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    • By Jim_Alaska in Jim_Alaska's Sermons & Devotionals
         14
      Closed Communion
      James Foley
       
      I Corinthians 11:17-34: "Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's Supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come."

      INTRODUCTION

      Historic Baptists, true Baptists, have believed in and still believe in closed communion. Baptists impose upon themselves the same restrictions that they impose on others concerning the Lord’s Supper. Baptists have always insisted that it is the Lord’s Table, not theirs; and He alone has the right to say who shall sit at His table. No amount of so called brotherly love, or ecumenical spirit, should cause us to invite to His table those who have not complied with the requirements laid down plainly in His inspired Word. With respect to Bible doctrines we must always use the scripture as our guide and practice. For Baptists, two of the most important doctrines are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper. These are the only two doctrines we recognize as Church Ordinances. The Bible is very clear in teaching how these doctrines are to be practiced and by whom.

      We only have two ordinances that we must never compromise or we risk our very existence, they are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper.

      The moment we deviate from the precise method God has prescribed we have started down the slippery slope of error. True Baptists have held fast to the original doctrine of The Lord’s Supper from the time of Christ and the Apostles.

      Unfortunately, in this day of what the Bible describes as the age of luke warmness, Baptists are becoming careless in regard to strictly following the pattern laid out for us in Scripture. Many of our Bible colleges are graduating otherwise sincere, Godly and dedicated pastors and teachers who have not been taught the very strict, biblical requirements that surround the Lord’s Supper. Any Bible college that neglects to teach its students the differences surrounding Closed Communion, Close Communion and Open Communion is not simply short changing its students; it is also not equipping their students to carry on sound Bible traditions. The result is men of God and churches that fall into error. And as we will see, this is serious error.

      Should we as Baptists ignore the restrictions made by our Lord and Master? NO! When we hold to the restrictions placed upon the Lord’s Supper by our Master, we are defending the "faith which was once delivered to the saints" Jude 3.

      The Lord’s Supper is rigidly restricted and I will show this in the following facts:

      IT IS RESTRICTED AS TO PLACE

      A. I Corinthians 11:18 says, "When ye come together in the church." This does not mean the church building; they had none. In other words, when the church assembles. The supper is to be observed by the church, in church capacity. Again this does not mean the church house. Ekklesia, the Greek word for church, means assembly. "When ye come together in the church," is when the church assembles.

      B. When we say church we mean an assembly of properly baptized believers. Acts 2:41-42: "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."

      The church is made up of saved people who are baptized by immersion. In the Bible, belief precedes baptism. That’s the Bible way.

      Acts 8:12-13, "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done."

      When we say properly baptized, we mean immersed. No unbeliever should take the Lord’s supper, and no non-immersed believer should take the supper. Those who are sprinkled are not baptized and cannot receive the supper. The Greek word for baptize is baptizo, and it always means to immerse.

      "In every case where communion is referred to, or where it may possibly have been administered, the believers had been baptized Acts 2:42; 8:12; 8:38; 10:47; 6:14-15; 18:8; 20:7. Baptism comes before communion, just as repentance and faith precede baptism".

      C. The Lord’s Supper is for baptized believers in church capacity: "When ye come together in the church," again not a building, but the assembly of the properly baptized believers.

      D. The fact that the Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, to be observed in church capacity, is pointed out by the fact that it is for those who have been immersed and added to the fellowship of the church.

      E. The Lord’s Supper is never spoken of in connection with individuals. When it is referred to, it is only referred to in reference to baptized believers in local church capacity I Cor. 11:20-26).

      I want to quote Dr. W.W. Hamilton,

      "The individual administration of the ordinance has no Bible warrant and is a relic of Romanism. The Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, and anything which goes beyond or comes short of this fails for want of scriptural example or command".

      “The practice of taking a little communion kit to hospitals, nursing homes, etc. is unscriptural and does not follow the scriptural example.”

      IT IS RESTRICTED TO A UNITED CHURCH

      A. The Bible in I Cor. 11:18 is very strong in condemning divisions around the Lord’s table. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
      19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
      20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.

      There were no less than four divisions in the Corinthian church.
      I Cor. 1:12: "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ."

      Because of these divisions, it was impossible for them to scripturally eat the Lord’s Supper. Division in the local church is reason to hold off observing the Lord’s Supper. But there are also other reasons to forego taking the Lord’s Supper. If there is gross sin in the membership we do not take it. Here is scriptural evidence for this: 1Co 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:
      8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
      10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

      B. At this point, I want to ask these questions: Are there not doctrinal divisions among the many denominations? Is it not our doctrinal differences that cause us to be separate religious bodies?

      IT IS RESTRICTED BY DOCTRINE

      A. Those in the early church at Jerusalem who partook "continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine" Acts 2:42. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

      B. Those that do not hold to apostolic truth are not to partake. This means there is to be discipline in the local body. How can you discipline those who do not belong to the local body? You can’t. The clear command of scripture is to withdraw fellowship from those who are not doctrinally sound.

      II Thes 3:6: "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us."
      Rom. 16:17: "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
      To commune together means to have the same doctrine.
      II Thes. 2:15: "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."
      II John 10-11: "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."

      C. Some Baptists in our day have watered down this doctrine by practicing what they call “Close Communion.” By this they mean that they believe that members of another Baptist church may take communion with us because they are of the same beliefs. Once again, this is unscriptural.

      The welcome to the Lord's Table should not be extended beyond the discipline of the local church. When we take the Lord’s Supper there is supposed to be no gross sin among us and no divisions among us. We have no idea of the spiritual condition of another church’s members. If there is sin or division in the case of this other church’s members, we have no way of knowing it. We cannot discipline them because they are not members of our church. This is why we practice “Closed” communion, meaning it is restricted solely to our church membership. 
      So then, in closing I would like to reiterate the three different ideas concerning the Lord’s Supper and who is to take it. 
      Closed Communion = Only members of a single local church. 
      Close Communion = Members of like faith and order may partake. 
      Open Communion = If you claim to be a Christian, or simply attending the service, you may partake. 
      It is no small thing to attempt to change that which was implemented by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 
      Mt. 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 
      Many of our Baptist churches have a real need to consider the gravity of the act of observing The Lord’s Supper. It is not a light thing that is to be taken casually or without regard to the spiritual condition of ourselves or our church.
      1Co. 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

       28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

       29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

       30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

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1 hour ago, Baptistsenior said:

Prior to Christs death, Rome had a holiday called Easter - what was this holiday about for the Romans 

The Romans never celebrated pagan Easter as we know it today which is an Old Saxon celebration.

ALL the English versions of the bible before the KJV used the word Easter for "pascha". People are retroactively apply our understanding of the pagan origins of Easter to the KJV therefore assuming the translators made a mistake and somehow all overlooked this mistake.

To this day the Greeks use the word "pascha" for Easter.

Many pagan words were adopted into our language and changed meaning over time usually because there was no equivalent for the word in our language. 

Even the word hell has the same roots as name of the Norse pagan goddess Hel just like Greek equivalent hades has the same roots as the pagan god Hades.

I think the translators left the word pascha as Easter in this instance because it was referring to the holiday of Christ's resurrection and the Christian name for it unlike in other passages where the word passover was used because it was not referring to the actually holiday on the so-called Christian calendar. In a sense I think the KJV translators were retroactively applying the name of this Christian holiday to that time.

My guess is Herod delayed killing Peter because there would have been a lot of Christians in Jerusalem at that time and he didn't want to stir up trouble, like Pilate was afraid of doing among the Jews, thus attracting the ire of Caesar.

 

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"Pascha" is the Hebrew word translated as "Passover," coined, I believe, by William Tyndale, if I remember correctly. 

To this day there is a lot of discussion and disagreement why it was translated as "Easter" in the one account referring to Herod-most believe it was because Herod probably didn't celebrate Passover, (though really, it was after Passover and was during the feast of unleavened bread, sometimes lumped together as part of Passover, but really, when given by the Lord, they were two separate feasts.) Instead it is believed he wouldn't have celebrated the pagan Spring feast which the Catholics took to calling Easter. I seriously doubt Herod was celebrating the resurrection of Jesus, and I doubt ANYONE celebrated a yearly remembrance of his resurrection, because the whole reason the early church began to meet on the first day was as a weekly remembrance of the event.

So, I suspect all the earlier English Bibles used the term Easter to recognize that it wasn't believed that Herod was celebrating the resurrection of Christ, OR Unleavened Bread-though he may have, to keep peace.

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Posted (edited)

Ten Years after the resurrection of Christ we find that the church in Jerusalem is prospering and the Jews are becoming more and more jealous of the popularity of Christ. This was particularly felt during the Passover week (days of unleavened bread), as the Christians focused less on the Exodus aspects of Passover and more on the Christian aspects culminating with Easter (sunrise) morning Resurrection on the first day of the week after.

On this tenth anniversary of the crucifixion Herod wanted to please the Jews by harassing the church by taking Apostle James and executing him. Seeing this pleased the Jews, Herod took Peter to hold him in prison until after the resurrection anniversary the church was going to observe. However, God confounded Herod's efforts similar to the attempts of the Jews at the tomb of Christ by freeing Peter form the prison and guards.

Being embarrassed by his failure, Herod leaves town and dies a year latter (probably on Passover day) attempting to take the Glory of God for himself. In this sermon we note that Easter and Herod are not Pagan.

Easter refers to the Christian events of the Passover Week and the Resurrection at sunrise in particular. We also note how Herod sought to please the Jews and how he is a type of the Anti-Christ.

 

Edited by John Young
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On 3/31/2021 at 12:57 PM, SureWord said:

The Romans never celebrated pagan Easter as we know it today which is an Old Saxon celebration.

ALL the English versions of the bible before the KJV used the word Easter for "pascha". People are retroactively apply our understanding of the pagan origins of Easter to the KJV therefore assuming the translators made a mistake and somehow all overlooked this mistake.

To this day the Greeks use the word "pascha" for Easter.

Many pagan words were adopted into our language and changed meaning over time usually because there was no equivalent for the word in our language. 

Even the word hell has the same roots as name of the Norse pagan goddess Hel just like Greek equivalent hades has the same roots as the pagan god Hades.

I think the translators left the word pascha as Easter in this instance because it was referring to the holiday of Christ's resurrection and the Christian name for it unlike in other passages where the word passover was used because it was not referring to the actually holiday on the so-called Christian calendar. In a sense I think the KJV translators were retroactively applying the name of this Christian holiday to that time.

My guess is Herod delayed killing Peter because there would have been a lot of Christians in Jerusalem at that time and he didn't want to stir up trouble, like Pilate was afraid of doing among the Jews, thus attracting the ire of Caesar.

 

They celebrated the goddess estra (sp)   Was resurrection Sunday even called Easter in 1611

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Spoiler

 

Personally, I believe the great lack of reliable information, and the confusion caused by the entire subject, as well as knowing how integrally the Catholic church is involved in the veneration of Easter and the various pagan aspects of it, we ought to soundly reject it and all its traditions, and seek to Christ and his resurrection, based upon the timing of Passover, nor Easter, which changes according to the seasons, unlike Passover, which, by the Hebrew calendar, doesn't change. 

To get down to brass tacks, it really doesn't matter why the word was used in the KJV, when there is controversy as to what the origin even is. This is from the Britannica Encyclopedia page:

"The English word Easter, which parallels the German word Ostern, is of uncertain origin. One view, expounded by the Venerable Bede in the 8th century, was that it derived from Eostre, or Eostrae, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring and fertility. This view presumes—as does the view associating the origin of Christmas on December 25 with pagan celebrations of the winter solstice—that Christians appropriated pagan names and holidays for their highest festivals. Given the determination with which Christians combated all forms of paganism (the belief in multiple deities), this appears a rather dubious presumption. There is now widespread consensus that the word derives from the Christian designation of Easter week as in albis, a Latin phrase that was understood as the plural of alba (“dawn”) and became eostarum in Old High German, the precursor of the modern German and English term. The Latin and Greek Pascha (“Passover”) provides the root for Pâques, the French word for Easter.

The date of Easter and its controversies

Fixing the date on which the Resurrection of Jesus was to be observed and celebrated triggered a major controversy in early Christianity in which an Eastern and a Western position can be distinguished. The dispute, known as the Paschal controversies, was not definitively resolved until the 8th century. In Asia Minor, Christians observed the day of the Crucifixion on the same day that Jews celebrated the Passover offering—that is, on the 14th day of the first full moon of spring, 14 Nisan (see Jewish calendar). The Resurrection, then, was observed two days later, on 16 Nisan, regardless of the day of the week. In the West the Resurrection of Jesus was celebrated on the first day of the week, Sunday, when Jesus had risen from the dead. Consequently, Easter was always celebrated on the first Sunday after the 14th day of the month of Nisan. Increasingly, the churches opted for the Sunday celebration, and the Quartodecimans (“14th day” proponents) remained a minority. The Council of Nicaea in 325 decreed that Easter should be observed on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the spring equinox (March 21). Easter, therefore, can fall on any Sunday between March 22 and April 25."

 So really, the Catholics chose to celebrate it according to the spring equinox, while before that, (and probably after that, outside of them), it was always celebrated either exactly after Passover, or on the Sunday following Passover, as is done today. 

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Posted (edited)
45 minutes ago, Baptistsenior said:

They celebrated the goddess estra (sp)   Was resurrection Sunday even called Easter in 1611

If by "estra" you mean Eostre the Romans didn't celebrate that since it's Old Germanic.

The closest Roman equivilant you can find to Easter is their celebration of Venus which apparently took place during April 1st. The problem is that Christians of 1611 would no doubt know what Easter meant and it didn't mean a pagan holiday. Most people today still know what it means when  we say "Happy Easter".

Yes, they called it Easter. As far back as the 2nd century historians have found the word used in relation to Resurrection Day.

 

Edited by SureWord
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Being a staunch KJVer, I believe the word Easter in the Bible is exactly how God wanted it, and I've always been told it was a Roman holiday and did not refer to the Passover    Was it not the Romans that wanted him off the Cross before Easter, and they did not celebrate Passover so why care if He was down before then 

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Posted (edited)
44 minutes ago, Baptistsenior said:

Being a staunch KJVer, I believe the word Easter in the Bible is exactly how God wanted it, and I've always been told it was a Roman holiday and did not refer to the Passover    Was it not the Romans that wanted him off the Cross before Easter, and they did not celebrate Passover so why care if He was down before then 

Actually it was the Pharisees that wanted them down before the first day of unleavened Bread, which was a sabbath day, a day they did no servile work, so they had to all be dead and down and the bodies disposed of before 6pm/Sunset.

John 19:31 "The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. "

1 hour ago, SureWord said:

If by "estra" you mean Eostre the Romans didn't celebrate that since it's Old Germanic.

The closest Roman equivilant you can find to Easter is their celebration of Venus which apparently took place during April 1st. The problem is that Christians of 1611 would no doubt know what Easter meant and it didn't mean a pagan holiday. Most people today still know what it means when  we say "Happy Easter".

Yes, they called it Easter. As far back as the 2nd century historians have found the word used in relation to Resurrection Day.

 

We must remember, for all we appreciate about the KJV translators, they were, mostly, of the church of England, under direction from King James, the head of that church, and they were basically Catholic, light-all the traditions, without the Pope, so they celebrated Easter, and would have associated it with the resurrection.

That doesn't mean that they necessarily were wrong, I still believe it was there for a reason.

Edited by Ukulelemike
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1 hour ago, Baptistsenior said:

Being a staunch KJVer, I believe the word Easter in the Bible is exactly how God wanted it, and I've always been told it was a Roman holiday and did not refer to the Passover    Was it not the Romans that wanted him off the Cross before Easter, and they did not celebrate Passover so why care if He was down before then 

You could be right, bro. I know whatever the reason Easter is in the passage it's not a mistake.  

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4 hours ago, Baptistsenior said:

Being a staunch KJVer, I believe the word Easter in the Bible is exactly how God wanted it, and I've always been told it was a Roman holiday and did not refer to the Passover    Was it not the Romans that wanted him off the Cross before Easter, and they did not celebrate Passover so why care if He was down before then 

It was the Jews who wanted Christ off the cross...

The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. [John 19:31]

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I dislike the possible origin of this day and the continuing commercialism as much as anyone else. For many here Easter is a name, its just a name. 

We need to be concerned with eternity, not the name of a day. A lot of lost people, including the 2-day a year religionists, will attend an Easter service. Hopefully they will hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ on that morning, they will probably not attend a second service that day. It is doubtful they will hear the truth any other time or place either. So call it what they will, we need to seize another opportunity to share and preach the Gospel. The goal is not how we feel about the name of a day, it's who comes to receive Jesus as Savior.

All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. [John 6:37]

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  First, Herod didn't intend to kill Peter; he planned to let the Jewish leadership do it if they wished, but he knew the Jews wouldn't mess with Peter during Passover Week, which was then ongoing.

  And Easter, the observance/celebration of Jesus' resurrection, actually occurred on Wednesday, Mar. 31, the 4th day of passover this year. (Jesus was resurrected on the 4th day of passover, 27 AD.)

  He was ALREADY RESURRECTED when the women went to His tomb early Sunday morn. I believe He was resurrected just before sunset Saturday.  The RCC moved Easter to Sundays for their convenience in the 300s AD. (I don't observe Lent, Ash Wednesday, etc. or any of the other observances invented by the RCC for Easter season.)

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, robycop3 said:

  First, Herod didn't intend to kill Peter; he planned to let the Jewish leadership do it if they wished, but he knew the Jews wouldn't mess with Peter during Passover Week, which was then ongoing.

  And Easter, the observance/celebration of Jesus' resurrection, actually occurred on Wednesday, Mar. 31, the 4th day of passover this year. (Jesus was resurrected on the 4th day of passover, 27 AD.)

  He was ALREADY RESURRECTED when the women went to His tomb early Sunday morn. I believe He was resurrected just before sunset Saturday.  The RCC moved Easter to Sundays for their convenience in the 300s AD. (I don't observe Lent, Ash Wednesday, etc. or any of the other observances invented by the RCC for Easter season.)

I knew you'd show up for this one "steelmaker".

No way Herod would have delivered Peter to the Jews to be killed as that would have been illegal according to Roman law. This is why the Jews brought Jesus to Pilate. Ultimately, it would have been Herod that murdered him incurring the favor of the Jews.

Edited by SureWord
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On 3/31/2021 at 10:05 AM, Baptistsenior said:

Prior to Christs death, Rome had a holiday called Easter - what was this holiday about for the Romans 

For this ,  just now,  I went and searched online for what the Romans did or had historically , and

the first site that came up concerning the ancient origins

and the first page on that site

had a sinful picture of "spring goddess", 

followed by a relatively long detailed page with

perhaps dozens of references to many 'easter' idolatries and false gods

as practiced (before and during and after Christ's time on earth) by Rome and several or many other countries/nations.

I did not read it intently at all,  and don't expect to - (for what purpose?) -

and did not see in perusing the page just what the roman soldiers or centurions or general population/citizens of rome themselves did concerning easter.

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On 4/5/2021 at 10:25 AM, jeff_student_of_Jesus said:

For this ,  just now,  I went and searched online for what the Romans did or had historically , and

the first site that came up concerning the ancient origins

and the first page on that site

had a sinful picture of "spring goddess", 

followed by a relatively long detailed page with

perhaps dozens of references to many 'easter' idolatries and false gods

as practiced (before and during and after Christ's time on earth) by Rome and several or many other countries/nations.

I did not read it intently at all,  and don't expect to - (for what purpose?) -

and did not see in perusing the page just what the roman soldiers or centurions or general population/citizens of rome themselves did concerning easter.

Venus worship but is Easter Venus? Figuring out the gods/goddess is an endless rabbit hole. 

 

 

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On 4/6/2021 at 11:14 AM, SureWord said:

Venus worship but is Easter Venus? Figuring out the gods/goddess is an endless rabbit hole. 

No need to figure out gods/goddess (-es) nor ever study them other than maybe and only if and as God in KJV leads and guides to expose what is false and to verify what is truth.  Thus,  not endless on that topic when remaining in God's Authorized Word and His Plan as Revealed in His Authorized Word.

 

 

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