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Bible verses about Easter
(From Forerunner Commentary)

One of "Christianity's" false doctrines that is based upon their flawed reckoning of these events is "the Lord?s Day." Catholic and Protestant churches around the world are full of sincere but deceived people who believe that Christ changed the day of rest from Sabbath to Sunday. How is He supposed to have done that? By His resurrection!

If it were proved that He rose from the grave on the Sabbath, what would happen to the foundation of this doctrine? It would disappear! Their theologians would have only the flimsiest "proof texts" to stand on (I Corinthians 16:1-2; Revelation 1:10)!

Nowhere in the New Testament is the perpetual Sabbath covenant abolished (Exodus 31:12-17), for God made the Sabbath for all mankind (Mark 2:27). To the contrary, Jesus kept it (Luke 4:16), Paul kept it (Acts 17:2), and Gentiles kept it (Acts 13:42-44; 16:13)! The author of Hebrews writes boldly, "There remains therefore a rest [KJV margin: keeping of a Sabbath] for the people of God" (Hebrews 4:9).

So we can see very clearly that the correct dates for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ can become vital to our salvation.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh


 

One of "Christianity's" false doctrines that is based upon their flawed reckoning of these events is "the Lord?s Day." Catholic and Protestant churches around the world are full of sincere but deceived people who believe that Christ changed the day of rest from Sabbath to Sunday. How is He supposed to have done that? By His resurrection!

If it were proved that He rose from the grave on the Sabbath, what would happen to the foundation of this doctrine? It would disappear! Their theologians would have only the flimsiest "proof texts" to stand on (I Corinthians 16:1-2; Revelation 1:10)!

Nowhere in the New Testament is the perpetual Sabbath covenant abolished (Exodus 31:12-17), for God made the Sabbath for all mankind (Mark 2:27). To the contrary, Jesus kept it (Luke 4:16), Paul kept it (Acts 17:2), and Gentiles kept it (Acts 13:42-44; 16:13)! The author of Hebrews writes boldly, "There remains therefore a rest [KJV margin: keeping of a Sabbath] for the people of God" (Hebrews 4:9).

So we can see very clearly that the correct dates for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ can become vital to our salvation.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh


 

Here is the quick, brief history of how the pagan Easter observance became commonplace within the popular church, from the Encyclopaedia Britannica (11th edition, vol. VIII, pp. 828-829):

There is no indication of the observance of the Easter festival in the New Testament, or in the writings of the Apostolic Fathers. . . . The first Christians [the original true Church] continued to observe the Jewish [that is, God's] festivals, though in a new spirit, as commemorations of events which those festivals had foreshadowed. Thus the Passover, with a new conception added to it, of Christ as the true Paschal Lamb and the first fruits from the dead, continued to be observed.

Although the observance of Easter was at a very early period in the practice of the Christian Church, a serious difference as to the day for its observance soon arose between the Christians of Jewish and those of Gentile descent, which led to a long and bitter controversy. With the Jewish Christians . . . the fast ended . . . on the 14th day of the moon at evening . . . without regard to the day of the week. The Gentile Christians on the other hand [that is, the beginning of the Roman Church, now substituting pagan for true Christian doctrines] . . . identified the first day of the week with the resurrection, and kept the preceding Friday as the commemoration of the crucifixion, irrespective of the day of the month.

Generally speaking, the Western Churches [Catholic] kept Easter on the 1st day of the week, while the Eastern Churches [containing most of those who remained as part of the true Christian Church] followed the Jewish rule. [That is, observing Passover on the 14th of the first sacred month instead of the pagan Easter.]

Polycarp, the disciple of John the Evangelist, and bishop of Smyrna, visited Rome in 159 [sic] to confer with Anicetus, the bishop of that see, on the subject, and urged the tradition which he had received from the apostles of observing the 14th day. Anicetus, however, declined. About forty years later (197), the question was discussed in a very different spirit between Victor, bishop of Rome, and Polycrates, metropolitan of proconsular Asia [the territory of the Churches at Ephesus, Galatia, Antioch, Philadelphia, and all those mentioned in Revelation 2 and 3—the churches established through the Apostle Paul]. That province was the only portion of Christendom which still adhered to the Jewish usage. Victor demanded that all should adopt the usage prevailing at Rome. This Polycrates firmly refused to agree to, and urged many weighty reasons to the contrary, whereupon Victor proceeded to excommunicate Polycrates and the Christians who continued the Eastern usage [that is, who continued in God's way, as Jesus, Peter, Paul, and all the early true church had done]. He was, however, restrained [by other bishops] from actually proceeding to enforce the decree of excommunication . . . and the Asiatic churches retained their usage unmolested. We find the Jewish [true Christian Passover] usage from time to time reasserting itself after this, but it never prevailed to any large extent.

A final settlement of the dispute was one among the other reasons which led Constantine to summon the council at Nicaea in 325. At that time the Syrians and Antiochenes were the solitary champions of the observance of the 14th day. The decision of the council was unanimous that Easter was to be kept on Sunday, and on the same Sunday throughout the world, and that "none hereafter should follow the blindness of the Jews." [That is, in plain language, the Roman Church now decreed that none should be allowed to follow the ways of Christ—of the true Christian church!]

. . . The few who afterwards separated themselves from the unity of the church [the politically organized Roman Church], and continued to keep the 14th day, were named "Quartodecimani," and the dispute itself is known as the "Quartodeciman controversy."

Thus you see how the politically organized church at Rome grew to great size and power by adopting popular pagan practices and how she gradually stamped out the true teachings, doctrines, and practices of Jesus Christ and the true church, so far as any collective practice is concerned.

Herbert W. Armstrong (1892-1986)
The Plain Truth About Easter


 

What is the meaning of the name "Easter"? You have been led to suppose the word means "resurrection of Christ." For 1600 years the Western world has been taught that Christ rose from the dead on Sunday morning. But that is merely one of the fables the apostle Paul warned readers of the New Testament to expect. The resurrection did not occur on Sunday!

The name "Easter," which is merely the slightly changed English spelling of the name of the ancient Assyrian and Babylonian goddess Ishtar, comes to us from old Teutonic mythology where it is known as Ostern. The Phoenician name of this goddess was Astarte, consort of Baal, the sun god, whose worship is denounced by the Almighty in the Bible as the most abominable of all pagan idolatry.

Look up the word "Easter" in Webster's dictionary. You will find it clearly reveals the pagan origin of the name.

In the large five-volume Hastings Dictionary of the Bible, only six brief lines are given to the name "Easter," because it occurs only once in the Bible - and that only in the Authorized King James translation. Says Hastings: "Easter, used in Authorized Version as the translation of 'Pascha' in Acts 12:4, 'Intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.' Revised Standard Version has substituted correctly 'the Passover.'"

Herbert W. Armstrong (1892-1986)
The Plain Truth About Easter


 

Easter, as Alexander Hislop says (The Two Babylons, p. 103), "bears its Chaldean origin on its very forehead. Easter is nothing else than Astarte, one of the titles of Beltis, the queen of heaven. . . ."

The ancient gods of the pagans had many different names. While this goddess was called Astarte by the Phoenicians, it appears on Assyrian monuments found by Layard in excavations at Nineveh as Ishtar (Austen H. Layard, Nineveh and Babylon, Vol. II, p. 629). Both were pronounced "Easter." Likewise, Bel (referred to in the Old Testament) also was called Molech. It was for sacrificing to Molech (I Kings 11:1-11, especially verse 7, where Molech is called an abomination) and other pagan gods that the Eternal condemned Solomon, and rended away the Kingdom of Israel from his son.

In the ancient Chaldean idolatrous sun-worship, as practiced by the Phoenicians, Baal was the sun god; Astarte, his consort or wife. And Astarte is the same as Ishtar, or the English "Easter."

Says Hislop:

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 [and Protestant] Church, and at that time was not known by any such name as Easter. It was called Pascha, or the Passover, and . . . was very early observed by many professing Christians. . . . That festival agreed originally with the time of the Jewish Passover, when Christ was crucified. . . . That festival was not idolatrous, and it was preceded by no Lent. (The Two Babylons, p. 104)

Herbert W. Armstrong (1892-1986)
The Plain Truth About Easter


 

"Howbeit you should know," wrote Johannes Cassianus (John Cassian) in the fifth century, "that as long as the primitive church retained its perfection unbroken, this observance of Lent did not exist" (First Conference Abbot Theonas, chapter 30).

Jesus observed no Lent. The apostles and the early true church of God observed no Lenten season. Then how did this observance originate?

The forty days' abstinence of Lent was directly borrowed from the worshippers of the Babylonian goddess. Such a Lent of forty 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 forty days was held in spring by the Pagan Mexicans. . . . Such a Lent of forty days was observed in Egypt. . . . (The Two Babylons, pp. 104, 105)

In fact this Egyptian Lent of forty days was observed expressly in honor of Osiris, also known as Adonis in Syria and Tammuz in Babylonia (Sabaean Researches, by John Landseer, pp. 111, 112).

Do you realize what has happened? God Almighty commanded His people to observe the Passover forever (Exodus 12:24)! This command was given while the Israelites were still in Egypt, prior to the Old Covenant, or the Law of Moses. It pictured, before the crucifixion, Christ's death for the remission of our sins, as a type looking forward to it. At His last Passover, Jesus changed the emblems used from the blood of a lamb and eating its roasted body to the bread and wine.

Jesus did not abolish Passover - He merely changed the emblems, or symbols used. All the apostles of Christ and true Christians of the first century true church observed it on the 14th day of the first month of the sacred calendar. It is now a memorial of Christ's death, reaffirming, year by year on its anniversary, the true Christian's faith in the blood of Christ for the remission of his sins, and the broken body of Christ for his physical healing.

But what has happened? Do you realize it? All Western nations have been deceived into dropping the festival God ordained forever to commemorate the death of the true Saviour for our sins, and substituting in its place the pagan festival in commemoration of the counterfeit "savior" and mediator Baal, the sun god, named after the mythical Ishtar, his wife - actually none other than the ancient Semiramis, who palmed herself off as the wife of the sun god, the idolatrous "queen of heaven."

This is not Christian! It is pagan to the core!

Yet scores of millions are deceived into observing this form of heathen idolatry, under the delusion they are honoring Jesus Christ the Son of the Creator God!

Easter does not honor Christ! And yet, have you not been like a blind sheep, following the other millions in observing this custom? "The times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent" (Acts 17:30).

Herbert W. Armstrong (1892-1986)
The Plain Truth About Easter


 

Exodus 20:2-6  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

God does care how we worship Him; He gives specific commands about how He wants to be glorified according to His standards and not our own. It does matter whether or not we share in the celebration of this world's pagan religious holidays. Though the Bible—the Word of God—makes no direct references to New Year's Eve, Lent, Easter, Halloween, or Christmas, the origins of these pagan holidays are mentioned as being abominations to God.

Martin G. Collins
Pagan Holidays


 

Exodus 32:1-8  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

They did this in their ignorance and their impatience to get things moving. Even though most of the people wanted it, and a renowned religious figure proclaimed it "a feast to the LORD," it did not make it so. God was definitely not positively impressed, nor was Moses. In one of the gravest acts of presumption shown in God's Word, and one of the largest in terms of the number involved, they took it on themselves to add this to the worship of God. What they did was very seriously disrespectful to God; they attempted to configure the nature of God according to their own desires.

Proverbs 14:12 says, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death." People say they keep Christmas and Easter to worship Christ, but they are also defining the nature of God according to their own ideas. Just as surely as the ancient Israelites blended paganism with what God truly revealed, so people do today. This is the basic principle of acts of presumption, and each of us has done this, not once, but sadly, repeatedly, even though we may know better.

Jesus says in John 4:24, "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth," meaning we must worship to the fullest of God's intent as revealed in His Word, with every act guided and determined by His revealed truth. Yet, how many corners do we cut when we feel it serves us better at the time?

John W. Ritenbaugh
Presumption and Divine Justice (Part Two)


 

Proverbs 14:12  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Not all presumption is careless drifting. Unfortunately, strong evidence exists to show that much of modern liberalism in religion was deliberately planned and executed. A Layman's Guide to Protestant Theology by William Hordern, p. 74, refers to this:

The method of liberalism includes the attempt to modernize Christianity. The world, liberals argue, has changed radically since the early creeds of Christendom were formulated; this makes the creeds sound archaic and unreal to modern man. We have to rethink Christianity in thought forms which the modern world can comprehend. Fosdick argued that we must express the essence of Christianity, its "abiding experiences," but that we must not identify these with the "changing categories" in which they have been expressed in the past. For example, says Fosdick, an abiding experience of Christianity has been its conviction that God will triumph over evil. This has been traditionally pictured in the category of Christ's second coming on the clouds to destroy evil and set up good. We can no longer retain the outworn category, but we can still believe the truth which this ancient thought form was trying to express. We can continue to work in the faith that, through His devoted followers, God is now building His Kingdom and that there will be a renewing of life, individual and social, to bring it into conformity with the will of God. The essence of the faith is thus retained, argues Fosdick, which the thought form in which it was once clothed has been abandoned.

A second aspect of the method of liberalism is its refusal to accept religious belief on authority alone. Instead, it insists that all beliefs must pass the bar of reason and experience. Man's mind is capable of thinking God's thoughts after Him. Man's intuitions and reason are the best clues that we have to the nature of God. The mind must be kept open to all truth regardless of from whence it comes. This means that the liberal must have an open mind; no questions are closed. New facts may change the convictions that have become hallowed by custom and time. The liberal will venture forth into the unknown, firmly believing that all truth must be God's truth. In this spirit, the liberal accepts the higher criticism of the Bible and the theory of evolution. He refuses to have a religion that is afraid of truth or that tries to protect itself from critical examination. (emphasis added)

Is it any wonder, when those who are supposed to be the primary protectors of religious purity think the way they do, that the laity behaves as they do? Does it really make any difference? Certainly, because the almighty God on high definitely thinks it makes a difference!

Hardly anything more clearly illustrates the self-deceived perverseness of human nature as its presumptuous additions of the observation of Christmas and Easter to the worship of the God of the Bible. That Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea is indisputable, but among other things, He was not born on December 25, nor did anybody exchange gifts on that date. Scripture nowhere says there were three wise men, and it is clear they gave gifts only to Christ as King.

Regarding Easter, Jesus was not resurrected on a Sunday morning, nor was He crucified on a Friday afternoon. It is impossible to squeeze three days and three nights, which Jesus Himself said would be the length of time He would spend in the tomb (Matthew 12:40), between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning. Even so, fantastically detailed and emotionally appealing traditions have presumptuously been built around both these events and have been taught to a deceived public as though they were true.

Beyond what has been already mentioned regarding these days, where in God's Word does He command that we believe and do these commonly accepted practices? Men have presumptuously taken them upon themselves.

The addition of Christmas and Easter to Christianity happened so long ago that they have come to be accepted as part of the Christian religion, and most people celebrate them without thought. Nevertheless, adding to so-called Christian beliefs has not ended—in fact, it is still happening.

The late Pope John Paul II was an ardent ecumenist. He circled the globe many times in his travels and embraced in conference many non-Catholics in his effort to bring all into one fold. His successor, Pope Benedict XVI, has pledged to continue that effort. Recently, their representatives achieved a decisive victory in forging a much closer alliance with the Anglican Church. However, Anglican leaders could take this step only by abandoning the firm foundation of a former doctrine and thus joining Catholics in accepting a presumptuous addition that the latter already believe.

A headline in the Seattle Post Intelligencer, May 17, 2005, reads, "Catholics, Anglicans reach accord on Mary: Statement closes big gap between churches." The article explains:

The historical separation between Roman Catholics and Anglicans has narrowed after both found common ground on the position of Mary, mother of Jesus, according to a document conceived at the highest church levels. . . . Anglicans, already close to Catholics because of liturgy and traditions, have moved even closer through their understanding of Mary as outlined in the joint statement, which took five years and an international committee to complete.

Bringing back the departed brethren has been a strong focus of the Catholic Church since the Counter-Reformation that followed the Protestant Reformation, which had dealt Catholicism a powerful blow in the sixteenth century. However, it was not until the "New Age Movement" began in earnest during the mid-1970s—with its strong, insistent call for a paradigm shift toward greater tolerance and radical thinking in religious beliefs and values—that the stage was set for ecumenical efforts to succeed.

The following quotation from the same article publicly undressed, as it were, the Anglican Church:

The document seeks to transcend past controversies on Catholic dogma, including the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption of Mary. While not spelled out specifically in the Bible, such beliefs can be interpreted through Scripture, according to the 80-paragraph document.

The result might be an elevation, or at least a heightened acknowledgment, of the place of Mary—particularly for Anglicans, the denomination born in England during the Reformation and called the Episcopal Church in the United States.

Anglicanism is considered closest to Catholicism because it gives Mary a pre-eminent place among the saints, includes her in Communion prayers and holds six Marian feast days.

Among other matters, Catholics and Protestants disagree over the Catholic dogmas of the Immaculate Conception—the assertion that Mary lived a life free from sin from the moment she was conceived—and the Assumption, the belief that her body and soul were taken into heaven when her earthly life ended.

Those dogmas have "created problems not only for Anglicans but also for other Christians," the document said, largely because they are not explicitly supported by Scripture.

But those dogmas also "can be said to be consonant with the teaching of the Scriptures and the ancient common traditions," said the document, titled "Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ." (emphasis added)

How can either of these two doctrines be biblically derived? They cannot! The Catholic Church has long acknowledged that the role they give Mary cannot be supported by Scripture alone, so now both the Catholic and Anglican churches have admitted through the publication of this document that these teachings are based upon mere human tradition.

In the distant past, someone decided that honoring Mary in this way would be "nice," or perhaps he used the word "appropriate," because she was chosen by God to bear His Son in her womb, and besides, she seems to be such a good woman. However, the Scriptures call for no such elevation in status, and they certainly never claim that she lived a perfect, sinless life! Now the Roman Catholic Church has gone so far as to claim she is co-savior with Christ!

Such presumption seems beyond the bounds of honest, spiritual reasoning, but the Catholic Church has similarly declared Sunday to be the day of worship, replacing God's Sabbath. They have published articles openly admitting that, if one uses the Bible alone, then the Sabbath is the only acceptable day of worship. In those same articles, they have also been honest in stating that they have made this change from Sabbath to Sunday on their own authority. On these issues, their presumption is not hidden!

But this is arrogant and bold hubris on a massive scale, enabled only because Satan has managed to deceive the whole world (Revelation 12:9). The overwhelming majority of people calling themselves Christian are so unconcerned—that is, tolerant and careless—they live thinking that it does not matter to God.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Presumption and Divine Justice


 

Ezekiel 8:15-18  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

You think Easter sunrise services are beautiful? God was showing the prophet Ezekiel the sins of His people in a vision—a prophecy for today!

"Turn thee yet again," said God, "and thou shalt see greater abominations than these [Ezekiel had just been shown, in vision, idol worship among professing people of God]. And he brought me [in vision] into the inner court of the Eternal's house, and behold . . . between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with . . . 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 . . . that they commit the abominations which they commit here? . . . Therefore will I deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them." (Ezekiel 8:15-18)

Do you grasp what this most abominable thing is?

It is the identical thing millions are doing every Easter Sunday morning—the sunrise service—standing with their faces toward the east, as the sun is rising, in a service of worship which honors the sun god and his mythical idolatrous consort, goddess Easter. Yes, deceived into believing this is Christian, millions practice every Easter the identical form of the ancient sun worship of the sun god Baal! Throughout the Bible this is revealed as the most abominable of all idolatry in the sight of the Eternal Creator!

Herbert W. Armstrong (1892-1986)
The Plain Truth About Easter


 

Daniel 9:24-27  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

What good is understanding the Seventy Weeks Prophecy? First, on chronological grounds, it destroys three of false Christianity's holidays surrounding Jesus: Christmas, Good Friday, and Easter. Second, it puts Christ's ministry and the founding of the church in their proper historical context, helping explain and vindicate the Bible. Third, it enhances our understanding of prophecy and helps us to watch for the correct world events as the end draws closer. Christ gave us the true signs of His coming, so we do not have to look for the false sign of Antichrist's treaty with the Jews.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
'Seventy Weeks Are Determined...'


 

Daniel 9:26  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Verse 26 continues explaining about the Messiah. He would be cut off—killed—sometime after the sixty-two weeks. Verse 27 tells us how long after: "in the middle of the [seventieth] week." Halfway through a literal week is three and a half days, prophetically three and a half years, which is how long His ministry lasted before He was crucified. That brings us to AD 31, when significantly, the Passover, Nisan 14, was on a Wednesday, literally the middle of a week! Good Friday and Easter cannot stand before these facts.

The prophecy says that the Messiah would be killed "not for Himself." How true! He died for the redemption of mankind in a completely selfless, sacrificial act. His crucifixion also brought an end to the need for further sacrifice and offering of animals (Hebrews 10:12: "He . . . offered one sacrifice for sins forever").

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
'Seventy Weeks Are Determined...'


 

Zechariah 9:9  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

This verse prophesies Jesus' triumphal entrance into Jerusalem, and it is the basis of the traditional Christian holy day of Palm Sunday. However, the Bible's chronology shows that Christ's entrance did not occur on a Sunday.

John 12:1 says, "Then six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom he had raised from the dead." After Mary anoints Jesus' feet, the next time marker appears:

The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out, "Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. The King of Israel!" (verses 12-13).

If one is not paying attention, Palm Sunday seems plausible, but closer inspection proves otherwise! When Jesus comes to Bethany, it is six days to the Passover, or the ninth of Abib/Nisan. The next day, the tenth, Jesus enters Jerusalem, five days before the Passover (counting inclusively). The tenth of Abib/Nisan is special because it is the day that the Israelites were to take the Passover lamb into their homes and keep it until the fourteenth day (Exodus 12:3-6). Therefore the people of Jerusalem symbolically select Him as their Passover lamb.

If His triumphal entry occurs on Sunday, five days before Passover, the Passover must occur on Thursday, the fifteenth of Abib/Nisan—not Friday! This alone destroys the Friday crucifixion—Sunday resurrection argument. The truth is that Christ enters Jerusalem on a Sabbath, is crucified on Wednesday, the fourteenth of Abib/Nisan, and rises from the dead 72 hours later as the Sabbath ends.

Staff
Was Jesus Resurrected on Easter Sunday?


 

Matthew 12:38-40  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

If Jesus rose from His tomb Sunday morning after being interred Friday evening, we have no Savior! Jesus gave only one sign of His Messiahship: "...so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."

Why did the Pharisees ask Him for a sign? The answer appears in the section immediately preceding their request. Jesus had been preaching that "a tree is known by its fruit" (verse 33), so naturally, these Jews asked for a sign from Jesus to prove He was the Messiah! They wanted to see what fruit He would produce!

Jesus swiftly rebuked them because they had completely missed the point (verses 41-42). To satisfy their curiosity, they wanted to see a miracle, but the fruit Jesus meant was repentance, good works, and spiritual growth. He would make them wait to see the fruits of His ministry.

Thus He says, paraphrasing, "The only sign that will absolutely prove the truth of My message is one that I will have no control over. I will be exactly three days and three nights in the grave. I will be dead. I will not be able to resurrect Myself. So if God the Father resurrects Me after exactly three days and three nights, it will be proved beyond doubt that I am the Messiah."

He gave the same sign in other places to different audiences, each time using similar wording. In John 2:19-21, He says, "'Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.' . . . But He was speaking of the temple of His body."

To His disciples, He says, "The Son of Man is being delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise the third day" (Mark 9:31; 10:33-34; Matthew 17:22-23; 20:18-19; Luke 9:22).

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
'After Three Days'


 

Mark 7:8  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Like ancient Israel, we can easily fall back into our former ways. The Israelites rejected the law of God and relied on the traditions of Gentile nations. Elijah had to take drastic measures to prevent Baal worship from completely eradicating the worship of the true God (I Kings 18:20-40). Some of Judah's kings spent years tearing down shrines and high places to foreign gods (II Chronicles 34:1-7).

Christ warned the Pharisees: "For laying aside the commandments of God, you hold the traditions of men." For example, Christmas and Easter are traditions of men, but they are lies. What happens if a person, trying to establish a religion, mixes falsehood with the truth of God? Recall God's wrath when Aaron made a golden calf at the urging of the Israelites in the wilderness and proclaimed a feast to the Lord (Exodus 32:1-5). Observing Christmas and Easter in the name of Christ is no different.

Blending the lies of this world with the truth of God produces a foul mixture called syncretism (James 3:10-13). "Christian" religions of this world have mixed the traditions of paganism with some of the truth of God's Word. This is no different from what Israel was doing when Amos wrote back in 760 BC. Since their rejection of the house of David under Jeroboam I, the Israelites had practiced a syncretistic religion (Amos 5:21-26; 8:14; I Kings 12:25-33).

John W. Ritenbaugh
Prepare to Meet Your God! (The Book of Amos) (Part Two)


 

John 11:9-10  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

The plain meaning is that He recognized the twelve hours of daylight to form a "day," and the corresponding twelve hours of darkness He called "night." Thus three days and three nights would be made up of six twelve-hour periods or 72 hours.

This is the same method He uses in the Old Testament—in fact, in the very first chapter of the Bible! "God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day. . . . So the evening and the morning were the second day. . . . So the evening and the morning were the third day" (Genesis 1:5, 8, 13). Here are three days and three nights so clearly defined anyone can understand.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
'After Three Days'


 

John 20:1  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Mary Magdalene arrives at the grave early on the first day of the week while it was still dark—and Jesus has already been resurrected! So much for Easter sunrise services! Even if one thought Christ rose at dawn on Sunday, counting back 72 hours (three full days and three full nights) brings one to dawn on Thursday, and God's Word explicitly says that Christ was buried at sunset!

Yes, Jesus rose from the grave, but not on Sunday, the day traditional Christians call "the Lord's day." If He did, He could not be our Savior because He would have failed to fulfill the one sign of His Messiahship: three days and three nights in the tomb. Jesus rose on the day of which He says He is Lord: the true seventh-day Sabbath (Mark 2:28).

Staff
Was Jesus Resurrected on Easter Sunday?


 

Acts 12:4  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

It is evident the New Testament church of God continued to keep the Passover yearly. Some translations grossly mistranslate the Greek word pascha as "Easter." It always means "Passover."

Earl L. Henn (1934-1997)
Holy Days: Passover


 

Romans 10:1-3  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

What we observe in the world around us confirms that end-time Israel is following the same spiritual pattern that our ancestors established anciently. Human nature does not change. These verses verify that some knowledge of God remains within the Israelitish nations.

However, theirs is not an enlightened, discerning, and intelligent zeal for God. Rather, God says in Hosea 4:6 that His people—in this case meaning ancient Israel—are destroyed for a lack of true knowledge. God then lays the greater blame on the teachers for their failure to teach truth. The Interpreter's Commentary says that "ignorant" in Romans 10:3 can correctly be translated as "ignoring," revealing a deliberate disregarding of God's righteousness.

The broader history of Old Testament Israel shows that God's Word was available, but the people did not access it to seek God. Thus, their ignorance was not completely the teacher's fault; the people should have studied the Bible on their own. Paul explains in Romans 1:18-21 that man is without excuse before Him because knowledge of God is available. The contrast Paul provides in Romans 10:1-3 indicates that the teaching the Israelites received produced at best a vague, superficial base of knowledge about God. This is not a foundation of true knowledge that will work to produce a good relationship between God and man.

We can see an example of this kind of teaching in our time. Most of us have seen what is happening in so many churches these days, most especially in the mega-churches. Their services come across as superficial entertainment that gives people an upbeat social experience that contains some religious instruction. They come up short in teaching high-quality biblical truths to enhance people's relationships with God. It has produced a people who believe that they are saved and going to heaven immediately after death, and who think God's laws are done away. They keep Christmas and Easter, which are obviously pagan holidays, and at the same time fail to keep the Sabbaths, which both Jesus and Paul clearly kept.

How can they be following Christ when they do not do what He did and in fact do what pagans do? Where is God in the minds of those who conduct their lives like this? In truth, what they think about Him is nowhere near the truth because neither they nor their teachers make the effort to know Him (John 17:3).

They know some things about Him, but they do not know Him. If they did, they would be seeking Him, and He would be revealing truth. Where should they be seeking Him? They must begin in the Scriptures. In them, two things are beyond dispute: first, that God is the Supreme Sovereign over His creation, His purpose for creating it, and His plan for fulfilling it; and second, that man is responsible to this awesome Creator.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Living By Faith and God's Sovereignty


 

 




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