Happy Ishtar Ashley - The Pagan Origins of Easter (Revised)
Well here we go again, senior pastor and 'visionary' Ashley Evans along with his Paradise Community Church [Adelaide, South Australia] and their grinning contemporaries, obsessed with their tunnel visioned, relentless quest to be 'relevant to the culture', are out once again, engaging in pagan fertility rite celebrations, leading the lost further astray and pocketing some coin in the process. The annual Easter Egg Hunt is on again in 2009 here in beautiful Adelaide South Australia sponsored for yet another year by a 'church' that really ought to know better but clearly does not! They [the PCC] appear to be diving into one cultural cesspit after another in order to 'reach the seekers' and the stain of their filth is all about them. What's next Ashley, Holy Halloween? Len Firth in a bunny suit? Just how 'relative' do you aim to get? So relative no-one will be able to tell the difference? Guess what pal, you've already achieved your aim.
Just how 'relative' do professing believers want to get? Just how indulgent and tolerant of sin do they want to become? Just how disobedient to the commands of the Father are they prepared to be? Well, just ask Ashley, he appears to have a plan, proving once again there really is nothing new under the sun.
The following is a revised version of an article we published many years ago; one Evans and his supporters need to read once again…
Like the truth, myths are passed down from generation to generation, and in both cases it is the responsibility of parents to instruct their children - indeed, in the way they should go because according to Scripture in old age they will not depart from those ways.
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)
In fact failure to teach children in the ways of righteousness and more specifically 'leading them astray' bodes a fearful warning from the Almighty.
. . . but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble, it would be better for him that a huge millstone should be hung around his neck, and that he should be sunk in the depths of the sea. Matthew 18:6
Therefore it is with this stern warning in mind that we present the following . .
As in countless years long passed this coming 'holiday' known as Easter will see hundreds of millions of professing Christians, agnostics, atheists and pagans alike engage in both idolatry, and the worship of an ancient fertility goddess. Of course there are many who are blissfully unaware of the pagan origins of this festival, inculturated into the 'church' proper by Roman Emperor Constantine I in 325 AD. However while ignorance may well be bliss, they who engage are without excuse. Please indulge me in a short but timely journey back into factual history . . .
The word 'Easter' is of Chaldean origin and was adopted by pagans in an attempt to "inculturate" by syncretism, a behaviour that is an absolute abomination. If you recognize "Halloween" for what it is, then this will be no different after you learn the truth. Easter was already one of the two biggest celebrations observed by Pagans, 1500 years before the advent of Christianity. Easter was celebrated by the Assyrians, the Phoenicians, and the Philistines. These pagans believed the Earth Mother was impregnated by the sun. The story goes, according to legend, that the Queen of Heaven, Astarte [Ishtar - Easter] came down from the heavens in an egg. According to Reverend Alexander Hislop, in his brilliant study 'The Two Babylons', the story of the egg preceded paganism and was a pictorial representation of Noah's flood.
"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. Hence the egg became one of the symbols of Astarte, or Easter. The occult meaning of this mystic egg of Astarte has a two-fold significance. It had reference to the Ark during the time of the flood in which the whole human race was shut up, as the chick is enclosed in the egg before it is hatched. If any be inclined to ask, how could it ever enter the minds of men to employ such an extraordinary symbol for such a purpose, the answer is, first, the sacred egg of paganism, as already indicated is well known as the "mundane egg", that is, the egg in which the world was shut up. Now the world has two distinct meanings - it means either the material earth, or the inhabitants of the earth. The latter meaning of the term is seen in Genesis 6:1 [speaking of the time of Nimrod] 'The whole earth was of one language and of one speech.', where the meaning is that the whole people of the world were so. If then the world is shut up in an egg, and floating on the waters, it may not be difficult to believe, however the idea of the egg may have come, that the egg thus floating on the wide universal sea might be Noah's family that contained the whole world in its bossom. Then the application of the word egg to the Ark comes thus: - the Hebrew name for an egg is 'Baitz', or in the feminine [for they are both genders] 'Baitza'. This, in Chaldee and Phoenician, becomes 'Baith' or 'Baitha' which in these languages is also the usual way in which the name of a house is pronounced. The egg floating on the waters that contained the world, was the house floating on the waters of the deluge with the elements of the new world in its bossom. The coming of the egg from heaven evidently refers to the preparation of the Ark by express appointment of God. [The Two Babylons, Reverend Alexander Hislop, pgs. 103-113; 1916 Loizeaux Brothers Inc.]"
The Babylonians true to their pagan corruptions turned this story into the vile worship of their fertility Goddess Astarte or Ishtar. It was the utterly corrupt Roman Catholic Church who adopted this mystic egg of Astarte in or around the third or fourth century under the leadership of Pope Paul V, teaching his superstitious votaries to pray at Easter. According to Reverend Hislop the egg was not the only symbol of goddess worship. Ancient wood cuts depict the woman bearing a pomegranate full of seeds. He writes:
"…and on that account it has been supposed that it was employed as an emblem of that vessel in which the germs of the new creation were preserved, where with the world was to be sown anew with man and with beast, when the desolation of the deluge had passed away. But upon more searching inquiry, it turns out that the Rimmon or 'pomegranate' had reference to an entirely different thing. Astarte, or Cybele, was also called Idaia Mater and the sacred mount in Phrygia most famed for the celebration of her mysteries, was named Mount Ida - that is, in Chaldee, the sacred language of these mysteries, the Mount of Knowledge. Idaia Mater, then, signifies the 'Mother of Knowledge' - in other words, our Mother Eve, who first coveted the knowledge of good and evil and actually purchased it at so dire a price to herself and to all of her children. Astarte was worshipped not only as an incarnation of the Spirit of God, but also of the mother of mankind. When, therefore, the mother of the gods and the mother of knowledge was represented with the fruit of the pomegranate in her extended hand as shown, inviting those who ascend the sacred mount to initiation in her mysteries, can there be a doubt what that fruit was intended to signify? Evidently, it must accord with her assumed character; it must be the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge." [The Two Babylons, Reverend Alexander Hislop, pgs. 103-113; 1916 Loizeaux Brothers Inc.]
According to recorded ancient history, the priests of the goddess Ishtar (Easter) would engage in debauched sexual acts with young virgins upon her altar on what has become known as Easter Sunday. One year later these same priests would sacrifice these precious little three month old children and with their spilled blood would paint eggs in honour of this evil goddess - hence the tradition of coloured 'Easter' eggs.
So many fail to make the connection between this satanic practice and the seemingly innocuous celebration of Easter yet they are one and the same. Again we see the corrupting influence of paganism and how such an influence has been seductively introduced to the church. One might say, "I am not celebrating a fertility goddess, but the resurrection of Christ". However engaging in the 'celebration' of Easter, no matter the intention, is biblically forbidden according to Deuteronomy 12.
Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and burn their Asherah [Easter] poles in the fire; cut down the idols of their gods and wipe out their names from those places. YOU MUST NOT WORSHIP YA' WEH YOUR ELOHIM IN THEIR WAY.
Yet as we mentioned, hundreds of millions of professing Christians will, perhaps unwittingly, do just that. And of course this gives no excuse for those who do know and yet continue with these abominable rites.
As part of the Easter celebrations they [the pagans] engaged in ritual sex acts, and used symbols of fertility like eggs, rabbits, and "hot cross buns". The Babylonian symbol for the "female" was, and is, a circle with a crux beneath - viva la feminism - the act of ultimate defiance. Round cakes were baked for the "Queen of Heaven" (Regina Coeli), and "Great Mother" (Magna Mater), with the "cross" symbol indicating the female. The cross also indicated the Equinox, when the Earth's orbit "crossed" the celestial equator.
To ensure a prosperous growing season, pagans rolled eggs decorated with the bright colours of spring on their fields, hoping to imbue fertility. These eggs were then hidden from "evil spirits" in rabbits' nests, another symbol of fertility. The US Federal government does this very thing on the White House lawn every year on Easter Sun-Day. "Easter" is the name of the Babylonian "Mother of Harlots", Rev. 17.
"EASTER (es'ter). Ostara, or Eastre, was the goddess of spring in the religion of the ancient Anglos and Saxons. Every April a festival was celebrated in her honour. With the beginnings of Christianity, the old gods were put aside. From then on the festival was celebrated in honour of the resurrection of Christ, but was still known as Easter after the old goddess."
How did this happen? Paganism was absorbed into Christianity under the guise of 'evangelism'; it was the policy to accept everything they [the pagans] were accustomed to celebrating also. Let's hear it directly from the Catholic organization itself; Catholic Cardinal John Henry Newman's book, The Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, published in 1878, states in chapter 8:
"The rulers of the Church from early times were prepared, should the occasion arise, to adopt, to imitate, or to sanctify the existing rites and customs of the population, as well as the philosophy of the educated class. [Sound familiar?] The use of temples and those dedicated to particular saints, and ornamented on occasion with branches of trees (wreaths), incense, lamps, candles, votive offerings on recovering from illnesses, holy water, holy days and seasons (the entire Church calendar), use of calendars, processions, blessings on the fields, sacerdotal vestments, the ring in marriage, chants, the Kyrie Eleison - are all of Pagan origin, and sanctified by adoption into the Church."
There you have it. But, you may ask, "If Easter was a pagan festival celebrating the impregnation of 'Mother Earth', how did it get mixed up with Christianity?" Christianity's "Pagan Connection" started with one man more than any other. In 325 AD, the Roman Emperor Constantine I convened what is now called the Nicene Council, gathering 220 elders (bishops) together, in order to unify basic doctrines (teachings), and establish common practices. This "universalizing" produced the Roman Catholic Church (RCC). The Latin word "Catholic" means universal. There was no "Catholic" on planet Earth prior to this Council. The only Council mentioned in the Scriptures conducted by the first Nazarenes is mentioned in Acts 15, the purpose of which was to determine how to accommodate gentile converts who were turning to the true Creator. The only topic: circumcision ~ and since immersion in the Name and receiving the Spirit into your heart is our "circumcision", it was decided that physical circumcision was not necessary.
Constantine's Council sought to institute new tolerances for Pagan patterns, and outlaw the patterns that the Saviour lived by and taught ~ he had already proclaimed "Sun-Day" as a day of rest dedicated to the sun (321 AD), and now it came time to "syncretise" more paganism. By not "repenting" and turning away from elementary foolishness, it was simpler to just "absorb" the behaviour. Political and religious control is a slippery thing; so by keeping the pagan rituals in place, control was maintained with a minimum of effort! "Truth" was twisted by the "spin doctors" so the opposite of truth became our custom. Rather than make 99% of the people conform to a totally new behaviour, it was easier to just exterminate the 1%, and put a Scriptural "spin" on the pagan customs. This is what overwhelmed all our ancestors, being taught these things as young children. Paganism has always been highly skilled at wrapping dissimilar things together, making things appear one way on the surface, and making the loosely understood things shrouded in what they call the "mysteries of the faith".
In order to blend practices into universal (Catholic) behaviour, the real Shabbat (Sabbath) was outlawed, along with Passover and other annual "Jewish" observances. This was a prophecy revealed to Daniel. In the prophecy, four "beasts" or kingdoms would arise, which are clearly (1) Babylon, (2) Media-Persia, (3) Greece, and (4) Rome. In Daniel 7:25, the 4th beast is clearly described:
"The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on Earth (Rome). It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole Earth, trampling it down and crushing it. The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom (Caesars/Khasars/Kaisers/Czars ~ Julius Caesar up to Constantine). After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones (Constantine "fused" the sun worshippers with the Nazarene writings, and was not of the family name "Caesar"); he will subdue three kings. He will speak against the Most High, and oppress His saints (qodeshim, those set-apart, especially the Hebrew people), and try to change the set times and the law". Scripture is a pattern for our living in peace, guiding us with its "LAW". The changing of the "set times" (or seasonal appointments decreed at Deut. 16 and Lev. 23) were wiped-out and replaced with pagan observances, imposed by Constantine.
Contrary to popular opinion, the celebration of 'Easter' has nothing at all to do with the Jewish festival of Pesach (or Passover). It is in fact a deceptive placebo which has led professing believers in the Risen Messiah into both idolatry and pagan ritual beginning as early as the second century AD, and finding itself terminally entrenched in church doctrine by the utterly corrupt Roman Catholic age of 400 AD under the authority of the pagan sun worshipper Constantine I.
Rabbits, Eggs and Other 'Innocent' Traditions.
So how do chocolate eggs, Easter bunny and the 3 days (Good Friday to Resurrection Sunday) which don't add up, fit into the equation?
Simply put - in Christian terms they don't. Let me explain.
With regard to the egg tradition as mentioned earlier, according to Pagan tradition, the goddess of fertility (known variously as Dianna, Astarte, Ishtar, Isis, Mother Nature, ad infinitum) was believed to be the resulting love child of the procreation of the Earth and the Sun, and her arrival on this beleaguered little blue globe was in the vessel of an egg. The ancients (and not just so) would commemorate this event by brightly decorating and then exchanging eggs amongst one another in her honour. The eggs were often hidden in rabbit burrows as part of the rite given that rabbits are prolific breeders which added to the fertility myth and worship. Fish also featured (also being prolific breeders) and hence came the idolatrous practice of fish eating on what was to become 'Good Friday' despite Scriptural warnings of separating foods unto idols which equates to demon worship (1 Corinthians 10:20 & Revelation 2:20). The Roman Catholic institution in its absolute stupidity embraced such like pagan beliefs with a view to 'evangelism' much like the modern day charismatic movement does in its own stupidity with a view to the same end, namely the evangelization of the lost, blind to the truth that when one lays down with a whore the same becomes one with her (1 Corinthians 6:15-16).
So the call of Scripture when it comes to denominations who go a-whoring after other gods, is to "Come out and be ye separate' (2 Corinthians 6:17)
With regard to Good Friday to Easter Sunday . . . The Scriptures clearly teach that when the Messiah lay down His life on the cross at Calvary at 3 pm, shedding His sinless blood to atone for the sin of mankind, He descended into the belly of the earth for 3 full days and 3 full nights. The Jewish day begins at 6 pm of an evening. Scripture teaches that He rose from the dead on the first day of the week (anywhere between 6pm Saturday evening and dawn Sunday morning), so let's do some elementary math. Friday 3 pm to Saturday 3 pm is ONE day. 3 pm Saturday to dawn Sunday is ONE AND A HALF DAYS NOT THREE!
Therefore the Messiah did not die on the Friday but rather the Wednesday. Yet despite this glaring error, 'Christian' churches continue to celebrate a festival dedicated to foreign gods and not the Risen King of Kings leading millions astray in the practice of idolatry and demon worship in the process. When the Father commanded His people to NOT worship Him in the way the pagans worshipped their false gods He jolly well meant it. What part of THOU SHALT NOT do people have a problem with?
Easter was never a celebration endorsed by either the Messiah nor the Apostles yet it is one celebrated by the compromised church year after year after year to its utter shame.
In closing let me issue Joshua's challenge to those with ears to hear . . .
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. (Joshua 24:15)
And I pray your answer will be that of the children of Israel after the challenge . . .
And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods.