It's that time of year again, a time when YHVH (God) always puts some things on my heart! It's a great time to look at Scripture and see what it has to say about the holidays that are going on. First things first we need to know what "Truth is".... John 8:32 Yeshua (Jesus) say's "If you obey what I say, then you are really my talmidim (disciples), you will know the truth and the truth will set you free."
Here we see that Yeshua says the truth will set you free. Free from what? What are we slave to that we must be set free from? ..... SIN! We're all slaves to sin and if we know and follow the truth we will be free of sin. David, a shadow of the Messiah, says in Psalm 119 that truth is Torah.
Now Passover is about freedom from bondage of the Egyptians at this time. The blood of the lamb redeems the firstborn (Exodus 12:12-13) out of bondage, on a journey into the Land of promise. Note the blood covering the firstborn for later reference. Paul talks about Passover in 1st Corinthians 5:7-8 "Get rid of the old leaven so that you can be a new batch of dough, because in reality you are unleavened. For the Messiah, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed. So let us celebrate the Seder not with old leaven, the leaven of wickedness and evil, but with matzah of purity and truth." We see here some of the symbols of the Passover: Leaven = sin, Lamb = Messiah, Blood of the Lamb = Messiah's death (Isaiah 53).
It's difficult to talk about Passover without also mentioning Easter and its background. Easter has origins in ancient eastern fertility rites: in the ancient Babylonian religion, Easter, or Ishtar, is the wife of Nimrod, a king of Babylon. King Nimrod ruled a mighty empire and was viewed as deity. When Nimrod died, Easter became "miraculously pregnant". The son born to her was named Tammuz, a supposed reincarnation of his deceased father, Nimrod. A religion was built around her, with Easter as the moon and Tammuz as the sun. She was worshiped as the "goddess of fertility" who brought in the spring. During the winter when the sun was at its weakest, they would say Tammuz is dead and they would weep for 40 days for him to resurrect himself. The day before the spring equinox they would worship in the dark all night long, then face east at dawn to see the sun rise, the resurrection of Tammuz.
While the Ishtar festival was initially limited to pagan religions, it eventually spread to Christianity in the 4th century. In 325 AD, the Roman Emperor Constantine officially replaced Passover with Easter, saying in anti-Semitic tirade,
“When the question relative to the sacred festival of Easter arose, it was thought particularly unworthy to follow the customs of the Jews who had soiled their hands with the most fearful of crimes, and whose minds were blinded. In rejecting their custom we may transmit to our descendants the legitimate mode of celebrating Easter.
We ought not therefore to have anything in common with the Jew. And consequently in unanimously adopting this mode, we desire, dearest brethren, to separate ourselves from the detestable company of the Jew. 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 They do not possess the truth in this Easter question, for in their blindness and repugnance to all improvements they frequently celebrate two Passovers in the same year.
But even if this were not so it would still be your duty not to tarnish your soul by communication with such wicked people, the Jews. You should consider not only that the number of churches in these provinces make a majority, but also that it is right to demand what our reason approves, and that we should have nothing in common with the Jew.”
With this ruling, it was no difficult matter to cause the existing pagan peoples in the Roman Empire adopt Catholic (universal) Christianity, using existing festivals and repainting them with Christian elements. Thus, Easter found its way into Christianity, with the Roman Catholic Church officially instituting it, and then later being passed down to the Church's Protestant offspring.
This Easter/Tammuz religion is mentioned in Scripture, in the book of Ezekiel:
1 And it came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I sat in mine house, and the elders of Judah sat before me, that the hand of the Lord GOD fell there upon me.
2 Then I beheld, I saw a likeness as the appearance of fire: from the appearance of his loins even downward, fire; and from his loins even upward, as the appearance of brightness, as the color of amber.
3 And he put forth the form of an hand, and took me by a lock of mine head; and the spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the inner gate that looks toward the north; where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provokes to jealousy.
4 And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, according to the vision that I saw in the plain. [Bible scholars suggest that this is the statue of Ishtar being referred to here.]
5 Then said he unto me, Son of man, lift up your eyes now the way toward the north. So I lifted up my eyes the way toward the north, and behold northward at the gate of the altar this image of jealousy in the entry.
6 And he said to me, "Son of man, do you see what they are doing--the utterly detestable things the house of Israel is doing here, things that will drive me far from my sanctuary? But you will see things that are even more detestable." [This is what Israel is practicing; they later are sent into exile because of their love of sin & paganism.]
7 And he brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, I saw a hole in the wall.
8 Then said he unto me, Son of man, dig now in the wall: and when I had dug in the wall, behold a door.
9And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here.
10 So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed upon the wall round about.
11 And there stood before them seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel, and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, with every man his censer in his hand; and a thick cloud of incense went up.
12 Then said he unto me, Son of man, have you seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? They say, the LORD does not see us; the LORD has forsaken the earth.
[They are weeping for Tammuz before Easter.]
13 He said also to me, Turn again, and you shall see greater abominations yet.
14 Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD's house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz.
15 Then said he unto me, have you seen this, O son of man? Turn again, and you shall see greater abominations than these.
16 And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD's house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshiped the sun toward the east.
[They were waiting for the resurrection of Tammuz, the sunrise on Sunday.]
17 Then he said unto me, have you seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations here? They have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: they put the branch to their nose.
[Tammuz is considered a branch in that religion, the false branch, anti-messiah. We know Yeshua the Messiah is the true branch.]
Wow! heavy stuff, Paul talks about how we no longer wrestle in the flesh but in the spirit in Romans 8. We see the mark YHVH puts on our heads by keeping the feast's (Passover in particular) Exodus 13:9 " It will serve you as a sign on your hand and as a reminder between your eyes (forehead), so that YHVH's Torah may be on your lips; because with a strong hand YHVH brought you out of Egypt."
Now let's look at what YHVH shows Ezekiel about the punishment of worshiping Easter.......
Ezekiel 9:4 YHVH said to him, "Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it."
[We, those disgusted by Easter are marked.]
5 As I listened, he said to the others, "Follow him through the city and kill, without showing pity or compassion. Slaughter old men, young men and maidens, women and children, but do not touch anyone who has the mark. Begin at my sanctuary." So they began with the elders who were in front of the temple.
[We see that even children aren't spared in the punishment. Good reason not to partake in Easter at the sake of "children feeling left out of our culture".]
7 Then he said to them, "Defile the temple and fill the courts with the slain. Go!" So they went out and began killing throughout the city. 8 While they were killing and I was left alone, I fell face down, crying out, "Ah, Sovereign LORD! Are you going to destroy the entire remnant of Israel in this outpouring of your wrath on Jerusalem?"
9 He answered me, "The sin of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great; the land is full of bloodshed and the city is full of injustice. They say, 'The LORD has forsaken the land; the LORD does not see.' 10 So I will not look on them with pity or spare them, but I will bring down on their own heads what they have done."
11 Then the man in linen with the writing kit at his side brought back word, saying, "I have done as you commanded."
18 Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them.
So a quick recap, Passover = mark on forehead / weeping for Tammuz (Easter sunrise) = YHVH's judgment / Disgusted at people weeping for Tammuz = mark on forehead!
Why is this so important? Let's see what John says........ Revelations 7:1-8
1 After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree.
2 Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea:
3 "Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the FOREHEADS of the servants of our God."
4Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.
5 From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were sealed,
from the tribe of Reuben 12,000,
from the tribe of Gad 12,000,
6 from the tribe of Asher 12,000,
from the tribe of Naphtali 12,000,
from the tribe of Manasseh 12,000,
7 from the tribe of Simeon 12,000,
from the tribe of Levi 12,000,
from the tribe of Issachar 12,000,
8 from the tribe of Zebulun 12,000,
from the tribe of Joseph 12,000,
from the tribe of Benjamin 12,000.
[In Hebrew, 12 is a perfect number. 144,000 thousands is perfect times perfect; there will be more than a literal 144,000 thousand in Heaven.]
Also, in Revelations 9:4-6, we read:
4 They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their FOREHEADS.
5 They were not given power to kill them, but only to torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes a man.
6 During those days men will seek death, but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.
And again in Revelations 14:1-12:
1 Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father's name written on their FOREHEADS.
2 And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps.
3 And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth.
4 These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they kept themselves pure. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among men and offered as first fruits to God and the Lamb.
5 No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.
This is the final fulfillment of Passover! The woman in verse 4 is the whore of Babylon, Ishtar. Continuing into verse 6:
6 Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth--to every nation, tribe, language and people.
7 He said in a loud voice, "Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water."
8 A second angel followed and said, "Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries."
9 A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: "If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the FOREHEAD or on the hand,
Notice that this is the exact opposite of Exodus 13:9-10!
10 he, too, will drink of the wine of God's fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb.
11And the smoke of their torment rises forever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name."
12 This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God's commandments and remain faithful to Yeshua.
The only ones persecuted are those who follow TORAH and remain faithful to YESHUA!
I hope this helps you understand what the mark of the Firstborn/Forehead is.
Paul says, "Therefore YHVH says go out from their midst; separate yourselves; don't even touch what is unclean. Then I myself will receive you. In fact, I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters." 2 Corinthians 6:17-18
May those who have eyes to see, SEE! And ears to hear, HEAR! The one who is testifying to these things says, "Yes, I am coming soon!" Amen! Come, Master Yeshua! May the grace of the Master Yeshua be with you all!