"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