Earlier this afternoon on the Feast of Firstfruits (Leviticus 23:4-14; I Corinthians 15:20-23), the day Jesus was resurrected, which happens to correspond with Easter this year, my teenage son, who lives in Maryland with his dad, sent me a text, ‘Happy Easter’. I responded with, ‘Happy Firstfruits’. While lounging in the cockpit on the back of our sailboat enjoying the blue skies and fair winds here in Texas, it is then my son and I transitioned from texts to an important phone conversation.
“Mom, Why don’t you say, ‘Happy Easter’ anymore?”, my soon to be 15 year old inquired.
“I’m happy to explain it to you, Christian, if you really want to know. But I should forewarn you, it will probably not be what you want to hear.”
After all, what kid, teenager or not, doesn’t want an Easter basket full of candy and other free goodies, right?!
After asking my son, Christian, if he remembered learning about Emperor Constantine in 6th grade when we did cyber school that year, I went on to tell him what the school’s curriculum did not share with us…
How Easter & Sunday Became Doctrines In The Church
Although Christians have been persecuted since shortly after Jesus’ death and resurrection, most of whom were Messianic Jews in the beginning, the Roman Emperor Constantine seemed to significantly alter church history – some for the better, but more for the worse.
- 312 A.D.
In 312 A.D., Constantine experienced a vision of a cross in the sun, which he and his army interpreted as a vision pertaining to Jesus Christ. Up until then and even thereafter, Constantine had been a worshiper of various Roman gods, such as the Sun-god.
- 313 A.D.
Most likely due to his vision, Constantine ended persecution of the Christians in 313 A.D. through the ‘Edict of Milan’. This act was the ‘for the better’, but below it gets far worse!
- 321 A.D.
However, a few years later on March 7, 321 A.D., out of his love and worship for his false Sun-god, which the Roman people worshiped specifically on the 1st day of the week, as opposed to Jews and Christians that worshiped their God on the 7th day of the week, Constantine decided to order all businesses and activities, except certain agriculture, to cease on Sundays. Sunday, or ‘dies Solis’, the day of the Sun, was declared the Roman day of rest in honor of their Sun-god. In doing so, the Emperor’s motive was to unify the God of the Holy Scriptures with the pagan, Roman sun-god, by decreeing everyone worship and rest the same day.
“Do not learn the way of the Gentiles…”
Jeremiah 10:2 (NKJV)
- 325 A.D.
A few years after creating a day of rest to honor the Roman sun-god, the Emperor Constantine along with the Roman Catholic Church, in 325 A.D. at the famous ‘Council of Nicaea’, discussed and decided on many theological issues. It was at this summit, doctrines such as the ‘Trinity’ were established as well as the erroneous and poisonous virus of Anti-Semitism still transmitted in churches today. In that meeting, the early church fathers along with the Emperor, decided ‘Easter’ should be celebrated rather than Passover, to purposely separate themselves from the Jews following ‘that evil way’, which happens to be the only way, according to Yahweh. Those attending this meeting, clearly, did not understand when Jesus said, ‘Do this in remembrance of Me’, He and His disciples were doing Passover (Luke 22) not Easter.
Historical records tells us Constantine wrote the following edict:
“It was, in the first place, declared improper to follow the custom of the Jews in the celebration of this holy festival, because, their hands having been stained with crime, the minds of these wretched men are necessarily blinded. By rejecting their custom, we establish and hand down to succeeding ages one which is more reasonable. …
“Let us, then, have nothing in common with the Jews, who are our adversaries. … Let us with one accord walk therein, my much-honoured brethren, studiously avoiding all contact with that evil way. They boast that without their instructions we should be unable to commemorate the festival properly. This is the highest pitch of absurdity. For how can they entertain right views on any point who, after having compassed the death of the Lord, being out of their minds, are guided not by sound reason, but by an unrestrained passion, wherever their innate madness carries them.”
“To sum up in few words: By the unanimous judgment of all, it has been decided that the most holy festival of Easter should be everywhere celebrated on one and the same day, and it is not seemly that in so holy a thing there should be any division.”
“And you shall not walk in the statues of the nation which I am casting out before you; for they commit all these things, and therefore, I abhor them…I am the LORD your God, who has separated you from the peoples.”
Leviticus 20:23-24 (NKJV)
- 365 A.D.
Many years later, the Council of Laodicea made decisions regarding what day is the Sabbath. Keep in mind the Romans were used to resting on Sunday in order to worship the Sun-god. This was their proclamation about the Sabbath – notice the virus of Anti-Semitism continues to spread throughout the Roman Catholic Church in those days:
“Christians must not judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honouring the Lord’s Day; and, if they can, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found to be judaizers, let them be anathema from Christ” (Council of Laodicea, 29th Canon).
You’ll notice in that statement the Council of Laodicea essentially acknowledges the Jews have the seventh-day Sabbath as the correct, God-appointed day of rest, but out of the Romans’ hardened, prejudiced heart, they decreed believers must work on the Sabbath while Sunday, the day already designated as a day of rest to honor their false sun-god was more appropriate. It was in this verdict, many Christians, out of fear of persecutions and being shunned, adhered to this changing of God’s law.
“When the LORD your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land, take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way…”
Deuteronomy 12:29-31 (NKJV)
- Early 400’s A.D.
Augustine, a theologian of that era, had this to say:
“The holy doctors of the church have decreed that all the glory of the Jewish Sabbath is transferred to it [Sunday]. Let us therefore keep the Lord’s Day as the ancients were commanded to do the Sabbath” (Robert Cox, Sabbath Laws and Sabbath Duties, 1853, p. 284).
If you are interested in many more alarming facts coming directly from the Roman Catholic Church regarding their decision to change the Sabbath from the 7th day to the 1st day, click this link:
In regards to the term, ‘Easter’, this is the English translation of the fertility goddess known as ‘Ishtar’ in the Babylonian culture, or ‘Eastra’ in the Anglo-Saxon culture, or ‘Astarte’ in the Canaan culture, or ‘Inanna’ in the Sumerian culture, or as ‘Venus’ in the Roman culture, or ‘Aprhodite’ in the Greek culture. Regardless of which culture, fertility and sex was the heart of this goddess and sacrifices were made to her around Pesach / Passover.
In the Babylonian culture, the people would sacrifice infants and use the baby’s blood to dye eggs – hence, the tradition of Easter eggs! Still want to dye eggs with YOUR babies? I didn’t think so. (source: https://www.ancient-origins.net/myths-legends/ancient-pagan-origins-easter-001571 and http://www.thinknot.net/easter.htm )
“This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart;”
Ephesians 4:17-18 (NKJV)
In summary, I pray the truths I shared with my son, not coincidentally named Christian, will guide him as he and others continue their faith journey with God and circumnavigate His course.
As for me and my boat, we will serve the LORD.