Thursday, April 23, 2009

Liberty and Tyranny - My Review

Tuesday morning, I was sitting at a kitchen table across from one of the most brilliant men I know. He is in his seventies, made his living driving a truck, a military man, traveled all over the U.S. and even internationally, and has read voraciously all his life. He is a staunch Conservative. We were drinking coffee and, as usual, discussing politics.

He asked if I had heard about Chavez giving Obama a book. I told him I had, and that I found it outrageous that Obama would accept a book with anti-American notions in it.

But he raised his finger (as he normally does when he is about to make a point), "It is a diversion. It makes it easy for the big 3 media to report on the contents of this book, and report the fact that it is currently in the number 2 spot, making everyone run out to buy it just so they can read what Obama is reading. That puts the book's ideas fresh in America's mind. That way, the ideas in the book that is currently number 1 are, as they suppose, being diminished."

The number 1 book is called Liberty and Tyranny by Mark Levin. My friend, whom we will call PJ for the moment, told me that bookstores are having a terrible time keeping it on their shelves. I was intrigued. I had not heard of the book before then, even on talk radio. So I went to a bookstore just to see if what I had heard was true. Sure enough, two unscheduled orders had already been placed to restock the book on their shelves. I bought their last copy myself.

This book is not for fence-straddlers, centrists, or any other with a "middle of the road" political philosophy.

I will not spoil the book for you. What I will do is recommend it.

The book amazed me in different ways. I was amazed at how little Levin used the word "Republican" in association with Conservatism, echoing my own idea that the Republican party is no longer the party for Conservatives (1). Early on, he replaced the usage of the word "liberal" with the word "statist", which I thought was a good move. He opened up with a crash course on American History and the Constitution, which is always a good place to start when expounding Conservative ideology. He hammers especially hard on the idea that Federal Government should be limited.

The only place where I disagreed with Levin was in his affirmation of The Patriot Act. I think the act does forfeit our liberty in the name of security. I have nothing to hide, but that doesn't mean I want Big Brother listening to my telephone conversations or reading my e-mails. For more about his, in detail, I recommend A Nation of Sheep by Andrew Napolitano.

I was also amazed that he said true Conservatives should not want revolution. Levin seems to prefer the word reformation. I can live with that. In religious matters, a reformation generally occurs when the church has become so weighed down with peripheral ideologies that it needs to shake itself free, find again its fundamentals, and reacquaint itself with, to put it in the language of Scripture, its first love.

Isn't that what Conservatism needs? Centrists on both sides have fuzzied the line between Liberalism and Conservatism. Both Clinton and Bush, representing 16 straight years of centrists ideas in the Whitehouse, fuzzied the line. Now, no one knows exactly what being a Conservative means. We need to shake ourselves free and reacquant ourselves with true Conservatism. We better, because you can rest assured that our current president is no centrist. He is far-left, and unless Conservatives rally and remove the democratic majorities in 2010, we are looking at being profoundly closer to Socialism and Globalism before 2012. Obama is massing armies of youth LINK. He is wanting to repeal the 22nd amendment removing term limits on the president LINK. And he has even worked with Janet Napolitano to take foundational Conservative Principles, and associate them with domestic terrorism LINK. I made a funny picture about that. You can see it in My Facebook photos, or here. Dare I mention Obama's threats to revive The Fairness Doctrine or introduce the Freedom of Choice Act? What more should a Conservative need to become motivated?

I think Levin's book is a perfect opportunity to do this. We should essentially unlearn what we have learned the last 16 years, and take it up fresh. Take Levin's book, along with some other research material, like perhaps Reagan and William Buckley, and Conservatism may be able to find its sea legs again.

I want to close on this thought. I love studying the Civil War. My favorite general in the Civil War was General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson. When the Confederate Army was beaten down, their Officer was known to direct their attention to Jackson and say, "Look! There's General Jackson, standing like a stone wall. Rally behind the Virginians!" The battered and broken regiment would find new strength, reform their line, and once again become the Greek phalanx they were trained to be.

It could be that Levin is the Jackson of our time. He has provided us with the perfect springboard for such a Conservative Revival.

(1) Footnote - I currently believe that the Republican Party can never fully represent Conservative values, and that a true Conservative revival means the rise of a third political party into political viability. I recommend The Constitution Party. It is already the third largest political party in the United States. At any rate, however a Conservative revival is to manifest itself, I hope it means a return to the U.S. Constitution, in its original context.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Favorite Narnia Quotes

Below is a small anthology of my favorite passages in The Chronicles of Narnia. Enjoy!

“Son,” said Aslan to the Cabby. “I have known you long. Do you know me?”
The Magician’s Nephew – Chapter 11

“My son, my son,” said Aslan. “I know. Grief is great. Only you and I in this land know that yet. Let us be good to one another.”
The Magician’s Nephew – Chapter 12

“I don't know why it should be me - I'm not a very clever horse.”
The Magician’s Nephew – Chapter 12

“Well, I do think someone might have arranged about our meals,” said Digory.
“I'm sure Aslan would have, if you'd asked him,” said Fledge.
“Wouldn't he know without being asked?” said Polly.
“I've no doubt he would,” said the Horse (still with his mouth full). “But I've a sort of idea he likes to be asked.”
The Magician’s Nephew – Chapter 12

“…But I cannot tell that to this old sinner, and I cannot comfort him either; he has made himself unable to hear my voice. If I spoke to him, he would hear only growlings and roarings. Oh Adam's sons, how cleverly you defend yourselves against all that might do you good! But I will give him the only gift he is still able to receive.”
He bowed his great head rather sadly, and breathed into the Magician's terrified face. “Sleep,” he said. “Sleep and be separated for some few hours from all the torments you have devised for yourself.”
The Magician’s Nephew – Chapter 14

“For the fruit always works - it must work - but it does not work happily for any who pluck it at their own will. If any Narnian, unbidden, had stolen an apple and planted it here to protect Narnia, it would have protected Narnia. But it would have done so by making Narnia into another strong and cruel empire like Charn, not the kindly land I mean it to be. And the Witch tempted you to do another thing, my son, did she not?”
“Yes, Aslan. She wanted me to take an apple home to Mother.”
“Understand, then, that it would have healed her; but not to your joy or hers. The day would have come when both you and she would have looked back and said it would have been better to die in that illness.”
The Magician’s Nephew – Chapter 14

…Polly added, “But we're not quite as bad as that world, are we, Aslan?”
“Not yet, Daughter of Eve,” he said. “Not yet. But you are growing more like it. It is not certain that some wicked one of your race will not find out a secret as evil as the Deplorable Word and use it to destroy all living things. And soon, very soon, before you are an old man and an old woman, great nations in your world will be ruled by tyrants who care no more for joy and justice and mercy than the Empress Jadis. Let your world beware. That is the warning.”
The Magician’s Nephew – Chapter 15

The Queen let another drop fall from her bottle on to the snow, and instantly there appeared a round box, tied with green silk ribbon, which, when opened, turned out to contain several pounds of the best Turkish Delight. Each piece was sweet and light to the very centre and Edmund had never tasted anything more delicious. He was quite warm now, and very comfortable.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – Chapter 4

“They say Aslan is on the move - perhaps has already landed.”
And now a very curious thing happened. None of the children knew who Aslan was any more than you do; but the moment the Beaver had spoken these words everyone felt quite different. Perhaps it has sometimes happened to you in a dream that someone says something which you don't understand but in the dream it feels as if it had some enormous meaning - either a terrifying one which turns the whole dream into a nightmare or else a lovely meaning too lovely to put into words, which makes the dream so beautiful that you remember it all your life and are always wishing you could get into that dream again. It was like that now. At the name of Aslan each one of the children felt something jump in its inside. Edmund felt a sensation of mysterious horror. Peter felt suddenly brave and adventurous. Susan felt as if some delicious smell or some delightful strain of music had just floated by her. And Lucy got the feeling you have when you wake up in the morning and realize that it is the beginning of the holidays or the beginning of summer.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – Chapter 7

“I've come at last,” said he. “She has kept me out for a long time, but I have got in at last. Aslan is on the move. The Witch's magic is weakening.” -Father Christmas
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – Chapter 10

“Please - Aslan,” said Lucy, “can anything be done to save Edmund?”
“All shall be done,” said Aslan. “But it may be harder than you think.” And then he was silent again for some time. Up to that moment Lucy had been thinking how royal and strong and peaceful his face looked; now it suddenly came into her head that he looked sad as well. But next minute that expression was quite gone. The Lion shook his mane and clapped his paws together ("Terrible paws," thought Lucy, "if he didn't know how to velvet them!")
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – Chapter 12

“You have forgotten to clean your sword,” said Aslan.
It was true. Peter blushed when he looked at the bright blade and saw it all smeared with the Wolf's hair and blood. He stooped down and wiped it quite clean on the grass, and then wiped it quite dry on his coat.
“Hand it to me and kneel, Son of Adam,” said Aslan. And when Peter had done so he struck him with the flat of the blade and said, “Rise up, Sir Peter Wolf's-Bane. And, whatever happens, never forget to wipe your sword.”
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – Chapter 12

“I am sad and lonely. Lay your hands on my mane so that I can feel you are there and let us walk like that.”
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – Chapter 14

And both the girls cried bitterly (though they hardly knew why) and clung to the Lion and kissed his mane and his nose and his paws and his great, sad eyes.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – Chapter 14

“Let him first be shaved.”
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – Chapter 14

“Oh, how can they?” said Lucy, tears streaming down her cheeks. “The brutes, the brutes!” for now that the first shock was over the shorn face of Aslan looked to her braver, and more beautiful, and more patient than ever.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrove – Chapter 14

“Oh, children,” said the Lion, “I feel my strength coming back to me. Oh, children, catch me if you can!” He stood for a second, his eyes very bright, his limbs quivering, lashing himself with his tail. Then he made a leap high over their heads and landed on the other side of the Table. Laughing, though she didn't know why, Lucy scrambled over it to reach him. Aslan leaped again. A mad chase began. Round and round the hill-top he led them, now hopelessly out of their reach, now letting them almost catch his tail, now diving between them, now tossing them in the air with his huge and beautifully velveted paws and catching them again, and now stopping unexpectedly so that all three of them rolled over together in a happy laughing heap of fur and arms and legs. It was such a romp as no one has ever had except in Narnia; and whether it was more like playing with a thunderstorm or playing with a kitten Lucy could never make up her mind. And the funny thing was that when all three finally lay together panting in the sun the girls no longer felt in the least tired or hungry or thirsty.
“And now,” said Aslan presently, “to business. I feel I am going to roar. You had better put your fingers in your ears.”
And they did. And Aslan stood up and when he opened his mouth to roar his face became so terrible that they did not dare to look at it. And they saw all the trees in front of him bend before the blast of his roaring as grass bends in a meadow before the wind.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – Chapter 15

“Who are you?” he said, scarcely above a whisper.
“One who has waited long for you to speak,” said the Thing. Its voice was not loud, but very large and deep.
“Are you- are you a giant?” asked Shasta.
“You might call me a giant,” said the Large Voice. “But I am not like the creatures you call giants.”
The Horse and His Boy – Chapter 11

“I do not call you unfortunate,” said the Large Voice.
“Don't you think it was bad luck to meet so many lions?” said Shasta.
“There was only one lion,” said the Voice.
“What on earth do you mean? I've just told you there were at least two the first night, and-“
“There was only one: but he was swift of foot.”
“How do you know?”
“I was the lion.” And as Shasta gaped with open mouth and said nothing, the Voice continued. “I was the lion who forced you to join with Aravis. I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead. I was the lion who drove the jackals from you while you slept. I was the lion who gave the Horses the new strength of fear for the last mile so that you should reach King Lune in time. And I was the lion you do not remember who pushed the boat in which you lay, a child near death, so that it came to shore where a man sat, wakeful at midnight, to receive you.”
"Then it was you who wounded Aravis?"
"It was I"
"But what for?"
"Child," said the Voice, "I am telling you your story, not hers. I tell no one any story but his own."
"Who are you?" asked Shasta.
"Myself," said the Voice, very deep and low so that the earth shook: and again "Myself", loud and clear and gay: and then the third time "Myself", whispered so softly you could hardly hear it, and yet it seemed to come from all round you as if the leaves rustled with it.
The Horse and His Boy – Chapter 11

Then Hwin, though shaking all over, gave a strange little neigh, and trotted across to the Lion.
“Please,” she said, “you're so beautiful. You may eat me if you like. I'd sooner be eaten by you than fed by anyone else.”
“Dearest daughter,” said Aslan, planting a lion's kiss on her twitching, velvet nose, “I knew you would not be long in coming to me. Joy shall be yours.”
“Now, Bree,” he said, “you poor, proud frightened Horse, draw near. Nearer still, my son. Do not dare not to dare. Touch me. Smell me. Here are my paws, here is my tail, these are my whiskers. I am a true Beast.”
“Aslan,” said Bree in a shaken voice, “I'm afraid I must be rather a fool.”
“Happy the Horse who knows that while he is still young. Or the Human either…”
The Horse and His Boy – Chapter 14

“…Draw near, Aravis my daughter. See! My paws are velveted. You will not be torn this time.”
“This time, sir?” said Aravis.
“It was I who wounded you,” said Aslan. “I am the only lion you met in all your journeyings. Do you know why I tore you?”
“No, sir.”
“The scratches on your back, tear for tear, throb for throb, blood for blood, were equal to the stripes laid on the back of your stepmother's slave because of the drugged sleep you cast upon her. You needed to know what it felt like.”
The Horse and His Boy – Chapter 14

Aslan was gone. But there was a brightness in the air and on the grass, and a joy in their hearts,…
The Horse and His Boy – Chapter 15

“Aslan,” said Lucy, “you're bigger.”
“That is because you are older, little one,” answered he.
“Not because you are?”
“I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger.”
Prince Caspian – Chapter 10

“And now!” said Aslan in a much louder voice with just a hint of roar in it, while his tail lashed his flanks. “And now, where is this little Dwarf, this famous swordsman and archer, who doesn't believe in lions? Come here, son of Earth, come HERE!” - and the last word was no longer the hint of a roar but almost the real thing.
“Wraiths and wreckage!” gasped Trumpkin in the ghost of a voice. The children, who knew Aslan well enough to see that he liked the Dwarf very much, were not disturbed; but it was quite another thing for Trumpkin, who had never seen a lion before, let alone this Lion. He did the only sensible thing he could have done; that is, instead of bolting, he tottered towards Aslan.
Aslan pounced. Have you ever seen a very young kitten being carried in the mother cat's mouth? It was like that. The Dwarf, hunched up in a little, miserable ball, hung from Aslan's mouth. The Lion gave him one shake and all his armour rattled like a tinker's pack and then - heypresto - the Dwarf flew up in the air. He was as safe as if he had been in bed, though he did not feel so. As he came down the huge velvety paws caught him as gently as a mother's arms and set him (right way up, too) on the ground.
“Son of Earth, shall we be friends?” asked Aslan.
Prince Caspian – Chapter 11

“I say, Su, I know who they are.”
“The boy with the wild face is Bacchus and the old one on the donkey is Silenus. Don't you remember Mr Tumnus telling us about them long ago?”
“Yes, of course. But I say, Lu “
“I wouldn't have felt safe with Bacchus and all his wild girls if we'd met them without Aslan.”
“I should think not,” said Lucy.
Prince Caspian – Chapter 11

She was at death's door, but when she opened her eyes and saw the bright, hairy head of the lion staring into her face, she did not scream or faint. She said, “Oh, Aslan! I knew it was true. I've been waiting for this all my life. Have you come to take me away?”
“Yes, Dearest,” said Aslan. “But not the long journey yet.” And as he spoke, like the flush creeping along the underside of a cloud at sunrise, the colour came back to her white face and her eyes grew bright and she sat up…
Prince Caspian – Chapter 14

“Welcome, Prince,” said Aslan. “Do you feel yourself sufficient to take up the Kingship of Narnia?”
“I - I don't think I do, Sir,” said Caspian. “I'm only a kid.”
“Good,” said Aslan. “If you had felt yourself sufficient, it would have been a proof that you were not…”
Prince Caspian – Chapter 15

“But what do you want with a tail?” asked Aslan.
“Sir,” said the Mouse, “I can eat and sleep and die for my King without one. But a tail is the honour and glory of a Mouse.”
“I have sometimes wondered, friend,” said Aslan, “whether you do not think too much about your honour.”
“Highest of all High Kings,” said Reepicheep, “permit me to remind you that a very small size has been bestowed on us Mice, and if we did not guard our dignity, some (who weigh worth by inches) would allow themselves very unsuitable pleasantries at our expense. That is why I have been at some pains to make it known that no one who does not wish to feel this sword as near his heart as I can reach shall talk in my presence about Traps or Toasted Cheese or Candles: no, Sir - not the tallest fool in Narnia”…
“Why have your followers all drawn their swords, may I ask?” said Aslan.
“May it please your High Majesty,” said the second Mouse, whose name was Peepicheek, “we are all waiting to cut off our own tails if our Chief must go without his. We will not bear the shame of wearing an honour which is denied to the High Mouse.”
“Ah!” roared Aslan. “You have conquered me. You have great hearts. Not for the sake of your dignity, Reepicheep, but for the love that is between you and your people, and still more for the kindness your people showed me long ago when you ate away the cords that bound me on the Stone Table (and it was then, though you have long forgotten it, that you began to be Talking Mice), you shall have your tail again.”
Prince Caspian – Chapter 15

“I was wishing that I came of a more honourable lineage.”
“You come of the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve,” said Aslan. “And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth. Be content.”
Prince Caspian – Chapter 15

Eustace being undragoned

“Well, anyway, I looked up and saw the very last thing I expected: a huge lion coming slowly towards me. And one queer thing was that there was no moon last night, but there was moonlight where the lion was. So it came nearer and nearer. I was terribly afraid of it. You may think that, being a dragon, I could have knocked any lion out easily enough. But it wasn't that kind of fear. I wasn't afraid of it eating me, I was just afraid of it - if you can understand. Well, it came close up to me and looked straight into my eyes. And I shut my eyes tight. But that wasn't any good because it told me to follow it.”
“You mean it spoke?”
“I don't know. Now that you mention it, I don't think it did. But it told me all the same. And I knew I'd have to do what it told me, so I got up and followed it. And it led me a long way into the mountains. And there was always this moonlight over and round the lion wherever we went. So at last we came to the top of a mountain I'd never seen before and on the top of this mountain there was a garden - trees and fruit and everything. In the middle of it there was a well.
“I knew it was a well because you could see the water bubbling up from the bottom of it: but it was a lot bigger than most wells - like a very big, round bath with marble steps going down into it. The water was as clear as anything and I thought if I could get in there and bathe it would ease the pain in my leg. But the lion told me I must undress first. Mind you, I don't know if he said any words out loud or not.
“I was just going to say that I couldn't undress because I hadn't any clothes on when I suddenly thought that dragons are snaky sort of things and snakes can cast their skins. Oh, of course, thought I, that's what the lion means. So I started scratching myself and my scales began coming off all over the place. And then I scratched a little deeper and, instead of just scales coming off here and there, my whole skin started peeling off beautifully, like it does after an illness, or as if I was a banana. In a minute or two I just stepped out of it. I could see it lying there beside me, looking rather nasty. It was a most lovely feeling. So I started to go down into the well for my bathe.
“But just as I was going to put my feet into the water I looked down and saw that they were all hard and rough and wrinkled and scaly just as they had been before. Oh, that's all right, said I, it only means I had another smaller suit on underneath the first one, and I'll have to get out of it too. So I scratched and tore again and this underskin peeled off beautifully and out I stepped and left it lying beside the other one and went down to the well for my bathe.
“Well, exactly the same thing happened again. And I thought to myself, oh dear, how ever many skins have I got to take off? For I was longing to bathe my leg. So I scratched away for the third time and got off a third skin, just like the two others, and stepped out of it. But as soon as I looked at myself in the water I knew it had been no good.
“Then the lion said - but I don't know if it spoke – ‘You will have to let me undress you.’ I was afraid of his claws, I can tell you, but I was pretty nearly desperate now. So I just lay flat down on my back to let him do it.
“The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I've ever felt. The only thing that made me able to bear it was just the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off. You know - if you've ever picked the scab off a sore place. It hurts like billy-oh but it is such fun to see it coming away.”
“I know exactly what you mean,” said Edmund.
“Well, he peeled the beastly stuff right off - just as I thought I'd done it myself the other three times, only they hadn't hurt - and there it was lying on the grass: only ever so much thicker, and darker, and more knobbly-looking than the others had been. And there was I as smooth and soft as a peeled switch and smaller than I had been. Then he caught hold of me - I didn't like that much for I was very tender underneath now that I'd no skin on - and threw me into the water. It smarted like anything but only for a moment. After that it became perfectly delicious and as soon as I started swimming and splashing I found that all the pain had gone from my arm. And then I saw why. I'd turned into a boy again. You'd think me simply phoney if I told you how I felt about my own arms. I know they've no muscle and are pretty mouldy compared with Caspian's, but I was so glad to see them.
“After a bit the lion took me out and dressed me –“
“Dressed you. With his paws?”
“Well, I don't exactly remember that bit. But he did somehow or other: in new clothes - the same I've got on now, as a matter of fact. And then suddenly I was back here. Which is what makes me think it must have been a dream.”
“No. It wasn't a dream,” said Edmund.
“Why not?”
“Well, there are the clothes, for one thing. And you have been - well, un-dragoned, for another.”
“What do you think it was, then?” asked Eustace.
“I think you've seen Aslan,” said Edmund.
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader – Chapter 7

On the next page she came to a spell ‘for the refreshment of the spirit’. The pictures were fewer here but very beautiful. And what Lucy found herself reading was more like a story than a spell. It went on for three pages and before she had read to the bottom of the page she had forgotten that she was reading at all. She was living in the story as if it were real, and all the pictures were real too.
When she had got to the third page and come to the end, she said, “That is the loveliest story I've ever read or ever shall read in my whole life. Oh, I wish I could have gone on reading it for ten years. At least I'll read it over again.”
But here part of the magic of the Book came into play. You couldn't turn back. The right-hand pages, the ones ahead, could be turned; the left-hand pages could not.
“Oh, what a shame!” said Lucy. “I did so want to read it again. Well, at least I must remember it. Let's see . . . it was about . . . about . . . oh dear, it's all fading away again.
“And even this last page is going blank. This is a very queer book. How can I have forgotten? It was about a cup and a sword and a tree and a green hill, I know that much. But I can't remember and what shall I do?”
And she never could remember; and ever since that day what Lucy means by a good story is a story which reminds her of the forgotten story in the Magician's Book.
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader – Chapter 10

But between them and the foot of the sky there was something so white on the green grass that even with their eagles' eyes they could hardly look at it. They came on and saw that it was a Lamb.
“Come and have breakfast,” said the Lamb in its sweet milky voice.
Then they noticed for the first time that there was a fire lit on the grass and fish roasting on it. They sat down and ate the fish, hungry now for the first time for many days. And it was the most delicious food they had ever tasted.
“Please, Lamb,” said Lucy, “is this the way to Aslan's country?”
“Not for you,” said the Lamb. “For you the door into Aslan's country is from your own world.”
“What!” said Edmund. “Is there a way into Aslan's country from our world too?”
“There is a way into my country from all the worlds,” said the Lamb; but as he spoke his snowy white flushed into tawny gold and his size changed and he was Aslan himself, towering above them and scattering light from his mane.
“Oh, Aslan,” said Lucy. “Will you tell us how to get into your country from our world?”
“I shall be telling you all the time,” said Aslan. “But I will not tell you how long or short the way will be; only that it lies across a river. But do not fear that, for I am the great Bridge Builder…”
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader – Chapter 16

“Please, Aslan,” said Lucy. “Before we go, will you tell us when we can come back to Narnia again? Please. And oh, do, do, do make it soon.”
“Dearest,” said Aslan very gently, “you and your brother will never come back to Narnia.”
“Oh, Aslan!!” said Edmund and Lucy both together in despairing voices.
“You are too old, children,” said Aslan, “and you must begin to come close to your own world now.”
“It isn't Narnia, you know,” sobbed Lucy. “It's you. We shan't meet you there. And how can we live, never meeting you?”
“But you shall meet me, dear one,” said Aslan.
“Are are you there too, Sir?” said Edmund.
“I am,” said Aslan. “But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.”
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader – Chapter 16

“If you're thirsty, you may drink.”
They were the first words she had heard since Scrubb had spoken to her on the edge of the cliff. For a second she stared here and there, wondering who had spoken. Then the voice said again, “If you are thirsty, come and drink,” and of course she remembered what Scrubb had said about animals talking in that other world, and realized that it was the lion speaking. Anyway, she had seen its lips move this time, and the voice was not like a man's. It was deeper, wilder, and stronger; a sort of heavy, golden voice. It did not make her any less frightened than she had been before, but it made her frightened in rather a different way.
“Are you not thirsty?” said the Lion.
“I'm dying of thirst,” said Jill.
“Then drink,” said the Lion.
“May I - could I - would you mind going away while I do?” said Jill.
The Lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl. And as Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realized that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience.
The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic.
“Will you promise not to - do anything to me, if I do come?” said Jill.
“I make no promise,” said the Lion.
Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer.
“Do you eat girls?” she said.
“I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms,” said the Lion. It didn't say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it.
"I daren't come and drink," said Jill.
"Then you will die of thirst," said the Lion.
"Oh dear!" said Jill, coming another step nearer. "I suppose I must go and look for another stream
"There is no other stream," said the Lion.
This Silver Chair – Chapter 2

“One word, Ma'am,” he said, coming back from the fire; limping, because of the pain. "One word. All you've been saying is quite right, I shouldn't wonder. I'm a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won't deny any of what you said. But there's one thing more to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things – trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that's a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We're just babies making up a game, if you're right. But four babies playing a game can make a playworld which licks your real world hollow. That's why I'm going to stand by the play-world. I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia.”
The Silver Chair – Chapter 12

“Look here! I say,” he stammered. “It's all very well. But aren't you? - I mean didn't you -?”
“Oh, don't be such an ass,” said Caspian.
“But,” said Eustace, looking at Aslan. “Hasn't he - er died?”
“Yes,” said the Lion in a very quiet voice, almost (Jill thought) as if he were laughing. “He has died. Most people have, you know. Even I have. There are very few who haven't.”
The Silver Chair – Chapter 16

“Sir,” said Caspian, “I've always wanted to have just one glimpse of their world. Is that wrong?”
“You cannot want wrong things any more, now that you have died, my son,” said Aslan.
The Silver Chair – Chapter 16

“Your father and mother and all of you are - as you used to call it in the Shadowlands - dead. The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning.”
And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion;…
The Last Battle – Chapter 16

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Easter Heresy - A Study for Christians

I wanted to share this with my Christian friends. This is a very informative study on Easter. A special thanks to my good friend, Peter Lounsbury, for doing all the research and compiling all the data. This is his project. All I am doing is simply cutting and pasting... LOL.

If you are reading this on Facebook, it might be better to view my actual blog entry here, or you can download and read the PDF file here.

Read prayerfully.


Easter 2009 falls on Sunday, April 12th. How do you calculate which day is Easter?

Computus (Latin for computation) is the calculation of the date of Easter in the Christian calendar. The name has been used for this procedure since the early Middle Ages, as it was one of the most important computations of the age.

The canonical rule is that Easter day is the first Sunday after the 14th day of the lunar month (the nominal full moon) that falls on or after 21 March (nominally the day of the vernal equinox). For determining the feast, Christian churches settled on a method to define a reckoned "ecclesiastical" full moon, rather than observations of the true Moon. Eastern Orthodox Christians calculate the fixed date of 21 March according to the Julian Calendar rather than the modern Gregorian Calendar, and use an ecclesiastical full moon that occurs 4 to 5 days later than the western ecclesiastical full moon.

In modern language, this definition is best described as: Easter Sunday is the Sunday following the Paschal Full Moon date. The Paschal Full Moon date is the Ecclesiastical Full Moon date following 20 March and, for the years 1900 to 2199 AD, can be found in Tabular methods.

How “Christian” does that sound to you based on your knowledge of the bible?

What is Easter?

The Authorized (King James) Version uses "Easter" (incorrectly) at Acts 12:4 to translate the Greek word "pascha." Everywhere else in the NT that "passover" occurs, the KJV translates it (correctly) "passover."

Act 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.
Etymology of “Easter” in the English language

O.E. Eastre (Northumbrian Eostre), from P.Gmc. *Austron, a goddess of fertility and sunrise whose feast was celebrated at the spring equinox, from *austra-, from PIE *aus- "to shine" (especially of the dawn). Bede says Anglo-Saxon Christians adopted her name and many of the celebratory practices for their Mass of Christ's resurrection. Ultimately related to east. Almost all neighboring languages use a variant of L. Pasche to name this holiday.
Etymology of “Easter” in Acts 12:4


páscha; neut. noun transliterated from the Hebr. pesach (H6453), to pass over, spare. The Passover, an exemption, immunity (Sept.: Exo_12:11, Exo_12:21). The great sacrifice and festival of the Jews which was instituted in commemoration of God's sparing the Jews when He destroyed the firstborn of the Egyptians. It was celebrated on the fourteenth day of the month Nisan. For the institution and particular laws of this festival see Ex. 12; Lev_23:5; Num_9:2-6. The later Jews made some additions. In particular they drank four cups of wine at various intervals during the paschal supper. The third of these cups, called the cup of benediction, is referred to in 1Co_10:16 (cf. Mat_26:27). In the NT, tó páscha, the Passover, may refer to the festival or to the paschal lamb.
Pascha elsewhere in the bible

The Greek word “Pascha” occurs 28 times in the KJV bible, 29 If you count Acts 12:4.
(Matthew 26:2) Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.

(Matthew 26:17) Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover?

(Matthew 26:18) And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples.

(Matthew 26:19) And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover.

(Mark 14:1) After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death.

(Mark 14:12) And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover?

(Mark 14:14) And wheresoever he shall go in, say ye to the goodman of the house, The Master saith, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples?

(Mark 14:16) And his disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.

(Luke 2:41) Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.

(Luke 22:1) Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover.

(Luke 22:7) Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed.

(Luke 22:8) And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat.

(Luke 22:11) And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples?

(Luke 22:13) And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.

(Luke 22:15) And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer:

(John 2:13) And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem,

(John 2:23) Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.

(John 6:4) And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh.

(John 11:55) And the Jews' passover was nigh at hand: and many went out of the country up to Jerusalem before the passover, to purify themselves.

(John 12:1) Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.

(John 13:1) Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.

(John 18:28) Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover.

(John 18:39) But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews?

(John 19:14) And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!

(1 Corinthians 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:

(Hebrews 11:28) Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.
What's the big deal?

Jesus died on a very special day that means something more than the significance we currently assign to that day. Even if it is regarded as the most holy day of the Christian calendar year, it is missing the most important aspect of acknowledging the timing that God assigned to this very special day. He, God, chose this day above all others and He had a reason for it that is as much a part of the story as the resurrection itself!

Messiah the Prince (Daniel 9:24-27)
24Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

25Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

26And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

27And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

It wasn't just any Passover

The 69 weeks prophetically speaking are how this is translated in most English bibles, but the truth of the matter is that the words “weeks” is actually “sevens” in Hebrew...



šāḇûa‛: A masculine noun meaning seven; a week, a group of seven days or years. It indicates a unit of seven: a week, seven days (Lev_12:5; Deu_16:9); of a marriage feast (Gen_29:27-28); a week of days (Dan_10:2-3). It is used in a technical sense to name a festival, the Feast of Weeks (Exo_34:22; Deu_16:10). It refers to seven years, a heptad of years (Dan_9:24-27).

Therefore 69 sevens, or 69 X 7 = 483

Let's look at this again...

Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks:
Or in other words it would be 483 years from the time the order was given to build Jerusalem, until Messiah the Prince. In order to determine this date, we of course need to know when the order to rebuild Jerusalem had occurred.

Background for Daniel's prophecy

The Book of Daniel was written during the Babylonian captivity, and during this period of Jewish history Jerusalem had fallen and was destroyed completely. The time frame for this is from 586 BC when the Kingdom of Judah fell at the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, until the year 445 BC when the order was given to rebuild Jerusalem.

We can find the date for this event in scripture as recorded in the 2nd chapter of the Book of Nehemiah, where we see it is Artaxerxes who issues the decree that sets into motion the clock that would measure the time until Messiah the Prince...

Nehemiah 2:1-8

1And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence.

2Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid,

3And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?

4Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.

5And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers' sepulchres, that I may build it.

6And the king said unto me, (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.

7Moreover I said unto the king, If it please the king, let letters be given me to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over till I come into Judah;

8And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.

Artaxerxes I (Longimanus) ruled 41 years from 464-423 BC, the 20th year of his reign would have been the year spanning between 445 and 444 BC. 483 years from the month of Nissan in 445 BC brings us to Nissan 33 AD.

In the year 33 AD the following events occurred during the month of Nissan in real time, revealing Messiah the Prince for all to see that our Savior was indeed the lamb of God:

It was on Nissan 10 that Jesus made His final entrance into Jerusalem. Just prior to His descent from the Mount of Olives into the city, the annual procession of the national Passover lamb was taking place. The lamb, which would be taken to the temple in Jerusalem (to be the public sacrifice on Nissan 14 for all of Israel), was led into the city from the east. The lamb was met by crowds of people waving palm branches and joyously singing Psalm 118 as they remembered God’s miraculous delivery of their ancestors from the clutches of the Egyptian Pharaoh. One passage sung was, “Oh Lord, please save us, Oh Lord, please save us. Oh Lord, send us prosperity, Oh Lord, send us prosperity. Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord,” (1) an expansion of the psalmic verses, “Oh Lord, save us; O Lord, grant us success. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” (Psalm 118:25,26a).

Following the procession of the Passover lamb, Jesus came down from the Mount of Olives, riding a donkey (indicating that He was coming humbly, in peace). He followed exactly the same path to the temple that the Passover lamb had just taken. The crowds of people, who previously had witnessed Jesus’ great miracles, placed more palm branches on the pathway in front of Him (thus, the name “Palm Sunday”) and shouted to Him as He passed, “‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ‘Hosanna in the highest!’” (Matt. 21:7-9). (“Hosanna” or Hoshana means “Deliver us!”)

For four days, the Pesach lamb was kept in public view at the temple for everyone to examine to make sure that it was perfect and without defect. During the same four days, the chief priests, elders, Pharisees, and Sadducees interrogated Jesus; but He always left them speechless, because they could find no fault with His impeccable logic and character (Matt. 21:23-27, 22:23-46). Moreover, after Jesus was arrested, Pilate (governor of Jerusalem) and Herod (governor of Galilee) could find no evidence against Him nor fault with Him (Matt. 26:59,60a, 27:23a; Luke 23:4,14,15; John 19:6c). This is because Jesus was perfect and without defect, just as the Passover lamb was expected to be.

The national Passover lamb for Israel was to be killed in the temple on Nissan 14 at “twilight” (Exo. 12:6), or at the “twain of the evening.” In Hebrew, this is translated, bain haarbayim, or “between the evenings.” The last half of the daylight hours (from about noon to 6:00 p.m.) was further divided into two parts: the minor evening oblation (noon to 3:00 p.m.) and the major evening oblation (3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.). Thus, “between the evenings” means between these two periods, or about 3:00 p.m. This was the time midway between the beginning of the sun’s descent into the west (about noon) and its setting (about 6:00 p.m.). (2) So the Passover lamb was killed at about 3:00 p.m. on Nissan 14.

According to Bible historian Joseph Good, the Passover lamb in the temple was bound to the altar at about 9:00 a.m. (3) Similarly, “It was the third hour when they crucified [Jesus]” (Mark 15:25); that is, it was the third hour of daylight, or about 9:00 a.m. Darkness came over the land (not explainable by a solar eclipse, because there was a full moon rather than a new moon) from about the sixth to the ninth hour (noon to 3:00 p.m.); and it was about 3:00 p.m. that Jesus died (Luke 23:44,45a,46)—the same time that the sacrificial Passover lamb in the temple was slaughtered. As the high priest killed the lamb, he would have announced, “It is finished.” It is no accident that, on the cross a few miles away, Jesus’ last words also were, “It is finished” (John 19:30a), which literally meant, “Paid in full.”

Jesus was sacrificed on a wooden cross, as was the lamb impaled on a wooden cross to be cooked. Moreover, the blood stains of Jesus’ head, hands, and feet on the cross matched the locations of the blood of the lamb on the doorframe (top, sides, and bottom) of each Hebrew family’s house in Egypt.

Finally, it was forbidden for any of the Passover lamb’s bones to be broken (Exo. 12:46c). After the crucifixion, the legs of the two criminals crucified along with Jesus were broken to ensure that they would die (by suffocation) quickly, as the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Nissan 15, was soon to begin. But Jesus was already dead, so they did not break His legs (John 19:31-33). This also was a fulfillment of a prophecy of David that none of the Messiah’s bones would be broken (Psalm 34:20).

It might be added that it often took two or three days for a person to die on the cross. But it took Jesus—a strong, healthy man—only six hours. Besides the fact that he had been severely flogged and beaten beyond recognition, He had more appointments to keep. Jesus had said, “No one takes [my life] from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again” (John 10:18ab). Moments before Jesus died on Nissan 14, He called out, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46a); then He voluntarily gave up his Spirit (Matt. 27:50). He knew He had to keep the appointment of dying at the same time as the Passover lamb at the temple, as well as to leave time to be buried before the Feast of Unleavened Bread began at sunset.

Signs in the heavens

Another event that marks this day chosen by God to reveal His son was a lunar eclipse that was visible from both Jerusalem and Babylon (where Daniel wrote the prophecy). Peter referred to this event on the day of Pentecost as he referenced the Book of Joel to explain to those gathered in the upper room in Jerusalem:

Compare the accounts described in both the Book of Acts and the Book of Joel:

The account prophesied by Joel in chapter 2 of the Book of Joel

28And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:

29And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.

30And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.

31The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD come.

32And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.

The account as told by Peter in chapter 2 of the Book of Acts
14But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:

15For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.

16But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

17And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

18And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

19And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:

20The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come:

21And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

22Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:

23Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

24Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

25For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:

26Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:

27Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

28Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.

29Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.

30Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;

31He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.

32This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.

33Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.

34For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,

35Until I make thy foes thy footstool.

36Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

37Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

38Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

39For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call.

There was in fact a lunar eclipse on the day that Jesus was crucified that would have made the moon appear blood red. I checked the data myself and it is confirmed in accordance with a NASA website that calculated every lunar eclipse in from 1999 BC to 3000 AD in the future. April 3rd, 33 AD was listed on this webpage ( when I entered in the data necessary (location and year).

God's appointment with mankind

The word for feasts in Hebrew is an interesting word, it is moed. We see this word applied to the very feasts that will keep time with Messiah the Prince as he is revealed to mankind in what would probably be better translated as the requirement for men to observe appointments with God...

Leviticus 23:2 “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts. “

mô‛ēḏ: A masculine noun meaning an appointed time or place. It can signify an appointed meeting time in general (Gen_18:14; Exo_13:10); a specific appointed time, usually for a sacred feast or festival (Hos_9:5; Hos_12:9 [10]); the time of the birds' migration (Jer_8:7); the time of wine (Hos_2:9 [11]); the same time next year (Gen_17:21). In addition to the concept of time, this word can also signify an appointed meeting place: "The mount of the congregation" identifies the meeting place of God or the gods (Isa_14:13), and "the house appointed for all living" identifies the meeting place of the dead-that is, the netherworld (Job_30:23). Moreover, the term is used to distinguish those places where God's people were to focus on God and their relationship with Him, which would include: the tent of meeting (Exo_33:7); the Temple (Lam_2:6); the synagogue (Psa_74:8).

God did not pick arbitrary dates to reveal His son, but that the events that would mark the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus and the coming of the Holy Spirit. Symbolically each of these appointments had very significant and rich meaning, a meaning that is lost in the celebration of Lent and Easter according to Christian tradition since around the year 325.

Constantine I, Roman emperor, convoked the Council of Nicaea in 325. The council unanimously ruled that the Easter festival should be celebrated throughout the Christian world on the first Sunday after the full moon following the vernal equinox; and that if the full moon should occur on a Sunday and thereby coincide with the Passover festival, Easter should be commemorated on the Sunday following. Coincidence of the feasts of Easter and Passover was thus avoided.

This was a very important time in Christian history in that it marked the end of persecution against Christians as Christianity became the official state religion of the roman Empire. It is also the time that some very important issues were being resolved in the church:

1.They dealt with the issue of Arianism and established the doctrine of the trinity
2.They established the Nicene Creed
3.They ruled on the Meletian Schism
4.They changed when Easter would be celebrated from that point on

The reason the Nicene Council changed the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus from Pesach (Passover) to Easter, was an attempt to appeal to the many pagans who had not yet converted over to Christianity. Although I am sure their intentions were good, the same can not be said of the unintended results from putting aside the richness that God intended in the days that He Himself chose for the events aforementioned being fulfilled.

Each of these appointments (feasts) directly point to Jesus, the Messiah

Passover Pesach

Nisan 14

Purpose: Remembering the deliverance from Egyptian bondage. An unblemished firstborn male lamb was sacrificed and its blood poured on the altar. A lamb was selected for each family, and four days before the lamb was to be slain it was brought into the home for a four-day examination period.

Messianic Significance: Jesus is the sacrificial lamb who died for our sins. On Nisan 14 at the exact time the lamb was to be slain, Jesus was slain. Jesus also had a four-day examination period before the religious leaders and was found without blemish.


Unleavened Bread

Nisan 15

Purpose: Leaven symbolizes sin. Unleavened Bread speaks of sanctification. God told the Jews to cleanse all leaven from their homes and eat only unleavened bread, matzah, for seven days, symbolizing a holy walk with Him.

Messianic Significance: Jesus is the "Bread of Life" without sin. Born in Bethlehem. In Hebrew, Bethlehem means house of bread. Just as matzah is striped and pierced, so was the Messiah. This Feast falls on the day Jesus was buried.


Day of Firstfruits

Nisan 17

Purpose: The first of the barley harvest was brought as an offering to the priest in the Tabernacle/Temple. The priest would present the first of the harvest unto the Lord by waving them back and forth. This reminded the Hebrews that God gave them the land, and the harvest belonged to Him.

Messianic Significance: Jesus is the Firstfruits (1 Cor. 15:20-23). Jesus' resurrection marked the beginning of the harvest of souls. John 12:23-24,32 shows Jesus was likened to a grain of wheat falling to the ground and dying to produce a great harvest. Jesus arose on Firstfruits.


Feast Of Weeks



Purpose: Fifty days after the Feast of Firstfruits, two loaves of leavened bread are presented to God. Also a reminder that the Jews were slaves to Egypt (Deut. 16:9-17). The giving of the Torah to Moses on Sinai took place this day. Three thousand were killed that day.

Messianic Significance: Fifty days after Jesus arose, a group of Messianic Jews received the Holy Spirit. Jesus said "Unless I go, the Holy Spirit will not come. But when I go (Firstfruits- His resurrection) I will send the Holy Spirit unto you." God wrote the law (Torah) on the hearts of the believers. Three thousand souls were saved.


Celebrating Easter to commemorate Christ's resurrection is akin to concluding that Jesus was a prophet, teacher and a good man. Although true that he was all of those things, it is not the entire picture, and the entire picture paints Jesus for who and what he really was and is.

The reason it is important for us to know these things is that we all have an opportunity once a year to witness to two distinct groups of people: Christians who are unaware of the powerful witness that we have all just learned about; and non-believers who see Easter as a Christian holiday and little more than an anniversary celebration of Jesus' death. The story is not just about Jesus dying and the resurrection, but about Jesus being who the bible said he was in both the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy incarnate (literally), and the hope that the Messiah of the bible represents as proven by the same fulfilled prophecy.

As you attend church on Easter Sunday and if the opportunity presents itself as you communicate with friends, family and loved ones, go over this amazing story about Messiah the Prince and share with them the story that God intended we learn and understand. God could have picked any day or any time He so desired, but He didn't. God picked a set of very special days that He chose for very specific and special reasons, and one of the reasons for this was so that we could share the good news, the gospel, of Jesus the Christ!

References on the Internet to assist your further study

Friday, April 03, 2009

Thomas Jefferson said...

See if any of this sounds familiar...

Thomas Jefferson said...

When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.

It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.

No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

Very Interesting Quote: In light of the present financial crisis, it's interesting to read what Thomas Jefferson said in 1802:

Banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

The Brazen Serpent - A Reminder for Christians

References: Numbers 21:5-9, John 3:14

This is one of those Bible stories with powerful imagery. Much has been written about it, and I don't intend to dispute any of it. I only want people to see the correlation in what this image is saying, and some of what we are seeing in society today.

Some believe that what we are seeing in society isn't God's judgment. Let me begin by saying I do believe it is God's judgment. American society hasn't resisted the free-reign of sin in a long time. And American churches have become impotent and toothless in their defense of the faith. But I disgress on that point. Another day, perhaps.

In this story, Israel was in the wilderness. They had sinned by complaining to God.

As judgment, God sent highly aggressive snakes into their camps.

Now, when judgment falls, people repent. But as is typical, their repentance isn't sincere, but only a pretense to evade judgment. God saw right through the superficiality of their repentance, and refused to remove the snakes. Rather, he offered them a method of preservation. He instructed Moses to create a serpent made out of brass, place it on a long pole, and suspend it high in the air for all to see. As long as people kept their focus and attention upon the brazen serpent, the bites they received weren't fatal.

Therein lies the secret. God didn't end the suffering. God could have just as easily instructed those fiery snakes to become passive and leave the camp, or he could have destroyed them. But he didn't. He let them keep biting.

Perhaps someone reading this is in the same position. You have prayed for financial deliverance, physical healing, or various and sundry other needs with earnest faith, and yet your situation continues to grow worse. In other words, the snakes keep biting. Remember that the brazen serpent is still there for us to gaze upon. And as long as we keep the brazen serpent, Jesus Christ, straight in view, the venom of the fiery serpents will not be lethal.

This is something to be kept in mind in the days ahead. When your circumstances suddenly seem to become hostile, put your mind on Christ. Like the brazen serpent, he was suspended between Heaven and Earth, and was hung there that we "should not perish". I don't think God is as interested in removing the things that torment us as much as he is interested in whether we will maintain our focus on Jesus Christ in the midst of the torment. Remember Paul's thorn (2nd Corinthians 12:7-9)? Christ made no effort to remove it, only to remind Paul that it won't be fatal.

So when your environment does indeed become hostile to you, and the snakes begin to bite, don't waste your time attempting to evade the snakes or trying to fight. Just keep your eyes on Jesus Christ, and you will secure your survival of the otherwise lethal bites of the fiery serpents.