Sunday, March 1, 2020

Lent, Ash Wednesday and Easter - Did the Original Christians Obeserve These!?

Lent celebrants carrying out a street procession during Holy Week, in Granada, Nicaragua. The violet color is often associated with penance and detachment. Similar Christian penitential practice is seen in other Christian countries, sometimes associated with fasting. (Chopanito)
Lent, which began Wednesday, February 17th and ends April 3rd is a Roman Catholic holiday - but did the original Christians of the first century AD observe Lent, Ash Wednesday, and Easter!?

Notice that the Catholics are not the only ones who observe Lent. Here's an article from the falsely called Christianity Today from 2018:
Of note: 3 in 10 Americans with evangelical beliefs (28%) say they observe Lent; of these, 42 percent typically fast from a favorite food or beverage while 71 percent typically attend church services. Catholics remain the most likely to observe Lent (61%) with 2 out of 3 fasting from a favorite food or beverage (64%). Overall, 1 in 4 Americans observes Lent (24%), according to LifeWay. Most American observers fast from a favorite activity (34% vs 17%) or a bad habit (50% vs. 30%).
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Now, indeed to the Catholics and others this all seems just fine. The majority considers this to be inspirational. Yet, THIS IS NOT INSPIRED BY GOD!

Saint Jude was inspired to write:
"Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints" - Jude 3; NKJV throughout.
Was our dear brother contending 'for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints,' as he promoted Lent, Ash Wednesday, or even Easter!?

In a 2015 Angelus Address, Jorge Mario Bergoglio (aka Pope Francis) stated:
Last Wednesday, Lent began with the Rite of Ashes, and today is the first Sunday of this liturgical time that makes reference to the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert, after his baptism in the Jordan River. ... 
And in the end of the Lenten itinerary, in the Easter Vigil, we can renew with greater awareness the Baptismal covenant and the commitments that flow from it.
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Notice that he tied Lent with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ spending 40 days in the desert. Indeed it is true that Jesus fasted for 40 days in the desert - and Scripturally this would have fallen in the Fall and not the Spring. And, how can that be determined!? Well, we know that Jesus' ministry lasted 3½ years, and going back from 3½ years places the beginning of His ministry in the Fall.

Notice this from the Catholic Encyclopedia:
A comparison of St. John's Gospel with the Synoptic Evangelists seems to introduce another pasch, indicated in the Fourth Gospel, into Christ's public life. John 4:45, relates the return of Jesus into Galilee after the first pasch of His public life in Jerusalem, and the same event is told by Mark 1:14, and Luke 4:14. Again the pasch mentioned in John 6:4 has its parallel in the "green grass" of Mark 6:39, and in the multiplication of loaves as told in Luke 9:12. But the plucking of ears mentioned in Mark 2:23, and Luke 6:1, implies another paschal season intervening between those expressly mentioned in John 2:13 and 6:4. This shows that the public life of Jesus must have extended over four paschs, so that it must have lasted three years and a few months. Though the Fourth Gospel does not indicate this fourth pasch as clearly as the other three, it is not wholly silent on the question.
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Indeed it is correct, between 3 years and a few months to less than four years, is consistent with the belief that Jesus' ministry lasted 3½ years.

So, let us presume that our Lord Jesus Christ's ministry began on the Feast of Trumpets, and ended on Passover, it would have lasted roughly 3½ years!

How do the Catholics define Lent!? Here is something, again, from the Catholic Encyclopedia:
The Teutonic word Lent, which we employ to denote the forty days' fast preceding Easter, originally meant no more than the spring season.
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So, Lent - essentially - means the Spring season. And, what of the word Teutonic? It's relating to the ancient tribe of the Teutons - members of an ancient probably Germanic or Celtic people. To note: the word Easter is also a Teutonic word- relating to Estre, a Teutonic goddess of the rising light of day and spring (See: the Ven. Bede (De temporum ratione, I, v)).

But here it is, primarily Winter (today in Florida it's 55°), and yet they say that Lent means Spring - where did it truly come from!?


Notice again the Catholic Encyclopedia teaches that the claim that this was observed by the early apostles is indeed unfounded:
Some of the Fathers as early as the fifth century supported the view that this forty days' fast was of Apostolic institution ... But the best modern scholars are almost unanimous in rejecting this view ... Formerly some differences of opinion existed as to the proper reading, but modern criticism (e.g., in the edition of Schwartz commissioned by the Berlin Academy) pronounces strongly in favor of the text translated above. We may then fairly conclude that Irenaeus about the year 190 knew nothing of any Easter fast of forty days. ... And there is the same silence observable in all the pre-Nicene Fathers, though many had occasion to mention such an Apostolic institution if it had existed. We may note for example that there is no mention of Lent in St. Dionysius of Alexandria (ed. Feltoe, 94 sqq.) or in the "Didascalia", which Funk attributes to about the year 250.
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Now, isn't it likely that the whole idea of a forty-day fast came from Alexandria in Egypt by way of the Greeks!?

The controversial author Alexander Hislop believed so:
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, for thus we read in Humboldt, where he gives account of Mexican observances: “Three days after the vernal equinox…began a solemn fast of forty days in honour of the sun.” Such a Lent of forty days was observed in Egypt, as may be seen on consulting Wilkinson’s Egyptians. This Egyptian Lent of forty days, we are informed by Landseer, in his Sabean Researches, was held expressly in commemoration of Adonis or Osiris, the great mediatorial god. At the same time, the rape of Proserpine seems to have been commemorated, and in a similar manner; for Julius Firmicus informs us that, for “forty nights” the “wailing for Proserpine” continued; and from Arnobius we learn that the fast which the Pagans observed, called “Castus” or the “sacred” fast, was, by the Christians in his time, believed to have been primarily in imitation of the long fast of Ceres, when for many days she determinedly refused to eat on account of her “excess of sorrow,” that is, on account of the loss of her daughter Proserpine, when carried away by Pluto…

Among the Pagans this Lent seems to have been an indispensable preliminary to the great annual festival in commemoration of the death and resurrection of Tammuz, which was celebrated by alternate weeping and rejoicing, and which, in many countries, was considerably later than the Christian festival, being observed in Palestine and Assyria in June, therefore called the “month of Tammuz”; in Egypt, about the middle of May, and in Britain, some time in April. To conciliate the Pagans to nominal Christianity, Rome, pursuing its usual policy, took measures to get the Christian and Pagan festivals amalgamated, and, by a complicated but skilful adjustment of the calendar, it was found no difficult matter, in general, to get Paganism and Christianity–now far sunk in idolatry–in this as in so many other things, to shake hands…

Let any one only read the atrocities that were commemorated during the “sacred fast” or Pagan Lent, as described by Arnobius and Clemens Alexandrinus, and surely he must blush for the Christianity of those who, with the full knowledge of all these abominations, “went down to Egypt for help” to stir up the languid devotion of the degenerate Church, and who could find no more excellent way to “revive” it, than by borrowing from so polluted a source; the absurdities and abominations connected with which the early Christian writers had held up to scorn. That Christians should ever think of introducing the Pagan abstinence of Lent was a sign of evil; it showed how low they had sunk, and it was also a cause of evil; it inevitably led to deeper degradation. Originally, even in Rome, Lent, with the preceding revelries of the Carnival, was entirely unknown; and even when fasting before the Christian Pasch was held to be necessary, it was by slow steps that, in this respect, it came to conform with the ritual of Paganism. What may have been the period of fasting in the Roman Church before sitting of the Nicene Council does not very clearly appear, but for a considerable period after that Council, we have distinct evidence that it did not exceed three weeks.  
(Hislop, A., The Two Babylons, pp. 104-106).
So, we see that the so-called Christian observance of Lent is nothing more than a continuation of ancient pagan practices which were incorporated into mainstream Christianity over many centuries. The Bible emphatically condemns practices associated with pagan worship - such as those involved in the worship or adoration of Tammuz:
"And He said to me, 'Turn again, and you will see greater abominations that they are doing.' 14) So He brought me to the door of the north gate of the LORD's house; and to my dismay, women were sitting there weeping for Tammuz" - Ezekiel 8:13-14.
Minister Michael C. Garrett wrote concerning this Tammuz:
One of the ancient gods of that world (Dumuzid, later known by the alternate form Tammuz, is an ancient Mesopotamian god associated with shepherds, who was also the primary consort of the goddess Inanna (later known as Ishtar; a name variation is Easter)). Often this very same phrase is used of the Queen of Heaven. How many have heard the phrase Queen of Heaven!? Lots of different names for this personality, including Queen Sammu-Ramat (Semiramis). I think the Egyptian world called her Isis, which is interesting – the Islamic radicals have adopted this name. The people throughout the Middle East had different names for her. Diana, the Romans, the Greeks had a name for her, but often referred to as the Queen of Heaven. Let’s look at some of those references - 
Jeremiah 44 – sometimes, the Queen of Heaven is referred to as Ishtar, EASTER. The very same goddess. She was prevalent throughout many cultures. But they were all referring to the same being. Verse 15 – “…their wives had burned incense to other gods, …” Verse 17 – “…to burn incense to the queen of heaven …” Verse 18 – “But since we stopped burning incense [meaning ‘to worship’] to the queen of heaven …” Verse 19 – “…’ And when we burned incense [‘we worshipped’] to the queen of heaven and poured out drink offerings to her, did we make cakes for her, …’” – I am told they made ‘hot cross buns.’ It’s a very common custom in a lot of Western cultures. They don’t know it but they are actually making an homage to the Queen of Heaven. Over in verse 25 – “…’ We will surely keep our vows that we have made, to burn incense [to worship] to the queen of heaven …’” – so, the Queen of Heaven is a focus of the ancient religions. But guess what!? Her thing was being a part of the Sun god. So when you worship the Queen of Heaven you’re actually engaged in pagan Sun worship. Also, Jeremiah chapter 7, verse 18 – “’ The children gather wood, the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke Me to anger.’” – I wonder if leaving cookies for Santa Claus has anything with making cakes!?
(Notes Regarding The Day of Atonement - Prophetically the Day of the Lord! pp. 59-75).
What about Easter!?

Again, Minister Michael C. Garrett:
Easter. I’ve often called it “Ishtar.” Because it is. It’s a celebration of a pagan sex goddess! Hence, we have bunny rabbits, and Easter eggs, and all of that paraphernalia! It has nothing to do with Jesus Christ – although they try and make it sound like its got something to do with Jesus Christ.
(Is Your Belief Biblical? pp. 15).
“’ Do NOT go after other gods to serve them and worship them, …’” – this is why He was so upset with Judah! And also the people of Israel! Now, people say, “Well, how is our country going after false gods!?” Well, our country and the people of the Western world, put great emphasis on so-called “holidays.” Like Christmas. They claim it to be the birthday of Christ. Yet, Jesus Christ was not born at the end of December. They put great emphasis on things like Easter. Which is a pagan name, about a pagan goddess. And all of the signs and symbols of Easter: eggs, reproduction, bunny rabbits - those are signs of an ancient fertility god. God doesn’t appreciate people celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ and calling it EASTER! It offends Him! Because the true meaning is PASSOVER!
(Notes Regarding The Day of Atonement - Prophetically the Day of the Lord! pp. 17-18).
Indeed, Ishtar is pronounced about the same as the English term Easter.

First Century AD Christians DID NOT celebrate Easter. The one and only time that the word Easter is mentioned in the King James English Bible, it is a mistranslation. It should read Passover. They observed the memorial of Jesus Christ's death - Passover.

What of Ash Wednesday!?

Well, Ash Wednesday, or Mardi Gras or even "Fat Tuesday" involves parties, parades of people masked as demons, and all-out revelry. A great many believe that they should overindulge because of the next night - Ash Wednesday and Lent - considered to be a time of self-imposed abstinence by millions.

Ash Wednesday's actual origin is considered a mystery. It was NOT observed by our Lord Jesus Christ, His original apostles, nor the early Church of God.

Here again, is what the Catholic Encyclopedia reports:
The Wednesday after Quinquagesima Sunday, which is the first day of the Lenten fast. The name dies cinerum (day of ashes) which it bears in the Roman Missal is found in the earliest existing copies of the Gregorian Sacramentary and probably dates from at least the eighth century. On this day all the faithful according to ancient custom are exhorted to approach the altar before the beginning of Mass, and there the priest, dipping his thumb into the ashes previously blessed, marks the forehead ... There can be no doubt that the custom of distributing the ashes to all the faithful arose from a devotional imitation of the practice observed in the case of public penitents.
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So, Ash Wednesday is believed by the Roman Catholic Church to be related to following some type of public penance, though they do not know from where.

God's living Word - the Bible - never uses the terms Lent or Ash Wednesday. Nor does it describe anyone marking ashes on anyone's forehead. In fact, as stated earlier, God condemns any practices attributed to Tammuz (Ezekiel 8:13-14), which may indeed be related to the origins of Lent and/or Ash Wednesday.

Here is a commentary on Tammuz:
Tammuz was famous as a husband of Ishtar ... His Sumerian prototype Dumuzi was a king of Erech in the early 3rd mil. B.C. who was deified as the consort of the city's protectress Inanna or Innin (corresponding to the Akkad. Ishtar). Gilgamesh accused her of betraying Tammuz, her lover, in the famous epic (ANET, p. 84). In Hellenistic times Tammuz was equated with Adonis, and Ishtar with Aphrodite/Venus. Swine, often associated with underworld cults, were his sacrificial animals.
It has long been supposed that the purpose of Inanna's (or Ishtar's) mythical descent to the underworld (ANET, pp. 52-57) was to resurrect her lover. Hence he was identified by Sir James Frazer in 1906, along with Adonis, Attis, and Osiris, as an example of the dying and rising god.
(from the Wycliffe Bible Dictionary, Hendrickson Publications, 1999, p. 707).
In Babylonian legends, Tammuz supposedly died early in the Fall when vegetation died up. He departed to the nether world, being recovered by the wailing Ishtar.
(from the Unger's Bible Dictionary, Moody Press Chicago, 1966, p. 1070).
Notice that the wailing ended with the recovery (or rather the resurrection) of Tammuz. This, essentially, is the same as fasting for forty days which ends with Easter.

Ash Wednesday is certainly NOT from the Bible!

Will you follow those who followed Jesus Christ or do you prefer to follow human traditions!? □

Be sure to read TODAY The Mark of the BEAST.

Just what is the "Mark of the Beast"? Do you realize the "Mark of the Beast" was being used during the Middle Ages!? Bible prophecy WARNS that this satanic "Mark" is in progress even today! You must be sure that you're not using this "Mark" - lest you suffer the consequences. Be sure to watch Minister MC Garrett's God-inspired sermon - Mark Of The Beast. With God's inspired Word's he teaches the true meaning of just what is the "Mark of the Beast."

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