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   Ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to introduce Garner Ted Armstrong of Ambassador College with the World Tomorrow. In this series of programs, we will tell you something of the problems of the world today, how they will affect you and their solution in the World Tomorrow. Ladies and gentlemen, Garner Ted Armstrong.

   What the springtime parades, new outfits, church-going sunrise services, and rabbits have to do with the resurrection of Jesus Christ. When you look at all the paraphernalia accompanying Easter, you're a little bit bewildered.

   You see kids painting eggs, hiding eggs, pretending not to know where they are and running out and finding them. You hear about the annual egg-rolling party and that's not Chinese food. It's something you do on the White House lawn where kids roll these eggs around, you go out and buy dozens of them. Hard boil them. They have these little tinted packages, they have little faces and things.

   The kids get a fantastic amount of fun out of putting all these decorations on these eggs. I used to do that. Clandestinely hard boil the eggs, get the watercolors. There are all sorts of dyes you can dye them blue and pink and red and hop around and pretend you're a bunny, I guess and lay them.

   Then when kids go and pick up in a field someday, what they think was a bunny egg, they get a surprise because they find out bunnies don't lay eggs. But it takes them a long time to discover this because when they're little tiny kids and they go in and see little grass basket. Oh, it's exciting to go to the five and dime.

   Do they have five and dime or are they a dollar and two dollar stores anyhow, to go to the stores at that time of the year? And they've got beautiful candy displays. I mean, chocolate bunnies and vanilla bunnies. I want to be careful about racism there. They've got all kinds of bunnies of every color hue you can imagine.

   So everybody is represented. I hope they've got yellow bunnies and red bunnies. But they're all made of various candies and there are tons of these little eggs. They're all the way down, little dinky things like this. Up to big giant eggs that you can just take a bite of and they kind of a sponge-like sugary candy.

   Isn't it a little bewildering though? When you ask, what does a new Easter outfit? What's Easter? Is that the opposite of Western? What is a New Easter outfit and funny-looking eggs on your hat, brim or rolling eggs around or hiding them in alleged little nests around the periphery of your house or your lawn or garden somewhere and then having a kid go look for them and give them a prize and let them eat the thing when they find it, what in the world has that got to do with a brutal murder that occurred way back about 1900 years ago in history when a man named Jesus Christ of Nazareth was taken out and beaten within an inch of his life, almost killed by a scourging and a beating then forced to drag the stake through the streets of Jerusalem outside the gates into a place called Golgotha that is pictured on the cover of this booklet that I want to tell you about, which is entitled The Resurrection is not on Sunday, which is what I'm coming to, to give you a little bit of a preview of that right now.

   This is Golgotha the place with the skull. And when you stand off and look as I have done at this very promontory itself right above an old smelly bus station outside walls of the Damascus gated Jerusalem. You see that there is a rather skull-like appearance to the caves in that limestone bluff. Now, up on top, there is a graveyard and right up there somewhere is where many people think Jesus Christ was crucified.

   But what new gorgeous hat and brand new outfits and you know, matching clothes for father, mother, daughter has to do with the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Now people about this time say, well, what's he getting uptight about? I mean, it's good to have a special commemorative occasion. It's good to go buy new clothes because we do it in commemoration of Jesus.

   Well, let's look at the Bible account about how Jesus told us to commemorate this and how in the very night that he was betrayed, he did all these things and we'll kind of read it the way it looks in the Christian religion today. Here's that scripture for you to take a look at. Because if we believe that Jesus and early apostles kept Easter, we've got to do something with this scripture. I Corinthians 11:23 to 26 the apostle Paul is talking and he's saying I received of the Lord that which also I delivered on you.

   Now, I hope your set is really in good tune, that, because I'm going to give you a little reading example here, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed, took an egg. And when he had given thanks, he colored it and he said, "Take, eat, this is my body which is painted or colored or whatever for you. This do every year in remembrance of me." And after the same manner, also, he took his bunny after he had supped and he said this bunny.

   Now about that time, you noticed that I made a couple of mistakes there. This is what the Apostle Paul is telling Gentile people in the city of Corinth, which is about 400,000 people. And it is a very pagan city. It's a city with temples dedicated to all sorts of vestal virgins and they weren't really and all these other people. Oh, no, that isn't it. I'm sorry. This was Diana. Excuse me. I meant other alleged virgins. Way back earlier. There were lots of them, but these were pagan temples and they had all sorts of pagan temple worship and that even involved, believe it or not, various prostitutions and it involved pagan idolatry. It involved sex worship and rites. They had their own pretty modern pornographic displays at that time. But that had to do with the deities that they worshiped and they believed that these deities had very much human appetites and they were dancing around heaven all day wearing gauze and little bits and pieces of cloth that was kind of flying in the wind and they had all sorts of orgies. These gods were theirs. Well, in that pagan city of Corinth of about 400,000 population.

   The Apostle Paul was teaching and preaching to Gentile Christians. I'd like to make that point clear because most people who are not really acquainted with New Testament theology might think that I'm trying to tell you something about an Old Testament religion in this program and talking about Easter, they might think. Well, now, wait a minute. He's going back to way before the time that we are commemorating today. No, that scripture you read, which we're going to read correctly now was a scripture that was a statement given orally as well as written from the Apostle Paul to Gentile Christians in the city of Corinth and he was the Apostle to the Gentiles.

   So, let's take a look at that scripture again and we'll find out how to read it correctly because I made a few mistakes with it the first time around. Now. I think we all know that no mainstream Christian church has actually tried to say that Easter does come out of the Bible to get the idea of bunnies or rabbits or any of these other accouterments from the Bible. But let's go back and read that scripture accurately.

   Now what the Apostle Paul was saying to Gentile Christians in the city of Corinth. Here's what he said: the very same night that he was betrayed, he took bread and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "Take eat. This is my body which is broken for you." It was bread and it was just like the Passover observance, except instead of just eating the Paschal lamb, the lamb supper, he took some of the bread in his hand and they used it, you know, to kind of dip up some of the juices in the meat with and ate it that way much the way we might do even today. And he broke this bread like we might call it French-type bread and symbolically gave small portions of it to these others except it was unleavened bread. It was a flat kind of bread. It wasn't all puffed up like leavened bread is, it was unleavened. And when he had given thanks, he broke it and he said, "Take and eat," handing it to his disciples. "This is my body." Now, his body was right there. But obviously, it was a representation, which is broken for you. It hasn't yet been beaten and broken, but it was about to be. This do, I remind you this is in I Corinthians, in remembrance of me.

   Do you do that? After the same manner also took the cup when he had supped, saying, this cup is the New Testament, the new will, the new legacy in my blood. This do you as often as you drink it in remembrance of me for whenever or as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you do show the Lord's resurrection. Oops, there I go again. Keep getting these mistakes in there. Do you notice that? It says that when Christians eat this bread, Christians. Yeah, that's right. Christians eat this bread and drink this cup. You do show the Lord's death till he comes. Is this a ceremony that you see observed by most churches today?

   They take unleavened bread, break it, pass it among them; each one of them eats a portion of it, and then they drink a little tiny cup or a portion, a sip or so, maybe of wine, which is what he was pouring there into those goblets or cups. And they symbolize his broken body and his shed blood and that they are commemorating his death.

   Well, we've got to answer. Well, no, that's not what we see being done. We see the commemoration of his resurrection. Well, that's strange because the Bible doesn't show that we're to commemorate his resurrection. I don't want to shock anybody, but I want to show you from the history as well as from the Bible. If that's the truth and that none of the various appurtenances to Easter that we know of today in the Western world with sunrise services and bunnies and eggs and so on. Have anything whatsoever to do with the resurrection of Jesus Christ or with his death, that they are completely pagan.

   Now, this is a quotation from one of the many books that I have right here on the desk with me, the Encyclopedia Britannica, the 11th edition volume eight page 828. And I quote, "There is no indication of the observance of the Easter Festival in the New Testament or in the writings of the Apostolic Fathers. And so Eusebius and Irenaeus and all these other Apostolic Fathers, even the rest of the Pre-Nicene or the Anti-Nicene or the Post-Nicene Fathers, by the time you get on down several 100 years later, you can find a little bit about it. But in the Apostolic Fathers, writings of the Bible itself, you can't find it, it's the festival that is blended with paganism."

   This is from the standard dictionary of Folklore Mythology and legend pages 334. And I quote, Easter, the Christian festival commemorating the resurrection of Christ synchronized with a Jewish tea thatch and blended since the earliest days of Christianity with pagan European rights for the renewed season told. And it's a springtime festival, the renewed season. In all countries, Easter falls on a Sunday after the first full moon on or following March 21st. It is preceded by a period of riotous vegetation rites and by a period of abstinence, limp, and by the special rights of Holy Week.

   Now, that's funny because the Bible doesn't say a word about Lent. One time, somebody thought that I was making a mistake there and they found that the word the past of to borrow, like he lent me this or that is indeed in the Bible. Of course, it is. But the word Lent, this Linton ceremony that some people observe is not in the Bible whatsoever.

   I was in Dusseldorf, Germany one time. I went down into let's see, I was in Austria and also got up in the Geneva area or Zurich at about the same period of time. And I was looking around wondering what on earth. And so I asked some of the local people, and here were human beings having their own kind of a form of Mardi Gras. As a matter of fact, Mardi Gras ties into the same thing all over the world, whether in Gross Tuesday, which is what Mardi Gras means in New Orleans or over in Dusseldorf, Germany, Geneva, Zurich and Switzerland, many cities in France, all over those countries.

   As a matter of fact, some of these pagan Spring festival rites meaning orgies are still carried on. There is riotous feasting and eating and drinking and mostly it's a complete drunken orgy in many places. Now, it has to do traditionally with wife swapping with utter abandon with absolute drunken orgies. And this all has to do with this pre-Lenten season. Mysteriously, it's hard to rationalize and say that this is a religious exercise. But I ask people on the street in Germany as best I could, which isn't too well in English. But I was asking them with a German companion who could interpret. And so I made out all right there. What is this you're doing? There were people running around almost naked, dressed up like an American Indian, dressed up like anything, wearing costumes and arm in arm singing. There were bands in every square and there were huge fires that were lit at night and boiled away, you know on the rivers in Zurich and Switzerland. I remember they had them anchored on some of the bridges by cables, and they were out in the middle of the river that flowed through town. And here were these huge big fires of flame, leaping and dancing and casting the eerie shadows against the walls in each square. There was a different kind of a band. It might have been a rock band or German martial music or something else. And the people would dance around these fires and so on.

   So, I asked, "Well, what is this you are doing?" And they would say, "Oh, it's for the children," or "it's just this or that." But many of the people who were involved in it didn't really even know what it was. It's just a spring festival of some sort.

   So, some of these historical sources are correct when they tell us that the Easter story is rooted and founded in rank paganism. Isn't Easter observed in commemoration of the death and resurrection of Christ? That's what most Christians believe. The answer is no, it is not. Centuries before Jesus, the springtime death and resurrection of a savior deity of some sort had become a favorite motif of popular paganism.

   This is a quote from a book called "Easter: Its Story and Meaning" by Alan W. Watts. From the literature of the Ancient Sumerians in Mesopotamia comes the earliest legend of the death and resurrection of a pagan deity. The first Easter story, the death and resurrection, motif spread to the deities of practically all ancient pagan Middle Eastern cultures. Now, in that same book, he said on page 58 and I quote, "It would be tedious to describe in detail all that has been handed down to us about the various rites of Tamas who is mentioned in the Bible as a pagan god, Adonis Cory Dionysius and many others, some of them were celebrated at the Vernal equinox or thereabouts and some at midsummer. But their universal theme, the drama of death and resurrection, makes them the forerunners of the Christian Easter. And thus the first Easter services long before there ever was a baby born in Bethlehem, whose name was Jesus Christ of Nazareth."

   Just because the name of Jesus Christ and the idea of Easter seem to be associated together in our modern world does not prove anything. It doesn't mean that the one represents the other or that the one has anything to do with the other. As a matter of fact, these historians are accurate when they say that the accompanying paraphernalia and all the rites and rituals, the pre-Lenten orgies, all the dancing and the bonfires and the ideas of rabbits and eggs, which we're coming to had to do with purely pagan ritualistic experiences in commemoration of the beginning of spring or in the name of some pagan deity. They're correct on that.

   Now that we today in modern America, Canada, and other countries associate the two together is no surprise. Because down through history, pagan peoples have continued to use the very same symbols, the very same accompanying paraphernalia, the slogans and the rituals that they always did. And when some of them were "Christianized," the people who supposedly Christianized them, let them keep many of these pagan ideas. We'll see what the Bible says about that a little bit later.

   John D. Davis, the Westminster Dictionary of the Bible, page 145, one that I showed you said this on the article Easter, "Originally the Spring Festival in honor of the Teutonic goddess of light and spring known in Anglo-Saxon as Easter, Eastre."

   How about that? Did you know what the name Easter means? It's not the opposite of Wester. Does it come from the Bible? We'll show you in a moment, that it does not.

   T.W. Doane in "Bible Myths," page 227, quote: "The ancient pagan inhabitants of Europe celebrated annually this same feast which is yet continued all over the Christian world. This festival began with a week's indulgence of all kinds of sports called the carne-vale followed by a fast of 40 days. This is in honor of the Saxon goddess Ostara. And there again, you have this Eastre, Ashtara, Ishtar, Acer, Astarte, Oostra or Eostre Oe or Eo rather stre of the Germans, quince our English word Easter."

   Oh, then these historical authorities admit that our English word Easter doesn't even come from the Bible. Well, sure, they do. There's no problem there. And certainly, any of you preachers or any religious type you are listening to this program. And I think once in a while some might tune in, please don't get bothered with me. Don't get uptight about me trying to tell you what these historians say. I'll give you his name. Get real mad at T. W. Doane who wrote that Bible Myths book or at John Davis, the Westminster Dictionary of the Bible, and these other sources that I'm giving you because this is my idea. I'm willing to go along with the broad majority of most of these historians when they tend to agree by the dozens on some of these things about where the word Easter came from.

   Now, Easter, spelled many different ways - E, Os, Tre, Ostara, etc. - was an ancient Germanic goddess of spring whose festival was kept at the spring equinox. This, from Chambers Encyclopedia article Easter. And I quote: "Many of the popular observances connected with Easter are clearly of pagan origin. The goddess Ostara or Easter seems to have been the personification of the morning or East and also of the opening year in spring."

   Now Easter, as a name, entered the so-called Christian Sunday resurrection festival hundreds and hundreds of years after Jesus Christ. It was only after the German Emperor Charlemagne, at 800 A.D. had finally coerced the Saxons into the Catholic Church that the pagan festival, of Easter, with all of its embellishments of eggs and bunnies, entered so-called Christianity, which it was not because there's nothing Christian about it if it isn't to do with Christ at large. This article from the Encyclopedia Americana, Volume 9, page 506. According to an early English historian and Catholic Monk of the early eighth century, the word Easter is derived from the North Ostara or Ester, however that's pronounced, meaning the festival of spring at the vernal equinox, March 21st, when nature is in resurrection after winter. Hence the rabbits notable for their reproductive capacity. As a matter of fact, there are sex symbols - what they are - and eggs colored like rays of the returning sun, some of them with snakes around them, all sorts of various interesting things.

   Let me show you how the word Easter crept into the modern Bible and you will see here. I'll come back next time to tell you a lot more about eggs and rabbits and some of these quotations about the meaning of some of this type of thing. But first, let's find out what the Bible says about the word Easter. Acts 12 and verse 4 (Acts 12:4), in the King James Version is the only place you can find the word Easter mentioned. But this is translated out of the Latin in 1611. You'll see there that it says: "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." The next that you will see if you look very closely below the Greek figures there. This was written in Greek. It translated Passover, and that's from the interlinear, the Greek interlinear with the English and it's translated correctly Passover. Next, a quotation from Strong's Concordance. And there is that word "pasha," the very same word in Acts 12 and verse 4 of Chaldean or some other combined form: the Passover, the meal, the day, the festival or the special sacrifices connected with it. So the correct translation, as attested by all other Bibles, with the exception of one or two that might want to perpetuate a completely pagan doctrine, is as you read here in verse 4: "and having seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him to four quaternions of soldiers to guard him; intending after the Passover to lead him out to the people." The correct word is Passover. It's "pasha," it's so translated in other versions. As a matter of fact, take a look at the Spanish version. Sometimes for those of you who speak the Spanish language, the word is Pasqua. It is never remotely translated Easter, and the Greek word "Pasha" or "Pasqua" has nothing whatsoever remotely to do with a pagan Germanic or Nordic word or a Babylonian word spelled "Oestre" or "Ashtoreth" or "Astartea, Astartea, Oster, Oster," whatever they called this pagan deity idea in various different countries. They had different spellings, but it was the same pagan idea.

   No, the word Easter is not found in the original Greek of your New Testament. It is nowhere in the Bible. What you ought to do is to prove it to yourself in a short, brief series of programs. I'm going to do it very thoroughly. I'll come back next time, tell you about Easter eggs, Easter bunnies, all sorts of things, what they symbolize really? And it's kind of a shock really because it's an ancient pagan sex, right? And we perpetuate it today. If you want to do it, that's your business. That's fine. Anybody who wants to keep Easter let them have at it, but you ought to at least know what you're doing, don't you think it ought to have deeper meaning to you that way?

   I mean, you can really find out what the bunnies are all about, you know, write for these booklets on what the Bible really does say about Easter. And The Resurrection was not on Sunday, The Plain Truth About Easter. Where does the name come from? Is it the opposite of Wester or what is it? Why Easter? Do you know that that very same pronunciation was used in Ancient Babylon, Greece, Rome, Egypt and some of the Nordic countries of the Western world as civilization spread to the new world.

   Did you know that ancient Germanic tribes, Druids, people of Mediterranean races, people in the Middle East, people in Babylon and down in Egypt had customs that if you could be put into the proverbial time machine, like the alley-oop comic strip or something, except in this case, you would be going backwards instead of forwards and you could be plummeted backward in time and you could get there right in the middle of, let's say, a baking exercise where the housewife in Egypt was in there. Probably they used a kind of adobe or fire brick kind of an oven. And she was just sliding these nice neat little buns in there. And when they came out, she had this nice kind of a substance to decorate them on the outside. You say, hey, look at that. I didn't know Egypt was Christian because there would be a hot cough Mun or maybe if you were in Ancient Babylon and you were taking a ride around the walls, you just found yourself on the corner of the wall. You know, it could take about three chariots of breast with room to turn around there and it was about 300 ft high and there were two walls, a great big inner wall with fabulous hanging gardens. There were fountains and there were all sorts of rivets. The river actually went right through the main part of the city. It would have been a fabulous sight to see. But you also would have gotten there, let's say about the time of Easter and you would have seen many interesting ceremonies. Here would have been all these people standing on this one side of the wall, see, where they could get a better view of the sun and as the sun rose you'd hear all kinds of enchantments and incantations and people would cheer and applaud and some would cry and they might have all kinds of beads or various artifacts or little idols, they would raise up this and that you see the kids eating eggs all over the city, there would be eggs decorating everything. There would be various other animal symbols along with, you know, bunnies and so on. You say, hey, I didn't know these ancient Babylonians were, were, were Christians. Why? This is hundreds of years before Jesus ever walked the earth and here they are with Easter eggs and Easter rabbits.

   Well, the point I'm making is that the ancient societies of the pre-Christian world had some of the very same paraphernalia that you find perpetuated into so-called Christian Western religions of today. They did, they had the bunny, they had the rabbit and some of the other famous Christian holidays had the very same accompanying paraphernalia too, such as the yule log and bonfires, jack-o-lanterns, and witches costumes, and exercise, how do they say exorcising isn't it? Which is kind of like a basketball game between witches where they get exercised. No, I'm just kidding. But the exercising of witches and the like, casting out of the demons and evil spirits. They did this type of thing back then. You would be amazed if you could get in a time suit or a time machine and go back and visit Ancient Greece, Rome, Babylon, Egypt and find that they kept Easter.

   Now, you probably wouldn't see them saying anything at all about a resurrected Christ. But you'd see the eggs and the rabbits, you'd see the sunrise service and you'd see the Hot Cross buns. Now, why do we perpetuate those things into a so-called Christian society? You write for this booklet, The Plain Truth About Easter. It will blow your mind. No, I'm just saying that. To be kidding. It won't really, I think you'll enjoy it. It's about 30 pages long. It has full-color illustrations. It is a brand new booklet right off the press, it's up to the moment. This booklet quotes the Catholic encyclopedia. It quotes the encyclopedia, Americana, Britannica, et cetera. This is an historical thing. Not necessarily just a religious thing. Remember, it's not a religious argument of mine. It's a historical document. You might say, a brief booklet that shows you the history of Easter where we got the name that there was a pagan Babylonian goddess named Easter, pronounced Ashtar, Ishtar whatever, maybe the "h" was silent and was Easter, I don't know just exactly what the inflection was because I don't speak very good Babylonian anymore.

   But you can write for this booklet. You can find the truth about it. The Plain Truth About Easter, it's free of charge. There is no price for it. And also while you're at it, be sure to write for the current number of the Plain Truth magazine. The Plain Truth is published in five languages circulated around the world. More than two and a quarter million circulate, read by perhaps 4 to 5 million people. A family magazine dealing with the big issues, the big problems, the ones that confront us every single day, the food on your table, the shirt and the clothing on your back, your own financial well-being your job, your home, your school, your church, your family, big issues of the day that are talked about by politicians, global pollution, crime, divorce, some of the moral decay in our countries and societies, articles every single month along these and other lines and giving you the solution from the point of view of the Word of God, the Plain Truth magazine, free of charge, no price and be sure to request the booklet.

   Just what do you mean... the Kingdom of God? Is the Kingdom of God something in you? Maybe somewhere along your religious experience, you've heard someone say that, maybe you even thought it was in the Bible. Did Jesus actually say to a group of carnal-minded Pharisees, the Kingdom of God is within you. There is a scripture in the Bible which people seem to think says that, you'll read of that in this booklet, this booklet goes through the scriptures on that subject and shows you as no other booklet we have exactly what is the Kingdom of God. It is free of charge. There is no price for it.

   Just what do you mean... the Kingdom of God and all you need to do to request it is to send your letter Box. 345, Sydney, New South Wales. Be sure to tell us the call letters of your station. That's all we ask and nothing else you need to tell us, no other information about yourself. We need just the call letters of your station and then your own name and return mailing address. There's no hitch to this, no cost. There is no one that is going to call on you. Your name is not given to someone else. The Plain Truth magazine free of charge, 52 pages, full color.

   Very interesting straight from the shoulder, hard-hitting articles that pull no punches at all. All you need to do then is jot down the call letters of your radio station, then print your name and return mail address. So, until next time, this is Garner Ted Armstrong saying goodbye, friends.

   You have been listening to the world tomorrow. If you would like more information, write to Ambassador College Box 345 GPO Sydney, New South Wales. That's Ambassador College Box 345 GPO Sydney, New South Wales.

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Broadcast Date: 1974