Everyone loves a holiday. They can give us an opportunity to spend time with relatives and friends we have not seen for a while. Many religions celebrate holy days. And that’s how we came to use the term HOLI-Days. But are many of those religious days really “holy”? Do we really want to celebrate days that have nothing to do with what we claim to believe? Which days should we observe? Holidays or Holy Days? Or both?
[The text below represents an edited transcript of this Tomorrow’s World program.]
Everyone loves a holiday. Holidays sometimes give us a break from the routine of a full-time job. And perhaps they give us an opportunity to spend time with relatives and friends we have not seen for a while. Some holidays are associated with historic national events. And other holidays feature sporting events such as football, soccer, baseball, tennis, and cricket.
Many religions celebrate holy days. And that’s how we came to use the term HOLI-days. But are many of those religious days really “holy”? Easter celebrations feature customs from pagan traditions. Easter eggs are a pagan symbol of fertility. Do rabbits really lay eggs? What is the meaning of all this?
Many of the traditions we’ve learned from our parents and the culture of our nation or region, have roots in paganism. Often, they hide the real truth of first century Christianity. Is the popular holiday of Easter really in the Bible? This amazing free booklet, EASTER: The Untold Story, will help you sort out the truth from error and give you the biblical facts and sequence of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. Be sure to order your free copy!
When we were children, we generally accepted religious appearing customs without question. But as adults and mature professing Christians, do we really want to mix pagan customs with biblical Christianity? Which should we observe? Holidays or Holy Days? Or both? What should we do about Easter?
Warm greetings to all our friends around the world!
Many national holidays remind us of our historical roots. Other holidays are more entertaining in purpose. Some religious Holy Days help us to know our meaning in life, especially if those days are mandated in the Holy Bible. But even some professing Christian holidays or proclaimed Holy Days are saturated with pagan customs.
Should we observe those days, or avoid them? On today’s program we’ll be answering that question and we’ll be offering you an eye-opening free study guide, Easter: The Untold Story. This booklet will inspire you with the untold story of the death, burial, and resurrection of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, and will also reveal the incredible insertion of pagan customs into the day called Easter. Be sure to write down the contact information to order your free copy of this inspiring and eye-opening booklet, Easter: The Untold Story.
We all appreciate a holiday that gives us an opportunity to visit family, travel to a distant mountain resort, or a coastal beach. Some national holidays are rooted in significant historic events such as the July 4th Independence Day in the United States; the Guy Fawkes Night in England, Scotland, and Wales; November 11 signifies the end of World War I and is called Veterans Day in the United States and Remembrance Day in the United Kingdom and Canada. Anzac Day in Australia and New Zealand honors the military who served in World War I. The American Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday in May, honoring those who sacrificed their lives in the armed forces.
These national holidays should give us perspective and help us understand our national purpose. They should also help to learn the lessons of history to avoid the monumental mistakes of the past!
How many nations in our modern world honor the God of creation? Who gave them their greatest blessings? On October 3, 1789, President George Washington made a Thanksgiving Proclamation. He stated in that proclamation: “It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor.” [from Founder’s Quote Daily]
The time IS coming when the Kingdom of God will rule all nations in peace and prosperity. As it tells us in Zechariah 14:9, “And the Lord shall be King over all the earth.” My friends, your Bible reveals significant annual festivals and holy days that outline the future of the world. You will want to watch upcoming Tomorrow’s World programs on that inspiring subject, the true biblical festivals and holy days.
President George Washington and President Abraham Lincoln each proclaimed a day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God. Thanksgiving weekend is a time when Americans are supposed to count their blessings! Millions of Americans thank God for the blessing of living in a prosperous nation. We in the Western world have been abundantly blessed with prosperity and freedom! At the Thanksgiving holiday, we celebrate the prosperity and freedom our God Almighty has given us.
On the fourth Thursday of November, the United States celebrates its annual Thanksgiving Day. The tradition stems from the Pilgrims’ three-day festival, organized by Plymouth governor William Bradford in 1621. Other nations also celebrate Thanksgiving. Canada instituted its Thanksgiving Day as a national holiday in 1879—and, since 1957, Canada celebrates its Thanksgiving Day on the second Monday in October.
Originally, Thanksgiving was established as a time to express our deep gratitude to God, but do we truly recognize GOD as our provider? Or do we look to our personal possessions and power for security? Thanksgiving is a good time to reflect on our blessings, our purpose, and our future, both individually and nationally. Yes, there are some national holidays that intend to honor the God of the Bible. But does the Bible itself outline godly festivals and holy days? We’ll answer that question in the next part of our program, but first I’d like to offer you this inspiring free booklet, EASTER: The Untold Story. Was Jesus really crucified on Friday and resurrected on Sunday morning? Then how do you explain Jesus’ statement that he would be in the “heart of the earth” or the tomb for three days and three nights? The answer from your own Bible will astound you. You need this inspiring information. This booklet is free of charge. Just call the number on your screen, or order it online at TomorrowsWorld.org. Request this amazing free booklet, EASTER: The Untold Story. Call now!
In the first part of our program, we saw that some national holidays honor those who have served their country. And we saw that some national holidays strive to acknowledge Almighty God and express thanks for His benefits and blessings on their country. But does specifically God want us to observe certain holy days and biblical festivals?
Muslims worship of Friday and follow the call to prayer five times a day. Jews around the world have worshipped for thousands of years on the Sabbath, or the day we call Saturday. Professing Christians meet for Sunday church services, proclaiming this is the true day for worship.
Should religious people set aside any special day as HOLY? Does your Bible COMMAND us to observe Sunday as a day of worship? Or should we just follow non-biblical traditions?
Until recent years, public buildings posted copies of the Ten Commandments. Perhaps you even learned them as a child. The fourth Commandment states the following:
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it” (Exodus 20:8–11).
God set apart the seventh-day Sabbath at creation. That’s why He states, “REMEMBER the Sabbath day.” But should New Testament Christians observe the seventh day, Saturday, as a holy day? We’ve answered that question on previous programs. But it also raises the question: What is the source of your belief and religious practice? Is it church tradition that may include questionable pagan customs? What does the Bible teach concerning the seventh day Sabbath?
The historic records can also give us understanding as to the origin of Sunday observance by professing Christians. The Christians of the first century AD, observed the seventh-day Sabbath. But when was it changed to Sunday? And WHO popularized Sunday observance?
The Catholic Encyclopedia, on the topic of “Sunday,” states this, quote: “Tertullian (202 [AD]) is the first writer who expressly mentions the Sunday rest: ‘We, however (just as tradition has taught us), on the day of the Lord’s Resurrection ought to guard not only against kneeling, but every posture and office of solicitude, deferring even our businesses lest we give any place to the devil’” (Volume XIV, p. 335). Sunday observance was not even mentioned until 202 AD, more than 170 years AFTER the beginning of the New Testament church!
My friends, you need to consider the source of your beliefs. The first and second century Christian churches observed the seventh day Sabbath! Then we find a tiny hint that some churches began to observe Sunday as a day of worship. Even much later, in the fourth century AD, the Emperor Constantine ENFORCED Sunday worship throughout the Roman Empire. Constantine had been a pagan sun-worshipper. He gave the following edict in 321 AD, “On the venerable day of the SUN let all magistrates and people ... REST” [Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, article “Sunday Legislation,” Volume XI, p. 147].
Just a couple years later, the Roman church also passed a startling decree in the Council of Laodicea. They declared: “Christians shall not Judaize and be idle on Saturday, but shall work on that day; but the Lord’s day they shall especially honour, and, as being Christians, shall, if possible, do no work on that day. If, however, they are found Judaizing, they shall be shut out from Christ” (A History of the Councils of the Church, Vol. 2, p. 316). In other words, Christian Sabbath-keepers were declared to be heretics.
But on what authority did the Roman Church make this change? The noted Catholic theologian, James Cardinal Gibbons, wrote this bold statement: “But you may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. [Listen to this!] The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify” (Faith of Our Fathers, 1876).
In other words, Gibbons is saying, if the Bible is your authority, you have NO basis for observing Sunday. The Scriptures, as he states, “enforce the religious observance of Saturday.” We agree with his statement. Do you? What Gibbons and other Catholic authorities state is that, it is the authority of the Catholic Church that changed observance in the Christian world from Saturday to Sunday, NOT the New Testament scriptures! And that occurred in the Council of Laodicea in the middle of the fourth century!
My friends, when you review the facts of history and you also study the teaching of your Bible, you will see a major difference in what days we should observe as religious festivals and Holy days. What days should we observe, and what days should we NOT observe?
My friends, are you willing to be guided and corrected by the Bible? Or will you be turned aside to fables? One of the major errors of professing Christianity is the practice, by some, of pagan traditions. We’ve documented them on previous programs. Easter eggs are a pagan symbol of fertility; decorated trees, holly wreaths, and mistletoe were pagan traditions; December 25 was celebrated as the birth of Mithras, the sun god. It was never the date of Jesus’ birth. Should Christians observe Valentine’s Day? In 496AD, Pope Gelasius I established the Feast of St. Valentine on February 14. Previously, since the days of ancient Rome, young lovers had often observed the Lupercalia—the feast of Lupercus, a fertility god—on February 15.
What other pagan traditions have crept into some forms of professing Christianity? The historian Will Durant gave this analysis in his book, The Story of Civilization: “Christianity did not destroy paganism; it adopted it. The Greek mind, dying, came to a transmigrated life in the theology and liturgy of the church; the Greek language, having reigned for centuries over philosophy, became the vehicle of Christian literature and ritual; the Greek mysteries passed down into the impressive mystery of the Mass. Other PAGAN CULTURES contributed to the syncretist result…. Christianity was the last creation of the ancient pagan world” (pp. 595, 5990.
My friends, are you practicing pagan traditions in the name of Christianity? Remember Jesus’ warning to the Pharisees and scribes concerning certain religious customs. He warned them in Mark 7:7, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.” Where did the Easter tradition come from? We’ll learn more in the next part of our program, but first I’d like to give you another opportunity to order this amazing free study guide, EASTER: The Untold Story. The Resurrection of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, is a fact of history and the hope of our future. But are millions supposedly honoring God with questionable customs and traditions? Evangelist Gerald Weston, the author of this inspiring booklet states this: “Every year, professing Christians celebrate the holiday known as Easter, but few understand its true origins. How is it that a day supposedly picturing the resurrection of Jesus Christ came to be known by the name of the pagan goddess, Eostre? What are the origins of celebrating the day with rabbits and colored eggs and how did they come to be associated with it? What do these have to do with the resurrection of Christ?”
You need to know the untold story of one of the most dramatic and historic events of all time. Just call the number on your screen, or order it on-line at TomorrowsWorld.org. Request this amazing free booklet, EASTER: The Untold Story. Call now!
We rejoice in the resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ. But does the holiday of Easter accurately celebrate the untold stories relating to these awesome historic events? Celebrations of Easter Sunday vary around the world. Easter customs include the coloring of eggs and the popular Easter egg hunt. Surprisingly, many celebrate the myth that rabbits laid those eggs. We all know that rabbits do not lay eggs, but parents teach their children these fables anyway. Some regions celebrate the day with a new set of clothes and display the fashion of an Easter bonnet or creative hat.
But what do those customs have to do with the resurrection of Christ? Absolutely nothing! But the Easter fertility symbols are associated with the pagan goddess Eostre! Listen to this; “Easter is nothing more than another spelling for the Anglo-Saxon goddess Eostre, but where did this goddess originate? The New World Encyclopedia suggests a connection between Eostre and Easter with the very popular and ancient goddess Ishtar: ‘Scholars likewise speculate that Eostre, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of Spring whose name later gave rise to the modern English “Easter,” may be etymologically connected to Ishtar’ (article “Ishtar”). Interestingly, the Melkite Greek Catholic Church admits this about the origin of the name Easter, but gives a slightly different spelling from that of Ishtar. Our modern English word ‘Easter’ comes from Old English, and referred originally to the Norse goddess of fertility, Istra—who was symbolized by a rabbit” (Easter: The Untold Story, p. 2).
If you are a professing Christian, why would you celebrate the resurrection of Christ in the name of a pagan goddess? Several Protestant churches have noted the profane connection to the resurrection of Christ and no longer celebrate Easter Sunday; they now call it “Resurrection Sunday.”
Some consider the rising sun symbolic of the Son of God. Many professing Christians observe an Easter sunrise worship service.
But was Jesus resurrected on Sunday morning? If you are a Bible student, you may be familiar with the history of what is called Passion Week. Remember that Mary Magdalene went to the tomb Sunday morning. Did she witness a sunrise resurrection? If you have your Bible, turn to John 20:1. What did Mary see? John 20:1, “Now the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.’”
Notice that it was still dark Sunday morning, and Jesus was not there! He was not resurrected Easter Sunday morning according to your Bible!! Did Jesus accurately predict the time of his interment in the tomb? Remember the Pharisees and Scribes demanded a sign from Jesus to prove that He was the promised Messiah. And what did Jesus say? Do you personally recognize the sign He gave? Turn in your Bible to Matthew 12:38, “Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, ‘Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.’ But He answered and said to them, ‘An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.’”
Do you realize, my friends, that a traditional Friday crucifixion and an Easter Sunday morning resurrection deny the very sign Jesus gave? Are you personally denying that sign? My friends, Jesus did fulfill that sign just as He said. And we’ll show you How He fulfilled that sign in the conclusion of our program. But first I’d like to offer you this absolutely vital and inspiring free booklet, EASTER: The Untold Story. You need to read the untold true story of Christ’s resurrection. The center of the booklet features a chart clearly demonstrating the three days and three nights Jesus was in “the heart of the earth.” He was resurrected from the tomb or the grave exactly 72 hours after He was laid to rest, just as He said. He kept His word. Jesus Christ is “the resurrection and the life” as He stated in John 11:25. You need to study this vital biblical truth for yourself. So, pick up the telephone right now and order your free inspiring booklet, EASTER: The Untold Story. You can also order this booklet on our Web site at TomorrowsWorld.org. Order your free copy now.
On today’s program we’ve examined various holidays, national and religious. We’ve seen the problem that various pagan celebrations were adopted by the church during the Roman Empire. The most popular of professing Christian holidays, Easter, features several pagan customs including the very name “Easter.” When was Jesus crucified and buried? Was it on a Friday? Notice John 19:31, “Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.”
The high day, John referred to was NOT the weekly Saturday Sabbath, which many wrongly assume. The high day was an annual Sabbath on Thursday of that week. Was Jesus in the tomb three days and three nights?
We’ve explained this on previous programs. Let’s count:
Jesus indeed fulfilled the only sign proving that He is the true Messiah! The truth of the Bible is absolutely inspiring. Jesus and the apostles observed the BIBLICAL festivals and holy days, not pagan holidays. But you need to study into it for yourself. Be sure to request our thoroughly documented free booklet Easter: The Untold Story. You need the complete story, the UNTOLD story of Jesus’ resurrection. This is biblical inspiration that will encourage your life with faith and hope. And be sure to watch our program, the first in a series by Evangelist Gerald Weston, explaining the meanings of the seven biblical festivals and the seven biblical holy days that New Testament Christians observe to this day. You won’t want to miss the Tomorrow’s World programs on that inspiring subject, the true biblical festivals and holy days.
We invite you to join us every week on Tomorrow’s World, or online any time. In the challenging and stressful times in which we live, you need the solid guidance that comes from your Bible. Gerald Weston, Wallace Smith, and I, along with our guest presenter Rod McNair, will continue to share with you the teachings of Jesus Christ, the good news of the coming Kingdom of God, and the exciting end-time prophecies and their meaning. So, be sure to join us again next week, right here, at this same time!
Every year, billions of people observe a joyous Easter Sunday celebration. For some, it may be one of the few times each year they come to church. For others, it may be the culmination of observances going back to Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday and Good Friday in preparation for the festive day.
Many of these people have no idea that their Easter celebration owes far, far more to pre-Christian myth than to anything Jesus Christ or His Apostles believed, practiced or taught. A few think they can “sanctify the pagan” by turning old worship of Astarte or Ishtar into a “Christian” rite; others just assume that this is what Christians have always done.
The truth is that Jesus Christ did command His followers to keep annual observance in memory of His death. And He gave His followers one sign that would prove or disprove His Messiahship. Shockingly, very few people alive today realize that the Good Friday to Easter Sunday tradition is actually in utter opposition to the truth of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection as foretold in Scripture. If you want to learn that truth, read on!