping Easter? It is not biblically commanded as a holy convocation. Where does the authority for its observance come from? Is it valid?

All scripture references are quoted from the New King James Version (NKJV) unless otherwise stated.

aster is the most important celebration in the conventional Christian calendar. Yet, there is no mention of it in the Bible.[1] How strange! You would think that the Church MUST have got it right. Yet the book which establishes Christian doctrine and practice is silent on this most important subject! Why? Surely, the Church could not have got it wrong....? Or... could it?

Well, truth is stranger than fiction! Jesus Himself prophesied of the whole world being deceived by Satan (Rev 12:9). Could that also include the Church? He warned in Matthew 24:4 to beware lest others deceive you. The ‘you’ He was referring to there was His very own – the ‘elect’, or His Church. He also predicted, by way of a parable, that the whole of His Bride would be asleep shortly before His coming. That prophecy is in Matthew 25:5.

While the Bridegroom was delayed, they ALL slumbered and slept (Matt 25:5).

The metaphor of sleep refers to deception – an inability or even unwillingness to perceive. It refers to an inability or unwillingness to perceive truth instead of error. And isn’t that true over the matter of Easter? Most Christians don’t really want to know the truth! They would rather continue to believe a lie.

The Lie of Easter

The lie of Easter is a massive one. It goes all the way back into the darkness of pagan antiquity. Easter is NOT a Christian festival. It has its roots firmly established in paganism!

“Oh, that doesn’t matter!” say the majority. “So long as we keep it to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus, we are honouring Him by doing so.”

Well, it sounds OK. I’ll grant you that. But it’s a human argument. (And it is not right that humanism should replace true Christianity!) God says something different. This is what He told Israel, and He says the same to His Church today:

Take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them [the pagan nations around]... and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way... (Deut 12:30,31).

Why? The reason was not just that which He told Israel:

...for every abomination to the Lord which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods (v. 31).

There is a further reason, and it has everything to do with coming out of the ways of this world and being pure, being sanctified, being holy. He said:

Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it (Deut 12:32).

Are we careful to observe all God says? Frankly, the Church isn’t. Just as was true of the established religious body in Jesus’ day (Matt 15:6-9), today’s church-goers put Church tradition before what God says in His Word. What God says comes second, to fit in with Church tradition.

That is an abomination, comparable to the sacrifice of a child in the fire to a pagan deity. Instead of sacrificing a child, you have willingly sacrificed what God says in favour of something Satan has palmed off onto society. Paul was adamant about idolatrous compromise:

...the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons (1 Cor 10:20).

“Oh, come now. Don’t be silly. The Church is not sacrificing to demons, or even remotely involved in worshiping demons when it is reminded of the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus by keeping Easter.”

Oh, isn’t it? Paul continued:

You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and the table of demons. Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He? (1 Cor 10:21,22).

Well, if you are stronger than Him, and if you think you know better than Him, go ahead and keep Easter. If you think Easter is a better observance than the one in the Bible which He established to be kept, go ahead. Keep Easter.

Do you think He’s not bothered about what you keep? He says in Deuteronomy 12:30-32 and Revelation 22:19 that He IS bothered! It DOES make a difference, when you know the truth.

But the tragedy is that many don’t know the truth. They are deceived and have believed the lie of Easter. It is high time for the Church to AWAKE!

Easter’s Vile Origins

Ironically, many in the world know the truth about Easter’s pagan origins and point a finger at the duplicity of the Church in observing this custom. To them, Easter’s customs are quaint and deserve investigation for curiosity’s sake. But for those who seek spiritual truth – for the Church of Jesus Christ – there should be a much deeper motivation to get to the heart of this issue – the search for truth.

London’s Daily Mail carried an article about Easter on April 21, 2000, which read:

“While Easter is the most important celebration in Christianity, it seems many of the customs have their roots in outrageously pagan traditions. The name Easter is as pagan as could be, taken from the Saxon goddess of dawn, Eostre, a spring deity with a hare’s head.

“Over the centuries, the hare has been replaced by a cuddly bunny and Eostre has been largely forgotten, but the name stuck.”

While the Church does not perpetuate Easter’s other pagan symbols, it cannot escape its tarnish. It just isn’t a truly Christian festival. It is not commanded in the Bible, nor given sanction.

What Does Jesus Want?

Do you honestly think that Jesus is pleased about the Church keeping Easter? Do you not think He is vexed by the Church’s practice of remembering His death by using pagan elements? Is it not demeaning in the extreme to Him, to associate His death and resurrection with a heathen reminder of the rebirth and the arrival of spring? Is He no better than the fictitious Eostre (pronounced almost the same as ‘Easter’)? Does He have no right to a distinctly separate commemoration? Is He not vexed by this grubby sham we call Easter?

You bet He is!! He hates pagan derivatives! Because they detract from 1) the sanctity of the occasion, 2) the truth and purity of His Word, and 3) the uniqueness, or separation from the world’s ways, which He desires for His Church.

And furthermore, He has already given the Church a commemoration of His death in the Passover ritual. If this sounds strange to you, or you don’t believe me, read it for yourself. It’s in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians:

Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the Feast... (1 Cor 5:7,8).

What Feast? Easter? No! The Feast of Unleavened Bread (Lev 23:4-8), preceded by the Passover commemoration (Lev 23:5).

Paul was instructing the New Testament Church to continue to keep the festivals God had previously given to Israel. The only difference now under the New Covenant is that we do not need to observe them with the old symbolism and animal sacrifices. (The letter to the Hebrews makes that clear.) Jesus has instituted new symbolism of unleavened bread and wine, replacing the lamb which was the figure under the Old Covenant (Luke 22:15-20; 1 Cor 11:23-26).

Enacting that ritual of taking bread and wine at Passover is the way Jesus wants us to remember His death. Not Easter! Scripture proscribes the latter; it endorses the former. That is the truth.

Why The Church Keeps Easter

Why, then, does the Church continue to keep Easter? The answer is as simple as it seems impossible to change – Church leaders endorse it and the majority follow what they say.

Of course, Church leaders don’t blatantly tell believers to flout the Word of God. They tell them the opposite. while they provide subtle arguments and specious reasoning as to why they say it is alright to keep Easter.

But you should not believe them. You should believe what God says in His Word, the Bible. He nowhere says it is alright to compromise with what He has commanded in favour of what Church tradition proposes. He hates syncretism – the fusion of pagan custom with Christian practice. It is watering down the purity of His Word and perverting ‘the way’ He has given to His Church.

Church leaders have been reared on the dogma that Easter Sunday commemorates the time of Jesus’ resurrection. But scripture indicates Jesus had already risen by that time. Notice the account in most common translations:

Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb... (Matt 28:1, NKJV).[2]

The account relates an earthquake and the appearance of an angel, who rolled back the huge stone which sealed the tomb’s entrance. The angel told the women: “He is not here; for He is [has] risen” (v 6). The Williams translation expresses the correct tense.

The same fact is repeated in Mark 16:1-6 and Luke 24:1-6. The two Marys came to the tomb very early in the morning. This was supposedly (according to what most believe today) Sunday. (In fact, it was a Sabbath, which I can demonstrate by referring you to the Greek text of this passage.2)

Well, if it was a Sunday, as most Church leaders suggest, and Jesus had already risen before the women arrived, there is no proof He rose on Sunday. He could have risen before Sunday. And, in fact, if you do a little elementary arithmetic, you can see quite easily that He had to have risen in the afternoon, three days after His death. That was the only sign He promised by which the world could know He was the Messiah (Matt 12:39,40). He died in the mid-afternoon (Matt 27:45-50). So, He rose from the dead in the mid-afternoon, three days afterwards.

Yet, the Church believes and teaches another myth in this regard – that Jesus died on a Friday and rose on a Sunday. Neither of these suppositions are supported by scripture. Rather, when you study into this issue, it is much more probable that He died on a Tuesday, arose on a Friday (fulfilling the symbolism of the second Adam – 1 Cor 15:45), and was seen by the women on the next Sabbath morning. This is not wild conjecture. It is supported and substantiated in The Timing of Jesus’ Death and Resurrection.

But the Church as a whole does not want to accept this proposition, because it destroys their cherished traditions surrounding Easter. They would rather stick with their empty traditions than learn new truth. It’s easier. It causes less upset. And it continues an unbroken tradition that was established by the Roman Church from the fourth century AD.

Origin of Easter

We have mentioned already about Easter that its "name [is] derived from Eostre, goddess of Spring" (Pears Cyclopaedia, 89th Ed.)

This spring festival goes back thousands of years into heathen antiquity. It was the time of year when there was a sudden spurt of new growth and reproduction in nature. This was attributed to the powers of the fertility goddess of nature or the goddess of spring.

Pagans celebrated it with a time of festivity and giving of fertility symbols such as eggs, rabbits or similar emblems, and most probably also with ritual fornication with temple prostitutes.

While the Church today does not descend to that level of depravity in its physical observance, can it ever divorce itself from Easter’s unChristian foundation and associations? In short, “No!”

By perpetuating this pagan custom, the 'Christian' Church – regardless of what it calls Easter, or what it claims it is observing it for – is actually more pagan in its customs than Christian. Jesus said nothing about commemorating His resurrection. He deliberately avoided that issue. His reasons may not be obvious to most, but there should be no need if the Church is living up to His command to demonstrate His resurrection forcefully in its practice throughout the year.

Jesus expected us to commemorate His death by the continued annual observance of Passover (Luke 22:13-19; 1 Cor 11:23-25). But there is no comparable command to celebrate an annual observance of His resurrection, which is what Easter is.

It is entirely biblically unfounded. Its basis is pagan, its connotation pagan, and its practice pagan.

What God Expects Of Us

You cannot ‘Christianise’ something that is pagan. Just like you cannot take a Buddhist or Hindu idol and ‘Christianise’ it. The two are opposites and distinctly heterogeneous. A pagan edifice has no place in a Christian church; and pagan practice should have no esteem in the eyes of Christians who seek to obey God.

Either the tradition is biblically based or it is not. Either God commands it or He doesn’t. And if the answer to those questions is not a resounding “Yes!” then we should have nothing to do with it. Paul wrote:

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? (2 Cor 6:14.)

The answer should be “NONE!” But the Church does not respond in this way. It enacts a lie through its stubborn refusal to relinquish the paganism in its customs. (Christmas is equally wrong.[3])

And what accord has Christ with Belial? (2 Cor 6:15). And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? (2 Cor 6:15.)

The Church and most Christians would seem to say “Plenty!” That should not be!

The custom of Easter observance is an idol in the Church which needs pulling out, root and branch.

Therefore, come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you (2 Cor 6:17).

Therefore... beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God (2 Cor 7:1).

Integration of Easter

“Well,” you might say, “I can see that you’ve got a very good point, but how on earth did the Church end up in this position? It seems we are bound into traditions that the majority have assumed were OK, but which clearly are not.”

For the answer to that, you have to delve into some history, to see what happened to the early Church after the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70. It is relatively easy to demonstrate from the book of Acts, which was written by the Gentile physician Luke, that the apostolic Church was keeping the traditional festivals which God (note that!) had given Israel. These included Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.[4]

However, after the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70, Jews came under a great deal of persecution. Anything Jewish was attacked with hate and hostility. And since the early Christians kept the Sabbath as did the Jews, and appeared to others to have the same festivals, they also came under anti-Semitic attack. This victimisation threatened life and livelihood in many cases.

The rising tide of anti-Semitism may initially have been a response to Jewish revolts against Roman rule. But prejudice soon mounted further when Jews were required to regard the Roman Emperor as a god. This, Jews refused to do.

The ensuing clashes were inevitable, and many Jews perished. Anti-Jewish sentiment rose during the next two centuries, when there were 10 persecutions of Jews in the Roman Empire. Christians, who held to the faith once delivered and to the traditions they had received, were lumped into this number.

In this time of trouble, it was no wonder that heresies soon arose which appealed to human reason and the desire to make life easier. Distancing oneself from anything the world regarded as ‘Jewish’ was one way to ease the burden of oppression.

It was in this climate of persecution that many Christians fell prey to seductive heresies. The greater part of the Church turned its back on its ‘Jewish’ roots, replacing them with subtle unbiblical alternatives. Moreover, what could be more appealing to the masses than customs with which pagans were familiar?

A radical shift in Christian belief and practice occurred in the early fourth century, with the emergence of the Roman Emperor Constantine.

When the Roman Empire was falling apart, Constantine saw in Christianity a useful political crutch. Christians had made considerable impact in the Empire, as had the commercially orientated Jews. Attempts to eradicate the Christian religion had failed. Many Christians had been martyred, along with Jews in the anti-Semitic purges, particularly of Hadrian (circa. AD 135). But persecution didn't seem to stop Christianity's progress. It only appeared to spread it!

"The Roman government began to see the uselessness of persecuting the Christians. The struggle to suppress them was one which decidedly weakened the Roman state at a time when the long disorders of the century of revolution made the emperors feel their weakness. After the retirement of Diocletian his 'Caesar' Galerius, feeling very probably the dangers threatening Rome from without and the uselessness of the struggle against the Christians within, issued a decree, in AD 311, by which Christianity was legally recognized" (J H Breasted, Ancient Times, A History of the Early World, p 763).

"Throughout the great Roman world men were longing for some assurance regarding the life beyond the grave, and in the midst of the trials and burdens of this life they wistfully sought the support and strength of a divine protector. Little wonder that the multitudes were irresistibly attracted by the comforting assurances of these Oriental faiths and the blessed future insured by their 'mysteries'! At the same time it was believed possible to learn the future of every individual by the use of Babylonian astrology... The orientals who practiced it were called Chaldeans, or Magi (whence our words 'magic' and 'magician'); and everyone consulted them" (Ibid. p 737).

Constantine 'grasped the nettle' and saw that there was mileage to be made out of Christianizing these Babylonian 'mysteries'. He looked to the pagan customs of the east as the 'cement' to bind his empire in the west. Easter was only one of several customs he, and others, pushed as a new 'Christian' observance.

It was adopted by the Roman state Church in AD 325 at the Council of Nicaea. It was a direct replacement for the Passover and days of Unleavened Bread which the world knew Jews still observed.

What Jesus Commands

The problem is, Easter is nowhere commanded in Scripture, and therefore the Church has no divine authority for observing it. Christians are not instructed by Jesus to celebrate His resurrection at this time. However, we are told to commemorate His death:

This is My body, which is [broken] for you; do this in remembrance of Me (1 Cor 11:24).

We are also told to observe the Passover:

For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast... (1 Cor 5:7,8).

What festival? Easter? NO! Passover, and the days which the Bible reveals follow it.

Revelation’s Hidden Story

Because this festival of Easter is so deeply rooted in the ‘Christian’ tradition, many will find it hard to accept that it should cease.

However, consider this. In a series of prophetic letters to the Church, Jesus condemned the onslaught and acceptance of false teaching such as Easter observance. The transition from Sabbath to Sunday, and from Passover to Easter was revealed by Jesus in symbolic language that has been preserved for us in the book of Revelation.[5]

Jesus warned the first ‘era’, represented by the church at Ephesus, of those who said they were apostles but who were not (Rev 2:2). The truth is first revealed to God’s apostles and prophets (Eph 3:5). These false apostles represent those who were trying to introduce heresies into the Church early on.

Then, to Pergamos, Jesus had a warning written about the danger of eating things sacrificed to idols (Rev 2:14). What were those things? They are a physical symbol of something spiritual. False spiritual teaching is food sacrificed to an idol. It does not honour God. It honours the idol. In the case of Easter, it honours Eostre, the false goddess of spring.

Acceptance of this false teaching, Jesus likened to sexual immorality (Rev 2:14). It is no less evil, or God would have used symbols of lesser impact.

Then, to Thyatira, He continues His dire warning, using the same symbolism of sexual immorality and eating of food sacrificed to idols (Rev 3:20). Jesus clearly identifies that as unbiblical doctrine (Rev 3:24).

He even predicts that the Church would not repent or turn away from its idolatry (Rev 3:21). The results were catastrophic and will again be catastrophic for the Church today. Great tribulation will engulf those who do not turn away from embracing idolatrous customs in the name of Christ (Rev 3:22). It is blasphemous and an affront to the Creator God!

Lukewarm minds will accuse me of overstating it. But those people have not received the perception of God in this area, to see how evil it is to replace something God has commanded with a vastly inferior substitute of corrupt heathen origin. Perhaps they should also consider the original character of this festival.

True Character of Easter

The true character of the idolatrous celebration of Easter is revealed by the noted historian and clergyman, Alexander Hislop. He wrote:

"Easter is nothing else than Astarte, one of the titles of Beltis, the queen of heaven, whose name, as pronounced by the people of Nineveh, was evidently identical with that now in common use in this country [i.e. 'Easter']. That name, as found by Layard on the Assyrian monuments is Ishtar. The worship of Bel and Astarte was very early introduced into Britain, along with the Druids, 'the priests of the groves'...

"[Bel's] consort Astarte was also adored by our ancestors... whose name in Nineveh was Ishtar, the religious solemnities of April, as now practised, are called by the name of Easter – that month, among our pagan ancestors, having been called Easter-monath. The Festival, of which we read in Church history, under the name of Easter, in the third or fourth centuries, was quite a different festival from that now observed in the Romish Church, and at that time was not known by any such name as Easter. It was called Pasch, or the Passover" (Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, pp 103,104).

"That beautiful but abandoned queen of Babylon [Semiramis, synonymous with Ishtar] was not only herself a paragon of unbridled lust and licentiousness, but in the Mysteries which she had a chief hand in forming, she was worshipped as Rhea, the great 'Mother' of the gods [precursor of Catholic Mary worship], with such atrocious rites as identified her with Venus, the Mother of all impurity... of idolatry and consecrated prostitution (Ibid. p 5).

Is it fitting that such a depraved idolatrous festival should be adopted and associated with the wonderful act of redemption of our Saviour? Hardly! It’s no wonder Jesus used the metaphor in Revelation of sexual immorality to depict the Church’s embracing of this depraved teaching! And anyone who wants to argue with the meaning of the symbolism should realise that it is not my interpretation. Jesus Himself nominated this condemnation because of – what He calls – the acceptance of wrong doctrine (Rev 3:24) which He terms the depths of Satan! Subtlety is deep in Satan’s counterfeit teaching.

The Church did not stop in its abandonment of truth in favour of lies. It adopted other pagan trappings to add to the insult.

Hislop records: "That festival [the scriptural Passover] was not idolatrous, and it was preceded by no Lent... The forty days' abstinence of Lent was directly borrowed from the worshippers of the Babylonian goddess. Such a Lent of 40 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. Such a lent of 40 days was held in spring by the pagan Mexicans, for thus we read in Humboldt, where he gives account of Mexican observances: '...fast of 40 days in honour of the sun'. Such a lent of 40 days was observed in Egypt... was held expressly in commemoration of Adonis or Osiris, the great mediatorial god" (Ibid., pp 104,105).

Today, we have Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday, which precede this period of 40 days leading up to Easter Sunday with its worship of the sun-god, Osiris (incestuous lover and son of Isis). Prior to this lenten fast, eggs and flour were used up by making pancakes, hence this peculiar Shrove Tuesday custom. (Shrove is the past participle of the verb 'shrive', which is an archaic Roman Catholic term referring to the priest's hearing a sinner’s confession, assigning of penance, and absolution of his sin – all prerogatives of God which the Catholic Church arrogantly claims for its priesthood.)

Paul condemned these superstitious rituals as worthless in Col 2:18-23 and Gal 4:3, and 8-10.


"to conciliate the pagans to nominal Christianity, Rome, pursuing its usual policy, took measures to get the Christian and pagan festivals amalgamated" (Ibid., p 105).

There you have it; the truth about Easter.

It is not scriptural in origin, not commanded in the New Testament, and should not be observed by the modern Church. Those who do keep it, unwittingly pay homage to the idolatrous Romish Church, who has perpetuated this myth in Christendom. Those who observe Easter – instead of Passover as we are instructed by God, and reminded by Paul – is following tradition instituted by men, outside the authority of the Word of God.

As a child of God, you are commanded to come out of the ways of modern Babylon, the mother of 'Christian' harlotry (Rom 18:4).  MBH „

Those who might dismiss the above comments as the ‘individual opinion’ of the author should be reminded that there are many believers who have been led by the Spirit to see the errors in observing Easter.

Malcolm B Heap

[1]  There is one place in the Old King James Version of the Bible which mentions Easter. That is in Acts 12:4. But it is a mistranslation and is not rendered ‘Easter’ in other more accurate renditions. The Greek word there is pascha, referring to Passover.

[2]   Actually, the common rendering of the Greek mia ton sabbaton in this verse is a flagrant violation of the truth. How it should read is revealed in The Timing of Jesus’ Death and Resurrection.

[3]   The subject of Christmas is covered in Why Keep Christmas? (£1.00)

[4]   This information is contained in the booklet The Festivals of God (£1.00).

[5]   A complete explanation is given in Understanding the Book of Revelation (£7.00).

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Copyright: Midnight Ministries, PO Box 29, Aylesbury, HP17 8TL, UK