Book: The Christian Passover

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When the first edition of The Christian Passover was released, one prominent evangelist asked, “Why does something as simple as the Passover need a book of 320 pages to explain it?” Yes, why are the controversies over the Christian Passover so complicated that now an even larger book of 512 pages is required to thoroughly explain it? The answer is that the clear and simple instructions of Jesus Christ have been buried under an avalanche of false doctrines, misinterpretations, and Christianized pagan practices that have become time-honored traditions. These blatant false teachings and practices have nearly destroyed the true knowledge of the Christian Passover, which reveals the supreme love of God the Father in giving His only begotten Son to be the Savior of the world: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish, but may have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

The truth is that the Christian Passover encompasses the entire message of God as revealed in the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation. It reveals the greatness of God in fulfilling the promise of a Savior Who would redeem mankind from sin. This promise, which was given after man’s first sin, was fulfilled when the Creator God gave up His glory and honor and came to earth in the flesh (I Tim. 3:16). The apostle Paul reveals how God humbled Himself to become a man: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus; Who, although He existed in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but emptied Himself, and was made in the likeness of men, and took the form of a servant; and being found in the manner of man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:5-8). In His great love, the Creator of mankind became “the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

Long before the birth of Jesus Christ, Satan the devil had prepared his grand deception, which offered an appealing array of counterfeit doctrines and practices to turn mankind from the true way of salvation. When Jesus began His ministry, He condemned the leaders of Judaism for rejecting the commandments of God and adopting worthless substitutes, which became the official traditions of the Jews: “Well did Isaiah prophesy concerning you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their hearts are far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrine the commandments of men.’ For leaving the commandments of God, you hold fast the traditions of men.... ‘Full well do you reject the commandment of God, so that you may observe your own tradition’ ” (Mark 7:6-9).

The Scriptural and historical evidence that is presented in this book clearly points to the traditional practices of Judaism as the cause of the confusion over which day is the true Passover day—the 14th or the 15th. By setting aside the misinterpretations and traditions of Judaism and systematically examining the Scriptures of the Old Testament, it is possible to determine the exact time that God ordained for the observance of the Passover. The true Passover day is not the day that is recognized by the leaders of Judaism.

In New Testament times, many Christians succumbed to the false teachings and practices of Judaism. Over the centuries, many more Christians fell prey to counterfeit practices which began in ancient Babylon. These perverse practices were brought into Christianity through the influence of the Roman church.

Today we are confronted with a fully developed apostate Christianity, which a deceived world has accepted as authentic. The apostle Paul called this satanic deception, which began to unfold in his day, “the mystery of iniquity is already working” (II Thess. 2:7). In an epistle to the Corinthians, he warned of false apostles who claimed to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ but were actually the ministers of Satan the devil: “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds might be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For indeed, if someone comes preaching another Jesus, whom we did not preach, or you receive a different spirit, which you did not receive, or a different gospel, which you did not accept, you put up with it as something good....For such are false apostles—deceitful workers who are transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And it is no marvel, for Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his servants also transform themselves as ministers of righteousness—whose end shall be according to their works” (II Cor. 11:3-4, 13-15).

The apostle Peter also warned that false apostles would secretly come into the churches of God and corrupt the true teachings of Jesus Christ: “But there were also false prophets among the people, as indeed there will be false teachers among you, who will stealthily introduce destructive heresies, personally denying the Lord who bought them, and bringing swift destruction upon themselves. And many people will follow as authoritative their destructive ways; and because of them, the way of the truth will be blasphemed” (II Pet. 2:1-2).

As the apostasy was gaining ground, the apostle Jude, the brother of Jesus, wrote an urgent appeal to the early Christians, exhorting them to hold fast to the faith of Jesus Christ, which had been delivered to them by His true apostles. Notice: “Beloved, when personally exerting all my diligence to write to you concerning the common salvation, I was compelled to write to you, exhorting you to fervently fight for the faith which once for all time has been delivered to the saints. For certain men have stealthily crept in, those who long ago have been written about, condemning them to this judgment. They are ungodly men, who are perverting the grace of our God, turning it into licentiousness, and are personally denying the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 3-4).

Jude’s fervent appeal did not turn back the rising tide of apostasy. The satanically inspired movement was so powerful that the true apostles of Jesus Christ were being rejected by some in the churches that they had raised up (II Cor. 10:10-12, III John 9). The true faith ceased to be taught and practiced in these Christian-professing churches. A few decades after the death of the apostles, those Christians who continued in the true teachings of Jesus Christ were cast out of the churches. In its place an entirely different brand of Christianity arose. Jesse Lyman Hurlbut writes: “We name the last generation of the first century, from 68 to 100 A. D., ‘The Age of Shadows,’ partly because the gloom of persecution was over the church; but more especially because of all periods in the history, it is the one about which we know the least. We have no longer the clear light of the Book of Acts to guide us; and no author of that age has filled the blank in the history. We would like to read of the later work by such helpers of St. Paul as Timothy, Apollos and Titus, but all these and St. Paul’s other friends drop out of the record at his death. For fifty years after St. Paul’s life a curtain hangs over the church, through which we strive vainly to look; and when at last it rises, about 120 A. D. with the writings of the earliest church-fathers, we find a church in many aspects very different from that in the days of St. Peter and St. Paul” (The Story of the Christian Church, p. 41).

One major difference was that the Christian Passover was no longer being observed as an annual remembrance of the death of Jesus Christ. The apostate churches had replaced the Christian Passover with the weekly observance of the so-called “Lord’s Supper.” Hurlbut writes, “The Lord’s Supper was universally observed. This began as a service in the home, like the Jewish Passover, out of which it was an outgrowth” (Ibid., p. 45).

The subversion of the Christian Passover observance was a major step in Satan’s plan to seduce believers into leaving the true faith. This subversion was already underway in the days of the apostles. In I Corinthians 11, Paul strongly condemned the practice of eating a meal with the Passover and calling it “the Lord’s Supper.” As Hurlbut shows, this counterfeit observance became the practice of Christians everywhere: “But among Gentile churches the custom arose of celebrating it [the improper observance of the Passover] at a meeting of the church, as a supper to which each member brought some share of the provision. St. Paul rebuked the church at Corinth for abuses that had crept into this method of observance. By the end of the century the Lord’s Supper was everywhere a service held at the meetingplace of the Christians, but (probably on account of the persecutions) not in public. All except members of the church were excluded from this celebration, which was held as a ‘mystery’ ” (Ibid., p. 45).

The “mystery of lawlessness” that had begun to work in the days of the apostle Paul had fully engulfed the churches, leading the majority of the early believers to reject the observance of the true Christian Passover on the 14th day of the first month, as taught by Jesus Christ and the apostles, and to adopt the weekly observance of “the Lord’s Supper.” This initial change led to further changes, and the observance of the Lord’s Supper was soon replaced by the leaders of the Roman church with the sacrifice of the Mass. This practice, which originated in ancient paganism, is observed by millions of professing Christians in all parts of the world today.

In his book The Two Babylons, Alexander Hislop describes the insidious manner in which the pagan practices and teachings of ancient Babylon were brought into the early Church: “But at its first introduction into the Church, it came in secretly and by stealth, with ‘ALL DECEIVABLENESS of unrighteousness.’ It wrought ‘mysteriously’ under fair [sounding] but false pretenses, leading men away from the simplicity of the truth as it is in Jesus. And it did so secretly, for the very same reason that idolatry was secretly introduced in the ancient Mysteries of Babylon; it was not safe, it was not prudent to do otherwise. The zeal of the true Church, though destitute of civil power, would have aroused itself, to put the false system and all its abettors beyond the pale of Christianity, if it had appeared openly and all at once in all its grossness; and this would have arrested its progress. Therefore it was brought in secretly, and by little and little, one corruption being introduced after another, as apostasy proceeded, and the backsliding Church became prepared to tolerate it, till it has reached the gigantic height we now see, when in almost every particular the system of the Papacy is the very antipodes of the system of the primitive Church” (page 8).

As Satan had inspired the leaders of Judaism to replace the Word of God with their own traditions, so he inspired the apostate Christian church to substitute human traditions and the teachings of the “early church fathers” for the teachings of Jesus Christ. In a section titled the “Sacrifice of the Mass” (pages 158-165), Hislop traces this religious practice to the idolatrous sun-worship of ancient Egypt. The practice that the Roman Catholic Church calls “Communion” or the “Holy Eucharist” originated in the corrupt, ungodly worship of the Egyptian sun-god, and not in the teachings of Jesus Christ. Rather than leading people to Christ, such apostate practices lead people into perdition.

At the close of the apostolic age, God gave the apostle John a vision of the fully developed apostate church, which practices the “mystery of iniquity.” In the book of Revelation, this counterfeit religious system is identified as “Babylon the Great.” It is a universal church with great power and world dominance: “And one of the seven angels who had the seven vials came and spoke with me, saying to me, ‘Come here; I will show you the judgment of the great whore who sits upon many waters [the waters represent many peoples and nations and languages (verse 15)]; with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.’ Then he carried me away in the spirit to a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting upon a scarlet beast that had seven heads and ten horns, full of names of blasphemy. And the woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and was adorned with gold and pearls and precious stones; and she had a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominations and the filthiness of her fornication; and across her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF THE HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And after seeing her, I wondered with great amazement” (Rev. 17:1-6).

The “mystery of lawlessness” will reach the pinnacle of power when Babylon the Great has succeeded in amalgamating all religions under her control. When that is achieved, believers who practice the true faith of Jesus Christ—observing the Christian Passover as He commanded, and keeping the seventh-day weekly Sabbath and the Biblical holy days—will be persecuted and killed.

The words of the apostle Paul show that the “mystery of lawlessness” will continue to grow until the return of Jesus Christ: “For the mystery of lawlessness is already working; only there is one Who is restraining at the present time until it arises out of the midst. And then the lawless one will be revealed (whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth, and will destroy with the brightness of His coming); even the one whose coming is according to the inner working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in those who are perishing because they did not receive the love of the truth, so that they might be saved. And for this cause, God will send upon them a powerful deception that will cause them to believe the lie, so that all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but who took pleasure in unrighteousness” (II Thess. 2:7-12).

As the return of Jesus Christ draws near, Satan the devil is employing all the powers and forces of evil to complete his deception of the entire world (Rev. 12:9). One of his greatest deceptions is the perversion and paganization of the Christian Passover. He has so subtly masterminded his false doctrines and practices that they are nearly universally accepted and believed. People through the centuries have become so used to hearing, believing and practicing satanic lies that they cannot believe the truth. To those who have been blinded by Satan’s deceptions, the true observance of the Christian Passover seems fanatical and cultish. As Dressdon James once wrote, “When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker [or writer] a raving lunatic.”

Satan has done his job well. He has deceived the professing Christian world with a multitude of false doctrines and practices. He has replaced the true Passover of Jesus Christ with the sacrifice of the Mass and the Lord’s Supper. The deception is so pervasive that religious teachers in the Christian churches will not accept the truth of the Bible. The author has personally experienced this close-minded response from a prominent scholar who was taught by Jesuits at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He was a well-known teacher and writer for the Seventh-Day Adventists at Andrews University in Michigan, and died in 2009. When he was presented with the first edition of The Christian Passover, he perused it until he came to a section which exposed the Eucharist as a false practice. Then he immediately threw the book into the trash, because it was the opposite of what he had been taught. It is shameful that a scholar and teacher who claims to be a seeker of truth would close his eyes to the Scriptural and historical facts.

Too many are so deeply entrenched in the traditions and teachings of men that they refuse to accept the truth of God. The truth of God’s Word cuts like a two-edged sword, refuting the false doctrines and practices of apostate Christianity. Because the scope of the deception is so great, and the misinterpretation of Scripture so extensive, it is necessary to address every false argument concerning the Passover and examine each one in the light of God’s Word. Then the glorious truth of the Christian Passover will open the door to the true gospel of Jesus Christ. That is why this book was written.


The second edition of The Christian Passover is virtually a new book, having been extensively rewritten and edited. Few pages remain as they were in the first edition. In addition, this second edition contains five new chapters. One chapter explains why the Jews in exile do not keep a 14th Passover. Three chapters explain the significance of the covenant that God made with Abraham on the night of the 14th day of the first month—the day that became the Passover day. Since the first edition was published, much has been learned about covenantal law, which is the basis of God’s covenant with Abraham, the Old Covenant with Israel and the New Covenant with the Church. The covenant oath that God made to Abraham, as recorded in Genesis 15, was a foretype of the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ, which established the New Covenant. The fifth chapter that was added shows the prophecies from the Old Testament that were fulfilled by the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ.

Since the first edition of The Christian Passover was published in 1993, the author has finished translating the New Testament. In this second edition, all Scriptural references from the New Testament use the author’s translation, The New Testament In Its Original Order—A Faithful Version With Commentary. For Old Testament references, many critical Scriptures have been quoted from The Schocken Bible, as translated by Everett Fox.

Other additions and changes include a complete index of Scriptural references, an expanded glossary and bibliography, and an updated and expanded index. Nearly fifty pages of exegetical appendices have been added to deal with the technical aspects of the Hebrew text of the Old Testament and difficult-to-understand Scriptures. All these additions have expanded the first edition by over fifty percent, resulting in a second edition of 512 pages.

Every page in this book is dedicated to teaching the true Scriptural observance of the Christian Passover. This ceremony, which Jesus Christ instituted for every believer who enters the New Covenant, is to be observed on the night of the 14th day of the first month—“the night in which He was betrayed.” Jesus Christ commands each true believer to participate in the three ordinances of the Christian Passover: 1) the footwashing; 2) eating the unleavened bread, which symbolizes the broken body of Jesus Christ; and 3) partaking of the wine, which symbolizes Jesus Christ’s own shed blood for the forgiveness of sin. When observed in the manner that Jesus taught, the Christian Passover truly expresses “the simplicity that is in Christ” (II Cor. 11:3).

May God the Father and Jesus Christ grant you an open mind and the ability to understand the full meaning of the true Christian Passover. May God give you the faith and courage to love the truth of God and cast aside the deceptive teachings and practices of apostate Christianity, which lead to death. The gift of eternal life comes only through partaking of the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ as the true Passover Lamb of God. Jesus said, “I am the living bread, which came down from heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world....Truly, truly I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, you do not have life in yourselves. The one who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up in the last day; for My flesh is truly food, and My blood is truly drink. The one who eats My flesh and drinks My blood is dwelling in Me, and I in him. As the living Father has sent Me, and I live by the Father, so also the one who eats Me shall live by Me” (John 6:51-57).

May God impart His own love to you, inspiring you to love Him and Jesus Christ with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul, and all your strength, so that you may receive eternal life at the return of Jesus Christ.

Fred R. Coulter
Fall 1999