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Writing this article has been one of the most difficult ones to do. The Holy Spirit was talking to me for about three months to write it, but I didn’t want to put such a correction out like this, especially during this time. It was when the Holy Spirit started waking me up in the middle of the night dumping text into my heart that I discovered I had no choice in the matter. I had to get up and start writing or else suffer from lack of sleep. Night after night He did this and in a very short time it was completed. While it is a correction, we must always be aware that the Lord LOVES us and wants us to be perfect before Him. If we are to be Holy and Pure before Him, we must lose the things of this world that are holding us back and cling only to what we find in His word.

God Bless!

As we approach the end of this age and the return of Christ there has been a lot of discussion and debate if we should practice certain holiday customs that may have trivial connections to ancient pagan deities.  I have already presented the history of these in the teaching: “The Final Restoration” available on my website.  What I want to address here some of the points that others have brought forth claiming there is nothing wrong with doing these things.  Most Christians today could care less about these things, but they are actually showing their ignorance of the word of God and His nature regarding these topics.

How would you feel if every year on your birthday everybody told you “Happy Birthday, Kelly,” when you’re a guy named Sam?  This is basically how we are treating Jesus on the day of His Resurrection when we say: “Happy Easter.”  The paradox here is if there are any valid reasons to avoid doing these things?  Is it really an acceptable practice before God and Jesus to call the Resurrection of Christ, “Easter?”  Let’s take a look at the history, reasoning and scriptures about these things?

Before we begin I want to remind everyone that we are no longer under the law.  This means we are not judged by the law, which leads to death, but we are under Grace, which leads us to the LOVE of Jesus Christ who is the fulfillment of the law.  That LOVE empowers us to be imitators of Christ’s LOVE and in that LOVE we also fulfill the law in our own lives just as he also fulfilled the law.  Christ did not abolish the law; he fulfilled the law and removed the judgment of sin caused by the law.  Therefore we LOVE the father also and have the desire to do what pleases Him.  Because of these things it is important to be aware that there is nothing in these holidays that Christians should fear or be afraid of.  Whether connected or not to a pagan deity or assumed to be related to a demon or spirit in any form, it should not instill fear in any Christian.  We are the ones who have overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.  We have the power of God in us and have overcome all the work of the enemy.

A Little History

Now for those who have not read the teaching, “The Final Restoration,” let me go back and highlight several important points in that teaching.  First the introduction of pagan practices found their stronghold into the church after the Roman Emperor Constantine signed a proclamation declaring that all the citizens of Rome would become Christian at the beginning of a certain day.  Because these people never became true converts of Christ these people brought with them all the beliefs and practices of their pagan religions with them and incorporated them into the church.  This resulted in the expulsion of the Festival of Passover and renaming the Day of Resurrection to Easter and also moved the celebration of Christ’s birth from the Festival of Tabernacles to December 25 renaming it as Christmas, which was previously known as the birthday of many of the pagan gods.  You can learn more about the history surrounding these things in the teaching: “The Final Restoration” on the website.

The Debate

To begin our discussion of this topic there is one important point I want to make you aware of.  Of those whom I have heard attempting to build a justification that there is nothing wrong with Christians using the name “Easter” or the use of a Christmas tree, the most obvious error I have seen is that none of them ever used any scriptural evidence to support their point of view.  All of their arguments are built upon man’s own historical point of view and none on what God says about these things in the Bible.  If there are those who use scripture to support such a perspective, I would question the context of those scriptures in relation to how they are being used.  I say this because throughout the Bible God has called us to be a holy people and to separate ourselves from the things in this world and focused only on Him.  It also says that if we love the things of this world the love of the Father is not in us and we have created a point of division between ourselves and God.  Something none of us wants.  (James 4:4-10, 1 John 2:15-17, Romans 12:2)

Over the centuries the origin and incorporation of these practices into the church has been lost in history and transformed into a tradition of the church where they are blindly accepted, but these are not just any tradition, these are “Traditions of Men,” because no one can find any scripture to support their existence, while at the same time numerous scriptures exists commanding us not to do them.

For those who find no problem in doing these things one of the reasons they use is to say there has never been a direction association with the pagan deity Easter, but came from the month of EASTRE.  What they fail to realize is that all the names of all the months and all the names of the days of the week originated from pagan deities.  Easter was set in the time of the spring festival which was a time to plant the crops and carryout mating of their animals.  The goddess Easter or Eastre (however, one wants to spell it) dates back many years before Christ and among those stories, when Easter came to earth she descended in a giant egg and when it opened a rabbit emerged.  She is known as the goddess of fertility and abundance.  She is celebrated and worshiped in the spring in hopes for abundant crops and healthy reproduction of their livestock.  I don’t know how much more of a direct connection is required.

Before the proclamation by Constantine, the Church celebrated the Festival of the Passover and Resurrection near the same time as the Spring Festival of Easter.  After the proclamation, this new church did not want anything to do with the Festival of Passover because it was connected to the Jews.  They refused to recognize the rich revelation found in the Passover that reveals the sacrifice that Christ made for our salvation.  Instead they pushed it out of the way and with slight modifications proclaimed that Easter was the celebration of Christ’s resurrection.

This brings us to the second claim of those who see no problem with Easter as a day of celebration of Christ’s resurrection.  Their claim is that Christianity overpowered this pagan holiday and reformed it as a Christian holiday for Christ and it now represents the celebration of Christ’s resurrection.  But did this really happen?  If this were true why is there nothing in this holiday festival other than the words that “it represents Christ’s resurrection?”  Everywhere one goes we see Easter Bunnies (a symbol of abundance) and Easter Eggs (a symbol of fertility).  There is nothing in these things that truly represent the resurrection of Christ.

It is both sad and funny at the same time but the worship of the goddess Easter is still very much alive in every aspect of our culture today, but we no longer worship her with idols of gold and silver, today we celebrate and worship her with chocolate bunnies and candy eggs, and bring our offerings to her in Easter baskets.

We have literally replaced the cross of Christ with a bunny and an egg.  If Easter truly was a Christian holiday we would be celebrating with chocolate lambs and candy crosses.  For these things would at least bring to our minds the sacrifice of Christ.   Bunnies and eggs do nothing to promote Christ’s sacrifice, because there is nothing in them of Christ and that is why the world loves them.  This same pattern is repeated with the Christmas tree.  Read ‘The Final Restoration‘ to learn more on that subject.  It wasn’t the Christians who had victory over the goddess Easter, it was the goddess Easter who won the victory over the minds of the Christians and has kept them in darkness to this day.

Another claim from those who accept these things believe that if these names may have had some connection to pagan worship, but Christians have changed their meaning.  When we talk about church on Sunday we don’t worry over the fact that Sunday was the day of worship of the sun god.  So, why should we be concerned over the use of the word Easter?  Again these opinions err not knowing the Bible or the nature of God.  We may have to live in this world, but we are not supposed to take part in it.  We are to have nothing to do with the things of this world and that includes using their words to represent Christian celebrations.  All the days of the week and the months derive their origins from pagan gods.  But God never gave names to any of the days of the weeks or months.  He always referred to them as the 1st day or 7th days of the week, or the 1st or last month of the year.  It was the Jews, when they were in rebellion to God that names were attributed to the Jewish months and the names of the months that the Jews gave them were also rooted in their pagan practices.  All of these excuses to accept and consider the use of Easter as part of Christian celebration have nothing to do with God’s Word as to how we should live.

The Paradox

Just because Christians have taken an ancient name and done something to mark it as a victory or conquest over something is not thinking from God’s perspective, but the carnal ideology of man.  We are to be like God and pursue his way of doing things, not create our own excuses or opinions of how or why we have adopted the ways of the world, which God tells us in His word to have nothing to do with.  What is important is not what the meaning of these words may mean to us today, but what does the Word of God say about these things.  Those who speak from man’s perspective are giving “MAN’s” point of view, not God’s point of view.  So, what does God’s word say about this?  There are numerous scriptures throughout the Bible that teach us not to do these things, but it can be wrapped up in one verse.

Deut. 12:2-4 (NLT)
“When you drive out the nations that live there, you must destroy all the places where they worship their gods—high on the mountains, up on the hills, and under every green tree. 3 Break down their altars and smash their sacred pillars. Burn their Asherah poles and cut down their carved idols. Completely erase the names of their gods!  4 “Do not worship the Lord your God in the way these pagan peoples worship their gods.

<strong “mso-bidi-font-weight:=”” normal”=””>Wow!  Did you see that?  God just told us to erase the “names” of those gods completely.  No memory, no hint, no glimmer of anything that would reflect back to those pagan deities.  We were commanded to erase everything that is connected to Easter and the Christmas tree, which is a form of the Asherah pole.  But instead we claim that we have changed the meaning of their names and turned them into our Christian holidays.  Is that following after the ways of God?  Are we obeying His commands in doing these things?  We have disobeyed God just as the Jews did.

Now for those who are scoffing and still living in the “that’s under the law” deception, please listen!  Christ’s death was to free us from the judgment of sin and death that is in the law that required sacrifices every year.  He did not remove the law; He gave himself as a perfect sacrifice to fulfill the law providing a more excellent way for us to keep the law, by living in His LOVE.

Mat 22:37-40 (NLT)
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. ‘ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. ‘ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

We are no longer condemned by the law, but it does not give us license to ignore the ways of God.  God is the same yesterday, today and forever and Deut. 12:2-4 is as valid today as it was when He gave it.

Additionally, always remember this.  When the world accepts something, it should alert the Christian’s that there IS something wrong with it.  The fact that the world loves the holidays of Easter and Christmas should be enough for Christians to realize that they have been duped or deceived into believing a lie.  Just try to get the world to embrace the holiday of the Festival of Passover.  It will never happen, because it points to Jesus, something the world hates.  The holidays of Easter and Christmas don’t point to Jesus, they point to the Easter bunny and Santa Clause giving gifts.  That’s what the world sees and that is what the world wants.

Just because we have lost the connection with the meaning and origin of something is no excuse to say there is nothing wrong with it, because our carnal nature will deceive us and is at enmity with God.  We must look only to what God says about these things in His word.  The carnal nature of man has a sinister habit of the taking minor truths and creating enormous traditions out of them.  These become “Traditions of Men,” because they lack the power of God to enable freedom.  These “Traditions of Men” act like insidious little creatures that that burrow deep into our heart and soul in an effort to hide from being discovered, but at the same time they exert a strong influence over our lives.  They feed on our faith making us weak and unable to resist their influence and if they are ever exposed they release a poison of strong emotional and sometimes violent reaction in an effort to protect their existence and hiding place trying redirect our attention to other things.  Always be watchful for such things, because if we ever allow a belief that corrupts the Word of God to take hold in our lives, we have set that belief as a master in our lives and have become slaves to that belief.  (Rom 6:16)

What most do not realize is that in the Bible the patterns are clearly set and proven throughout history.  When someone is lifted up in celebration or when we bow down before someone or something that person or deity is being worshiped.  Additionally, Satan is a very legalistic individual and claims every act of idolatry as his own and smiles with delight,  When we use the name “Easter” out of context to represent the resurrection of Jesus, he gleefully lifts his finger and says, “Point of order, God.  “Easter” is one of my deities per the rule and definition of first origin and I claim that worship as mine.”  Therefore:

Every time we call out “Happy Easter,” we are worshiping Easter.
Every time we celebrate with an “Easter Service” we are worshiping Easter.
Every time we use anything shaped like an egg or a bunny as part of an Easter program we are worshiping Easter.
Every time we enjoy a chocolate bunny or candy egg as part of an Easter celebration we are worshiping Easter.
Every time we go on an Easter egg hunt we are worshiping Easter.
Every time we setup a Christmas tree we are worshiping Asherah.
Every time we decorate a Christmas tree we are worshiping Asherah.
Every time we bend over to put a present under a Christmas tree we are worshiping Asherah.
Every time we gather around the Christmas tree to exchange those gifts we are worshiping Asherah.

Don’t believe me.  Study the history of how pagan worship and celebrations were conducted.  The Bible has some of it, but to really understand it one must study other sources also.  By now some of those traditions may be releasing their poison into your system wanting you scream and cry foul so it can redirect your attention away from these things, but the fact remains that in doing these things we are practicing worldly acts of idolatry and are opening a door for Satan to claim access into our lives.  I’m not trying to destroy the fun we all had celebrating these holidays, but the Bible remains the standard of how we should live and we should not give Satan a foothold in our lives by participating in things that hide deceptions from the enemy.  We should strive to live as God has revealed in His word, not trying to mix worldly practices into the Church.  As we prepare for the return of Christ to take us in the Rapture we must cast off these Traditions of Men and renew our minds to be holy and separated for the Lord so when He does come, we are without spot or blemish.  I cannot stress the importance of this enough.  The last days are going to be full of such corruption of the word of God, but those who are prepared will be holy before God and display the glory of God.  Those who ignore these things and indulge the passions of the flesh will regret these things and suffer loss.  This is why He titled the book: Tell Them to Prepare – The Final Restoration.  The Lord called me to bring The Final Restoration and it is not something I do with pleasure, but obedience.  I know a lot of Christians enjoy these things, but at the same time the Lord has restored our understanding of His word to the point that most mature Christians understand the danger that allowing even the smallest opening for Satan can block the power of God flowing in our lives.  God wants His Glory flowing through us in these last days leading up to the Rapture so we can display the full power of Christ in our lives, but if we play with things like this we are leaving that door open and allowing our garments to become spotted and wrinkled.  And if we ignore that, then we just may find ourselves left behind.

I am sure someone reading this is thinking about Colossians 2:16, 17 saying that we should not allow anyone to condemn us in how we celebrate our holy days.  Well, that is not exactly what that verse is saying, but it is true we should not be condemned if these things are in our lives.  But don’t stop reading, because it goes on to say (through chapter 3) that we have died with Christ and have been set free from the rules of this world.  And since we have been raised to new life with Christ, we are to set our sights on heavenly things and leave the things of this world behind.  So, while we are not to be condemned, we are also not to cling to the Idolatrous practices in this world.

The True Celebration

When the early Christian’s celebrated the Festival of Passover they did it with special revelation revealing and reminding those partaking of the importance of what Christ did for us in His sacrifice and resurrection.  It should be the goal of every Christian and their families to at the very least partake in the Passover Seder meal each year.  This meal has many wonderful experiences and insights that everyone in the family should be a part of.

Those who try to justify the acceptance of Easter, attempt to use children claiming that the kids enjoy it and that may be true, but it does nothing to teach them about Christ.  While the Festival of Passover is designed for children to both enjoy and learn from.  At the beginning of the Festival the father is to pick a young lamb and bring it into the house for the entire week.  During that week the children play with and fall in love with the lamb, but at the end of that week the lamb is killed and roasted over the fire.  This breaks the children’s hearts, but it teaches them the love and sacrifice that Christ has for them.  It is then during the Seder meal that they learn why the Lamb of God gave his life with many wonderful symbolic examples.

Some may claim that we as Christians have Communion and that is correct and I am among those who believe that Christians should partake of Communion every day as an important part of our daily life with Christ.  But what many do not realize is that the while Communion came out of the Seder meal, there are actually four cups of communion.  And each one has a very important purpose and meaning to our Christian life, with the fourth cup representing the return of Christ.  Do you remember when Christ said that He would not drink it again until His return?  (Matt. 26:29, Mark 14:25, Luke 22:18)  This is what He was referring to.  As Christians we have been robbed, losing some of the most wonderful and precious celebrations of Christ because we have allowed the world to trick us into worshiping a tree and a bunny, and letting go of the Festivals of the Lord.  Nowhere in the Bible does God ever call these the Festivals of the Jews, they are always called Festivals of the Lord.  The Festivals are meant for ALL His children, not just the Jews and when He returns every nation will celebrate His Festivals.  The Festivals are the greatest celebrations that the Christians can partake in because it contains many blessings that we have missed out on   In fact, Christians celebrating the Festivals is part of the Christians making the Jews jealous, because we celebrate these Festivals with understanding and they do it out of duty not understanding what they are doing.

As the time of Christ’s return draws near those of us who want the most out of our relationship with Jesus must seek the holiness of the Lord in our life.  We must cast off the things of this world and cling to the things of God that are found in His word only.  We must turn our back on the things of this world while it celebrates Easter and focus our celebration on Jesus and the blessings we gain through the Festival of Passover and the day of His Resurrection.

Live in God’s Love!

Richard Billingsley

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