Easter?

What is Easter, where does it come from, why do we celebrate it, and what do the celebratory eggs, rabbits, etc. have to do with the holiday? I like to know the origins of the holidays that we celebrate, especially those that are representing (or misrepresenting) the Bible. This is a long one (what a shocker!) but well worth it if you are seeking God’s truth in your life. His truth pertains to EVERYTHING, including this. 

BIBLICAL: When asked, most people will tell you that Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. If that is true, we would expect to find some clear Biblical backing on its origin. However, Easter is only mentioned once, and it’s in the King James Version of the Bible in Acts Chapter 12. It is mentioned in regards to King Herod killing and imprisoning the believers of Christ because it pleased the Jews. (Also remember that King Herod was an evil king and was killed by his sin of wanting to be like God.) These particular Jews did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah and were in the middle of their Passover celebration, not Easter. If you would like to learn more about this specific chapter, let me know and we can discuss it separately. I have followed this with Acts 12:4 from the King James Bible and the New King James Bible to show the difference: KJV Acts 12:4 And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. NKJV Acts 12:4 So when he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after Passover.

HISTORICAL: So where does “Easter” come from then? Easter is actually the name of “the Goddess of Spring” in many different cultures. Her name was spelled “Ishtar”, “Eostre”, and many others that expressed the same phonetics. She was celebrated every spring for “new life and fertility”. It was said that she was sent from Heaven in an egg that landed in the Euphrates River. Once she hatched, she was the Goddess of “new life and fertility”. Remember at that time the number of children you had was a sign of power and wealth, so fertility gods were in almost every culture. The egg was used as an idol to worship for fertility purposes, and rabbits were also thought to have special fertility purposes because of their ability to reproduce at such a rapid rate. In many cultures, decorated eggs were made as fertility offerings to their fertility gods, including the Goddess Easter.

CURRENT CULTURAL VIEW: It is interesting to me how one of the most prevalent problems in our society today is sexual sin; it is tearing people—both young and old—away from God. Consider this: America celebrates a holiday that is supposedly in remembrance of our King Jesus; all the symbols associated with it celebrate the goddess of life and fertility! I know that many will say… “We really are celebrating our God Jesus, and the other stuff is just for fun…it doesn’t mean anything.” Many church people justify these supposedly “neutral” symbols with the excuse that “We use this stuff to get more people to come to our church so we can tell them more about God.” I ask you this: if you actually know the personality of God and His commands in the Bible, do you think He would approve of you using other gods and their idols to worship Him? He HATES other gods! He describes it as adultery when His people turn to other gods for any reason. How do the idols of eggs, rabbits, and gifts to each other glorify Jesus?

Deuteronomy 12:1-4 still applies to Gods people today!

PASSOVER: Now that the true basic facts about “Easter” have been brought to light, I would like to discuss the actual celebration that relates to this time of the year, the one that has a lot to do (actually everything to do) with Jesus! This is the holiday of Passover. It is a well documented traditional Jewish holiday with strong, clear Biblical roots, and many Jews still celebrate it today. It is actually commanded by God for His people (specifically the Israelites) to honor Him with it. (If you want all the details of Passover, look in your Bibles in Exodus 12, Leviticus 23:4-8, Deuteronomy 16:1-8 and read about it in more detail. It seems, even though I try to keep these messages short, I don’t have the ability, and adding more scripture will not help.) The down and dirty on Passover is that it is the celebration of the Israelites’ freedom from the Egyptians. Moses had repeatedly appeared before Pharaoh and asked for the release of the enslaved Israelite people. Pharaoh denied his requests (all TEN times). Each time Pharaoh denied Moses’ request, a new plague was bestowed by God on the Egyptian people. The tenth plague was by far the toughest: the death of the firstborn of all the Egyptian people. Prior to administering this plague, God told Moses to instruct the Israelites to select and kill a lamb in a specific way and place its blood on the lintels/frames of their doors so that when God entered Egypt that night, He would know which houses to “pass over”, sparing them from the deaths of their firstborn. The next day, Pharaoh and all the other Egyptians were very willing to allow the Israelites to leave. God commanded Moses and all Israelites to celebrate His gift of emancipation in the first month of their calendar every year thereafter in remembrance of how God saved His people. On the 10th day of the first month (Abib/Nisan) they were to select a lamb, and on the 14th day they were to kill it according to a specific set of guidelines provided by God.

CONNECTING PASSOVER TO CHRIST: Many refer to Jesus as “the Lamb”, this is why…A couple of thousand years later, on the 10th day (lamb selection day according to Passover guidelines) of the Hebrew month of Abib/Nisan, Jesus rode into Jerusalem; this is better known in the Bible as the “triumphal entry”. Four days later on a Friday (lamb slaughter day according to Passover guidelines), He was crucified on a wooden cross just outside of Jerusalem. It was written that He was crucified on the “day of preparation”—the day before the Sabbath. The women closest to Jesus wanted to care for His body, but because Saturday was the Jewish Sabbath day, they had to wait until the next day according to the rules God had set forth regarding the Sabbath. First thing on Sunday morning (the Bible refers to the dawn of the first day of the week), they went to His grave and found angels there who told them that Jesus had risen; He was no longer dead.

I want to end with this… Jesus was—and still is—a Hebrew and a Jew! He came first for God’s promised people, the Jews, and then for us, the Gentiles! The Jesus we worship is not a pagan god that the gentiles have made up to worship. Jesus is the prophesied Messiah of the Old Testament. He came to fulfill and carry on the works of God. The Old Testament God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob IS the same God that we are worshiping today! If this is not the God you worship, then you are on the wrong track! I say this because the reason “Easter” was instituted in the early church was due to a man named Constantine the Great who was the first “Christian” Roman Emperor. This was an excerpt of Constantine’s reason for turning away from what the first century apostles were teaching (I have included a link to the full text below)… “We ought not, therefore, to have anything in common with the Jews, for the Saviour has shown us another way; our worship follows a more legitimate and more convenient course (the order of the days of the week); and consequently, in unanimously adopting this mode, we desire, dearest brethren, to separate ourselves from the detestable company of the Jews, for it is truly shameful for us to hear them boast that without their direction we could not keep this feast. How can they be in the right, they who, after the death of the Saviour, have no longer been led by reason but by wild violence, as their delusion may urge them?”

http://jewishrootscx.netfirms.com/constantine_easter_letter.htm

http://www.biblegateway.com/

Last 5 posts by Kelly Halleman

Comments

  1. candynflowers says:

    well written article. Passover has a lot of meaning with Messiah in it. candynflowers

  2. ethos says:

    Here are a few more “bunny trails” for the seekers…

    Easter is a day that is honored by nearly all of contemporary Christianity and is used to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    The holiday often involves a church service at sunrise, a feast which includes an “Easter Ham”, decorated eggs and stories about rabbits.

    Those who love truth learn to ask questions, and many questions must be asked regarding the holiday of Easter.

    Is it truly the day when Jesus arose from the dead? Where did all of the strange customs come from, which have nothing to do with the resurrection of our Saviour?

    The purpose of this tract is to help answer those questions, and to help those who seek truth to draw their own conclusions.

    The first thing we must understand is that professing Christians were not the only ones who celebrated a festival called “Easter.”

    “Ishtar”, which is pronounced “Easter” was a day that commemorated the resurrection of one of their gods that they called “Tammuz”, who was believed to be the only begotten son of the moon-goddess and the sun-god.

    In those ancient times, there was a man named Nimrod, who was the grandson of one of Noah’s son named Ham.

    Ham had a son named Cush who married a woman named Semiramis.Cush and Semiramis then had a son named him “Nimrod.”

    After the death of his father, Nimrod married his own mother and became a powerful King.

    The Bible tells of of this man, Nimrod, in Genesis 10:8-10 as follows: “And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad,and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.”

    Nimrod became a god-man to the people and Semiramis, his wife and mother, became the powerful Queen of ancient Babylon.

    Nimrod was eventually killed by an enemy, and his body was cut in pieces and sent to various parts of his kingdom.

    Semiramis had all of the parts gathered, except for one part that could not be found.

    That missing part was his reproductive organ. Semiramis claimed that Nimrod could not come back to life without it and told the people of Babylon that Nimrod had ascended to the sun and was now to be called “Baal”, the sun god.

    Queen Semiramis also proclaimed that Baal would be present on earth in the form of a flame, whether candle or lamp, when used in worship.

    Semiramis was creating a mystery religion, and with the help of Satan, she set herself up as a goddess.

    Semiramis claimed that she was immaculately conceived.

    She taught that the moon was a goddess that went through a 28 day cycle and ovulated when full.

    She further claimed that she came down from the moon in a giant moon egg that fell into the Euphrates River.

    This was to have happened at the time of the first full moon after the spring equinox.

    Semiramis became known as “Ishtar” which is pronounced “Easter”, and her moon egg became known as “Ishtar’s” egg.”

    Ishtar soon became pregnant and claimed that it was the rays of the sun-god Baal that caused her to conceive.

    The son that she brought forth was named Tammuz.

    Tammuz was noted to be especially fond of rabbits, and they became sacred in the ancient religion, because Tammuz was believed to be the son of the sun-god, Baal. Tammuz, like his supposed father, became a hunter.

    The day came when Tammuz was killed by a wild pig.

    Queen Ishtar told the people that Tammuz was now ascended to his father, Baal, and that the two of them would be with the worshippers in the sacred candle or lamp flame as Father, Son and Spirit.

    Ishtar, who was now worshipped as the “Mother of God and Queen of Heaven”, continued to build her mystery religion.

    The queen told the worshippers that when Tammuz was killed by the wild pig, some of his blood fell on the stump of an evergreen tree, and the stump grew into a full new tree overnight. This made the evergreen tree sacred by the blood of Tammuz.

    She also proclaimed a forty day period of time of sorrow each year prior to the anniversary of the death of Tammuz.

    During this time, no meat was to be eaten.

    Worshipers were to meditate upon the sacred mysteries of Baal and Tammuz, and to make the sign of the “T” in front of their hearts as they worshiped.

    They also ate sacred cakes with the marking of a “T” or cross on the top.

    Every year, on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox, a celebration was made.

    It was Ishtar’s Sunday and was celebrated with rabbits and eggs.

    Ishtar also proclaimed that because Tammuz was killed by a pig, that a pig must be eaten on that Sunday.

    By now, the readers of this tract should have made the connection that paganism has infiltrated the contemporary “Christian” churches, and further study indicates that this paganism came in by way of the Roman Catholic System.

    The truth is that Easter has nothing whatsoever to do with the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    We also know that Easter can be as much as three weeks away from the Passover, because the pagan holiday is always set as the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox.

    Some have wondered why the word “Easter” is in the the King James Bible.

    It is because Acts, chapter 12, tells us that it was the evil King Herod, who was planning to celebrate Easter, and not the Christians.

    The true Passover and pagan Easter sometimes coincide, but in some years, they are a great distance apart.

    So much more could be said, and we have much more information for you, if you are a seeker of the truth.

    We know that the Bible tells us in John 4:24, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”

    The truth is that the forty days of Lent, eggs, rabbits,hot cross buns and the Easter ham have everything to do with the ancient pagan religion of Mystery Babylon.

    • Theo says:

      Ethos,

      Our entire world is / has pagan roots, Names of days of week / months of the year etc.
      A Christian cannot just “tune” out. What would you suggest?

      Did a search and found a few intersting links…
      Should Christians Celebrate Easter and Christmas?
      http://www.onenesspentecostal.com/holidays.htm
      http://www.cause-of-god.com/easter.html
      http://www.cbcg.org/should_christians_celebrate_easter.htm
      http://www.askelm.com/news/n010412.htm
      http://www.bibleanswerstand.org/Easter.htm

      What a mess!?!

      Theo

      • Here is what I suggest… We learn where God stands on all of the above and teach it to everyone we come in contact with at the level in which God shows us. The Book of Daniel is one of many great places to start. We live in a world very similar to Babylon. Daniel did not turn from the ways of God and yet managed to find favor. He stood without compromise on the teachings of God and His prophets and yet lived in a pagan world. He even managed to glorify God and turn kings eyes toward the true God. We live in a place filled with diversity, especially diversity of sin. It is the job of the believers to look to Jesus and walk in His ways. There are so many examples of this throughout the Bible I don’t even know where else to start. Gideon was disliked when he destroyed the altar, Daniel was thrown in to a lions den when he would only worship his God, Stephen spoke the truth even though it meant he was to be stoned to death…The whole chapter 11 of Hebrews and the men and women of faith standing for and acting upon the promises of God is where we need to be. Easter, is not something that should be glorified in the church, neither is Christmas if we were to study it as well. The resurrection of Jesus is a great great thing, it means He is alive today as we speak, but using pagan rituals to celebrate this is awful. The birth of the messiah is awesome, but to celebrate it with pagan means is crazy! Examine the lives of the prophets, not everything they did was well liked by the people that heard their messages, but they knew they had to speak, God meant too much to them. How much does God mean to us? To end this read Ezekiel 3:16-21….

  3. Kajsa Huckaba says:

    Ethos, thank you for posting that. I believe that the majority of Christians do not know this information.

    Not only is this pagan celebration brought into the Lord’s church but the church actually holds public Easter Egg Hunts and spend a great deal of money and volunteer hours in the venture. This is in the weak attempt at somehow just maybe someone might get saved.
    What??
    Imagine the Lord’s people, written about in the Bible, sacrificing their children in the temple, fornicating on the altar and so on- in a “public outreach” to save the pagans.
    We fool ourselves.

  4. Manchildministries says:

    Kelly,

    Believe it or not, your still on the Ishtar/Easter calendar and don’t even realize it. Everything else you stated is pretty close to being spot on. . . . . (Constantine’s influence, origins of names, etc.) Actually, ethos and Theo are much closure. It’s a quick and easy fix if your are interested . . . . just a matter of going back to the Hebrew calendar. By doing so, you will discover that Jesus did indeed spend three days and three nights in the tomb . . . . and he rose on the 3rd day; that being the 3rd day of Unleavened Bread. (Your timeline has Jesus in the tomb 2 days and 2 nights . . . . resurrecting on the “Solar god or sun-god day.) Jesus fulfilled the Hebrew law, just as he said he would/did. He did not fulfill the good Friday (Frie-day = Ishtar-day) // Saturday (father-fertility god Saturn=Tammuz-day) // Sunday (resurrection of the solar god on sun=god=day) model. As long as you attempt to dial in “Friday, Saturday, Sunday” (all pagan names for pagan days), you will continue to miss the mark.

    I’ll walk anyone through this if anyone is interested.

    • I actually do realize which calendar we are on, but the article was about the pagan roots of easter, not the calendar. That is another topic all together. We live in a country that has many more pagan traditions than actual biblical traditions. These are topics that could go on an on. I am less concerned about the names of the days of the week than the “Christians” celebrating a non-Christian holiday while using idols in the name of Jesus. The problem with switching calendars in this country is if I am operating off of the more accurate Hebrew calendar it would be impossible to still work and make accurate plans with the rest of the people I know here. Not to mention we would have to alter the western understanding of time. As you know the Hebrew calendar date begins at sunset and starts with a 12 hour night, and ends with a 12 hour day. It is always 12 hours even when there is more darkness in the winter and less darkness in the summer. This actually changes time as we see it. Very cool though.

  5. Theo says:

    To All,

    Hey I followed one of those links I posted earlier. Found this article…
    http://bible.org/article/should-christians-celebrate-christmas

    (I know the original post was about Easter but this is the same issue)

    I have prayed and asked God about all this… Here is his answer…

    Its celebration falls under the category of debatable or doubtful things covered by the principles of Romans 14 and 1 Corinthians 8 and 9. In summary, these passages teach us the following principles:

    •Every believer must become convinced in his or her own mind (Rom. 14:5).
    •We must not judge or look upon other with contempt who do not come to the same conclusion that we do (Rom. 14:3, 4, 13).
    •Just as there is nothing evil in meat sacrificed to idols, so there is nothing inherently evil in the traditional Christmas with the tree, presents, carols, and decorations. Such things become what people make them by their attitudes and beliefs (Rom. 14:22-23; 1 Cor. 8:4-8; 10:19).
    •The ultimate issue is our attitude, the reasons, and how if one decides to celebrate the Christmas season in some fashion.

    Theo

  6. Manchildministries says:

    Well, Theo . . . . I prayed and got a different answer; and the word of God confirmed it:

    Deut 12:28-31: Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, (30) Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following (the pagans traditions) . . . . and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. (31) Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods . . . .

    That means, don’t copy the pagans in the honoring/worship of Yahweh and/or our Lord. . . . in any manner, to any degree. Israel did, and look where that eventually ended up. (Not good!)

    The couple things you mentioned are pagan fertility icons and graven images . . . they were paramount//serious pagan objects the pagans utilized for very paramount//serious applications in their liturgies and worship of their pagan gods. And some had evil origins . . . . especially the Christmas tree if you dial in it’s origins in the worship of Graco-Roman gods . . . . which included castration and bloodletting and ties to the killing of slaves during Saturnalia. . . . not to mention the graven images that are often a part of decorations . . . . which God strictly forbids. And I do recall reading God’s word in many areas where graven images was a serious offense before the Lord, requiring serious repercussions. For us to use them would be a complete violation of God’s instructions and expectations which He warned us against all through His word. You might want to do a bit more research as to their origins and purpose as applied by the pagans . . . . then re-read Deut 12.

    • Theo says:

      Manchild,

      Hey ok so you say. I had scripture to back what I said up. Romans, Cor etc. reread my post.
      Having a decorated tree is not worshiping it. What about this????
      First what does it really matter? This knowledge, what does it really profit?
      James 1:26-27 (King James Version)
      26If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.
      27Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
      Colossians 2:20-23 (King James Version)
      20Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,
      21(Touch not; taste not; handle not;
      22Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?
      23Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body: not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.

      The bible has to be interpreted with bible and it comes packaged.
      There are two sides to every coin. Both are true.

      One will fail (FALL) if extremes of legalism and / or sloppy grace.

      Theo
      p.s.
      James 4:17 (King James Version)
      17Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

  7. Manchildministries says:

    Kelly,

    I’m not suggesting we change calendars for our every day living. But if people are attempting to dial into the Lord’s Passion a “Friday” or “Saturday” or “Sunday” then they are still on a pagan calendar because they are following a pagan “week”. I’m not suggesting believers even apply the Hebraic calendar. But the Hebrews never named the days of the week, especially after pagan Gods (which our calendar is . . . . and aren’t we suppose to eradicated the names of the pagan gods . . . . Duet 12:3). Rather, the Hebraic days of the week were numbered. This might come in handy if we want to unfold a Hebraic pattern.

    I would at least recommend believers dial in “the 1rst of Abib/Nissan” the 10th day, the 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th . . . . and dial in the 7 days of Unleavened Bread. By doing so, they would be equipped to discern how the timeline for the Lord’s Passion actually unfolded. There’s much to glean by witnessing the expressed patterns God ordained, that Jesus fulfilled. It may also highlight just how paganized we all still are.

    Here is how the timeline shakes down (most of this you already know):

    1rst of Abib/Nissan (new moon // sliver of the moon) = first month of the Hebraic Year.

    Count 10 days . . . .

    10th of Abib/Nisan (God’s ordinance under Moses) = Sacrificial lamb chosen; to be observed 4 days for blemishes.

    Fulfilled: On the 10th of Abib/Nisan, Jesus road into Jerusalem to the temple; to preach in the temple and be observed for 4 days by the Children of Israel in the temple. Jesus was found to be without blemish = he was the acceptable sacrificial lamb that would take away the sins of the world.

    Count those 4 days in the temple and we arrive at the 14th of Abib/Nissan.

    14th of Abib/Nisan (Full moon at sunset of the 14th; God’s ordinance under Moses) = Day of preparation = unblemished lambs are sacrificed.

    Did I say it was a full moon?

    Fulfilled: On the 14th of Abib/Nisan, Jesus was sacrificed >> God supernaturally made it dark to disrupt the traditional sacrifice of lambs so the true Lamb of God would be the only sacrifice. (Note: There cannot have an eclipse of the sun during a full moon; thus, the darkness was supernatural, not an eclipse.)

    Sunset of 14th//15th of Abib/Nissan = the Passover ritual begins; Jesus was placed in the tomb an hour or two earlier so followers could return to their dwellings, else be prosecuted by the Sanhedrin and/or Pharisees. The entire 24 hour period of from sunset to sunset was a HIGH SABBATH. No work . . . . thus, no anointing of the body of Christ.

    Thus, the 15th of Abib/Nissan = 1rst day in the tomb and 1rst day of 7 days of Unleavened Bread. It was a High Sabbath (as opposed to a weekly Sabbath).

    16th of Abib/Nissan = 2nd day in the tomb and 2nd day of 7 days of Unleavened Bread. This is where the WEEKLY SABBATH fell into that week (It had to fall some place in those 7 days.) No work . . . . thus, no anointing of the body of Christ. This was also the day for the Feast of First Fruits where the first man acceptable to Yahweh is offered to Yahweh . . . . The man Christ Jesus (1 Tim 2:5), our first fruits (1 Cor 15:20-23).

    NOTE: There were 2 Sabbaths, back to back . . . . the High Sabbath (15thof Abib/Nissan) and the weekly Sabbath (16th). That’s why the women and other followers could not finish anointing the body of our Lord. They had to wait until the 3rd day, that being the 17th . . . . and they went to the tomb before sunrise on the 17th to do so (Matt 28:1). . . . but Jesus was already risen. Thus, he rose when it was dark . . . . between midnight and morning twilight. (NO SUNRISE SERVICE . . . . which is 100% pagan . . . . at least as the pagans worshipped their false messiah’s . . . . Deut 12:28-31 ? ? ? ? ?)

    17th of Abib/Nissan = Resurrection day = the 3rd day after the Day of Preparation (14th of Abib/Nissan) . . . . See Luke 24:21 . . . . “and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.”

    The 17th of Abib/Nissan is the 3rd day . . . . the 3rd day of Unleavened Bread; the 3rd day in the tomb.

    All is fulfilled; just as Jesus said. He said he would be in the tomb 3 days, and that he would rise on the 3rd day. The third day he was referring to was the 3rd day of Unleavened Bread . . . . not “sun-god-day // Sunday.” Note: No Friday (which means the day of Ishtar); no Saturday (which means the day of Saturn/Osiris/Bal/Bel/Shama/father-fertility-god); and no Sunday (which means the day of the sun-god). Rather, the days were numbered and called by their proper names (1rst, 2nd, 10th, 14th . . . . Day of Preparation, High Sabbath, 7 days of Unleavened Bread, etc, etc. etc.)

    The historic Christian church has it all wrong and will always have it wrong because they are on a pagan week, a pagan month, and a pagan calendar. How much this diminishes their understanding of these precious events is predicated by how much they’re into the traditions of the church. And it’s the traditions of man that nullifies the word of God (Mark 7:13). Not good.

    As for me and my house, I want to know how these events unfolded . . . . to the second, if possible. It explodes the reality and authenticity of God’s word and everything my Lord did for us. Sooooooo cool! And since these events include ridding ourselves of all leaven, why not strive to do the same in our understanding?

    That’s all. Sorry for being so long-winded.

    • Ok to be long winded on these subjects. This is very good stuff. I love how everything in the Bible, when studied, fits so perfectly. I actually do look at the Hebrew calendar for references, especially when it helps solidify timelines of the holidays and the words of prophets etc. On the other hand God has been showing me some interesting parallels to the life of Daniel in Babylon and the life of Christians here in the United States. Babylon was obviously very pagan and yet was used by God to discipline and test His people. I also find it interesting that the USA in a round-about sort of way is currently occupying the actual location of the real life Babylon in Iraq. Daniel was impressive to me because he did not sacrifice his faith and yet still managed to honorably submit to the authorities of the governing rulers. He was diligent about studying the scriptures and praying, and he was willing to stand before the king and state the Word of his God. I like that!!! Plus some of the revelation he received is currently unfolding! He is a good study for American Christians today.

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