Monthly letter archive

March 20, 2023

Dear Brethren,

By the time you receive this letter, the Passover will be only days away. I have recently done a number of messages showing that the Passover is actually the central focus of the Bible—Old and New Testaments. Indeed, a great number of prophecies in the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms foretell the coming of the Messiah. Some prophesy of Jesus’ first coming, and include details of His sufferings. Others foresee His second coming, the Millennium, and the Kingdom of God.

The Gospel accounts are about Jesus’ life and ministry, and culminate with Him instituting the New Covenant Christian Passover—which includes the details of His arrest, trials, beatings, death, and resurrection. When we view the seven divisions of the Bible, we find that the Gospels and the book of Acts are the fourth division—hence, the middle or central division of the Bible.

The fifth division consists of the General Epistles, and the sixth includes the Epistles of Paul. Collectively, these epistles demonstrate genuine Christian living under the New Covenant: grace, repentance, faith, baptism, and the Holy Spirit as the power and begettal of the Father in our lives. They also reveal God’s love and show us how we are to love God: true spiritual commandment keeping and overcoming—with the promise of eternal life for the faithful.

The seventh division, the book of Revelation, focuses on prophecies that lead directly to the establishment of the Kingdom of God. The last two chapters are a vision of the coming new heavens and new earth, the New Jerusalem, and God the Father and Jesus Christ dwelling with all the immortal saints.

Ultimately, the entire Bible centers around the New Covenant Passover with the sacrifice of Christ, which God planned before the foundation of the world—before the ages of time (II Tim. 1:9; Titus 1:2). In Revelation 13:8, we read of “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” As John the Baptist proclaimed, “The Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world…. Behold the Lamb of God” (John 1:29, 36). “Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us” (I Cor. 5:7). The apostle Paul writes that Jesus, in fact, “was God manifested in the flesh” (I Tim. 3:16).

However, in order to find the first prophecy of the coming Messiah, we have to go Genesis. There we find that after Adam and Eve sinned, the Lord God—the One who would become the Savior—judged the serpent (Satan), as well as Adam and Eve, for their sins. At the same time He also gives us the first prophecy of the Messiah to come.

Notice the account in Genesis 3: “And the serpent said to the woman, ‘In dying, you shall not surely die! For God knows that in the day you eat of it, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be like God, deciding [for yourselves what is] good and evil.’ And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasing to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. And the eyes of both of them were opened [to evil], and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day. Then Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

“And the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ And he said, ‘I heard You walking in the garden, and I was afraid because I am naked, and so I hid myself.’ And He said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree which I commanded you that you should not eat?’ And the man said, ‘The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.’ And the Lord God said to the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ And the woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate’ ” (Gen. 3:4-13).

God then gave His judgment and sentence upon them, beginning with the serpent, who was the original sinner before the creation of Adam and Eve. “And the Lord God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this you are cursed above all livestock, and above every animal of the field. You shall go upon your belly, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life’ ” (verse 14).

Next we find the first prophecy of the Messiah: “And I will put enmity between you [Satan] and the woman [the Church], and between your seed [the demons and those who would later follow Satan] and her Seed [the coming Messiah]; He [the Messiah] will bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel [the crucifixion of Jesus]” (verse 15).

Thus, the stage was set. The battle between God and Satan would continue until the Messiah would completely overcome and conquer the serpent, sin, and death. From that time forward, mankind would have to choose between following Satan the devil, who became the god of this world, or following the true God. Continuing in Genesis 3: “To the woman He said, ‘I will greatly increase your sorrow and your conception—in sorrow shall you bring forth children. Your desire shall be toward your husband, and he shall rule over you.’ And to Adam He said, ‘Because you have hearkened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree—of which I commanded you, saying, “You shall not eat of it!”—the ground is cursed for your sake. In sorrow shall you eat of it all the days of your life. It shall also bring forth thorns and thistles to you, and thus you shall eat the herbs of the field; in the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return’ ” (verses 16-19).

God’s sentence against Adam and Eve is how all of mankind has received their human nature, which is a mixture of good and evil—but mostly evil. This is why we are subject to death. Only the Word of God reveals this profound truth. Paul explains: “Therefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and by means of sin came death; and in this way, death passed into all mankind; and it is for this reason that all have sinned” (Rom. 5:12). He further defined human nature as having the “law of sin and death” within us. This is why humans desire and intend to do good, but end up sinning. Furthermore, there is nothing within any human being that is powerful enough to keep one from sinning and doing evil. This is why “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Yes, cut off from God, men and women follow a way that seems right—but it only ends in death, with plenty of misery and suffering along the way (Prov. 14:12; 16:25).

Paul experienced this himself; he writes: “Because I fully understand that there is not dwelling within methat is, within my fleshly beingany good. For the desire to do good is present within me; but how to work out that which is good, I do not find. For the good that I desire to do, I am not doing; but the evil that I do not desire to do, this I am doing. But if I do what I do not desire to do, I am no longer working it out myself, but sin that is dwelling within me.

Consequently, I find this law in my members, that when I desire to do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man; but I see another law within my own members, warring against the law of my mind, and leading me captive to the law of sin that is within my own members. O what a wretched man I am! Who shall save me from the body of this death? I thank God for His salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of this, on the one hand, I myself serve the law of God with my mind; but on the other hand, with the flesh, I serve the law of sin” (Rom. 7:18-25).

Paul shows that every human being has this inherent “law of sin and death.” We are born this way—and deliverance can only come through the death and resurrection of Christ. Why does this salvation come only through Jesus? God sentenced Adam and Eve with this kind of nature, which is passed on to all mankind. What is God going to do about it? How is He going to save mankind from this “law of sin and death”?

What Kind of Human Nature Did Jesus Christ Have? Jesus was God before He divested Himself of all His glory and nearly all His divinity to become a man (John 1:1-4). Paul writes, “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).

This tells us that Jesus was subject to death. While God was His Father, the virgin Mary was His physical mother, from whom He received His fleshly existence and human nature. Some think that Jesus had a special human nature that none of the rest of mankind has, thus making it impossible for Him to sin or even to be tempted; and that His death was not a real death, as with other men and women. However, that is not what the Bible teaches.

The fact is, Jesus experienced all the temptations we experience—and much more so in His forty-day temptation by Satan the devil (Matt. 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13). Thus, He must have had full-fledged human nature, with the ability to actually choose to sin. Otherwise, if it were impossible for Him to sin, temptation would have had no meaning.

Concerning Jesus’ temptations, Paul writes: “For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of both soul and spirit, and of both the joints and the marrow, and is able to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is not a created thing that is not manifest in His sight; but all things are naked and laid bare before the eyes of Him to Whom we must give account. Having therefore a great High Priest, Who has passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, we should hold fast the confession of our faith. For we do not have a high priest who cannot empathize with our weaknesses, but one Who was tempted in all things according to the likeness of our own temptations; yet He was without sin. Therefore, we should come with boldness to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:12-16).

In the Greek, “likeness” is homoioteta—meaning the exact likeness of our temptations, not something different than what we experience. Indeed, in order to become our Savior, it was obligatory for Jesus to be made exactly like us. Notice: “But we see Jesus, Who was made a little lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honor on account of suffering the death, in order that by the grace of God He Himself might taste death for everyone; because it was fitting for Him, for Whom all things were created, and by Whom all things exist, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Author of their salvation perfect through sufferings…. Therefore, since the children are partakers of flesh and blood, in like manner He also took part in the same, in order that through death He might annul him who has the power of death—that is, the devil.

“And that He might deliver those who were subject to bondage all through their lives by their fear of death. For surely, He is not taking upon Himself to help the angels; but He is taking upon Himself to help the [spiritual] seed of Abraham. For this reason, it was obligatory for Him to be made like [Greek homoite] His brethren in everything that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, in order to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because He Himself has suffered, having been tempted in like manner, He is able to help those who are being tempted” (Heb. 2:9-10, 14-18).

Jesus had to take upon Himself the exact same human nature that all mankind has, which, as the Lord God of the Old Testament, He had sentenced upon Adam, Eve, and their progeny. Because of this, Jesus had to cry out to the Father to save Him from death. Paul writes: “Who, in the days of His flesh, offered up both prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears to Him Who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because He feared God. Although He was a Son, yet He learned obedience from the things that He suffered; and having been perfected, He became the Author of eternal salvation to all those who obey Him” (Heb. 5:7-9).

Therefore, it is clear that Jesus must have had the “law of death” as an inherent part of His human existence. Again, Paul writes that all humans have the “law of sin and death” within them as part of their human nature. So did Jesus also have within His fleshly body the “law of sin” as well as the “law of death”? If Jesus did not have the “law of sin” within His fleshly body, He could not have been tempted. Yet, the Scriptures tell us, He “was tempted in all things according to the likeness of our own temptations; yet He was without sin” (Heb. 4:15).

The answer to the question is this: Yes, Jesus did carry in His flesh the “law of sin”—as well as the “law of death.” Paul makes this very clear. He writes: “God, having sent His own Son in the likeness [homoite—the exact sameness] of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh” (Rom. 8:3). The Greek is even more specific, as it actually reads “in the exact likeness of flesh, of sin.” Therefore, in order to “condemn sin in the flesh,” Jesus must have had the “law of sin” as well as the “law of death” within His fleshly body.

This is why Jesus’ death is called “the death,” because His sacrifice—as God manifested in the flesh, yet carrying within Himself the “law of sin and death”—is the only death that is capable of paying for all the sins and deaths of all mankind. Peter wrote: “Who committed no sin; neither was guile found in His mouth; Who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when suffering, He threatened not, but committed Himself to Him Who judges righteously; Who Himself bore our sins within His own body on the tree [the cross], so that we, being dead to sins, may live unto righteousness; by Whose stripes you were healed” (I Pet. 2:22-24).

Therefore, as Creator of mankind—God manifested in the flesh—His death was the only death that could condemn sin in the flesh, and His shed blood is the only atoning blood that can forgive sin! This is exactly what John the Baptist meant when he said of Jesus, “Behold the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world.” Jesus’ death, for human sin, was greater than all human deaths combined!

Since Jesus’ death was the only death able to condemn sin, we can understand why the unleavened bread of the Christian Passover ceremony pictures His broken body, and the wine pictures His shed blood. This is why on the night of His last Passover, Jesus instructed His apostles accordingly: “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread; and after blessing it, He broke it and gave it to them, and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body.’ And He took the cup; and after giving thanks, He gave it to them; and they all drank of it. And He said to them, ‘This is My blood, the blood of the New Covenant, which is poured out for many’ ” (Mark 14:22-24).

Indeed, the central focus of the Bible is on the New Covenant of eternal life through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah—our Savior God manifested in the flesh. With these things in mind as we come to the Passover, these words of Jesus have greater meaning: “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 6:53-57).

As God’s people, we will be keeping the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread; but the world’s “Christianity” will be keeping its pagan Easter. Because we have added so many more people to our mailing list, we are enclosing in this mailing the article “Should Christians Celebrate Easter?” by Philip Neal. As you read this article you will see just how far the world has gone in abandoning the true teachings of Scripture. While proclaiming that they are honoring God and celebrating the supposed day of Jesus’ resurrection, they continue to blaspheme the truth. Astonishingly, everything they observe is the exact opposite of what the Bible teaches. They are so deceived by the god of this world (II Cor. 4:4) that they actually think they are doing God’s will.

This is what men and women have done throughout history, and it is only getting worse. Indeed, Paul warned Timothy that human nature would run amok in the last days: “Know this also, that in the last days perilous times shall come; for men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, braggarts, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, implacable, slanderers, without self-control, savage, despisers of those who are good, betrayers, reckless, egotistical, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; having an outward appearance of godliness [sanctimonious pretenders and liars], but denying the power of true godliness.

“But as for you, turn away from all these. For from men such as these come those who are worming their way into houses, and are gaining control over empty-headed gullible women given over to various sins, being driven by all kinds of lust. They are always learning but are never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now just as Jannes and Jambres stood against Moses, in the same manner also these are brazenly standing against the truth; they are men of depraved minds, reprobate in respect to the faith” (II Tim. 3:1-8). Such is the state of “Christianity” today. Without a doubt, the chasm between the original Christianity of Jesus and the apostles and the false “Christianity” of this world continues to grow wider and wider with each passing year.

Brethren, while many of you are facing increasingly more difficult times, remember that God the Father and Jesus Christ love you. They are with you. And through God’s Holy Spirit, which is the earnest of eternal life, they dwell in you and you in them. Keep this in mind as we approach the coming Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread.

The dates for this year’s Passover and Unleavened Bread are:

Passover—the night of April 4, after sunset—which begins the day.

The Night to be Much Observed to the Lord—the night of April 5

The First Day of Unleavened Bread—April 6

The Sabbath between the Holy Days—April 8

The Seventh Day of Unleavened Bread—April 12

Once again, we truly thank you for all your love, faith, and prayers. We realize daily that we cannot do the ministry of preaching the Gospel and serving God’s people without your prayers. We realize that all of our strength and everything we do comes from God the Father and Jesus Christ, Who is the Head of His Church, of which we are all a part. We pray for you daily—for your health, your healing, and God’s blessing to lift you up when you are down, to encourage you in times of distress, and to strengthen you in times of trial. We thank you for your continued faithfulness in sending God’s tithes and offerings, so that all of us can continue to love and serve God the Father and Jesus Christ with all our hearts and minds.

With love in Christ Jesus,

Fred R. Coulter




A Study of Revelation 13:15

Revelation 13 contains the prophecies of the coming two end time Beasts. The first one is the “Beast System”—which is the coming “New World Order” or “World Government.” Satan will give his power and authority to this system and its physical leader, also called the “Beast” (Rev. 13:1-10). The apostle Paul writes that the man who leads this world government is also called the “son of perdition”—who comes into the Temple in Jerusalem and declares himself to be “God” (II Thess. 2:3-12).

There is a second Beast that “looks like a lamb, but speaks as a dragon”—the dragon being Satan the devil: “And he exercises all the authority of the first beast before him; and he causes the earth and those who dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he performs great wonders, so that he even causes fire to come down to the earth from heaven in the sight of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by means of the wonders that were given to him to perform in the sight of the beast, saying to those who dwell on the earth that they should make an image [a great idol] for the beast, which had the wound by the sword, yet was alive” (Rev. 13:12-14).

Verse 15 reads: “And he [the second Beast] was given power to give life to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast also could speak.” The Greek words translated “to give life” are dounai pneuma, which actually means “to give a spirit.”

The Greek word pneuma is translated throughout the New Testament as spirit. John 4:24 reads: “God is Spirit”—meaning “God is a Spirit Being.” In other places, pneuma is used in various ways: the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit. Holy angels are called “ministering spirits”—pneuma. The Bible reveals that there are also unclean spirits, wicked spirits, and demonic spirits.

There are three places where pneuma is not translated spirit. 1) John 3:8, the only place in the New Testament where pnuema is translated as “wind”; 2) Revelation 13:15 in the KJV and AFV, where is it translated “life”; and 3) in Berry’s Interlinear, where pneuma is translated once as “breath.”

Throughout the Bible, only God can give life. To all humans God gives the “spirit of man” at conception; at death, that spirit returns to God (I Cor. 2:11; James 2:26; Eccl. 12:7).

In connection with conversion, after a person is baptized and has the laying-on of hands, God the Father gives the Holy Spirit (Greek pneuma higion, literally “Spirit Holy”) as the earnest of eternal life in every begotten saint of God.

Concerning the resurrection and eternal life, in the Gospel of John it is recorded that Jesus said that only the Father and Jesus Himself have the power to give physicallife—and eternallife.” John quotes Jesus: “For even as the Father raises the dead and gives life, in the same way also, the Son gives life to whom He will” (John 5:21). In the Greek, “gives life” is a single compound word, zo-opoiei—which literally means “to quicken.”

The word zo-opoiei is not used in Revelation 13:15. Rather, the Greek words used are dounai,to give”—and pneuma, “spirit” or “a spirit.” Therefore, it cannot be translated “to give life”—since pneuma is always translated spirit. So this phrase literally means “to give a spirit.” The Greek pneuma is not translated life or breath any place in the New Testament—except in Revelation 13:15 in the KJV, AFV, Berry, and a few other translations.

In fact, spirit and life are separate words, though they work together to sustain life—both physical (the spirit of man) and spiritual (the Spirit of God). Notice what Jesus said: “It is the Spirit [from God] that gives life [zo-opoiei]; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you, they are spirit [pneuma] and they are life [zoe]” (John 6:63).

CONCLUSION: Since only God the Father and Jesus Christ can give life, we can rightfully conclude that it is not possible for a Satan-inspired man—the “false prophet”—to give “life” or “breath” to an idol of the Beast, so that it could speak. So, what is it that the “false prophet” gives to the idol of the Beast to make it speak? The answer is found in understanding the powers and abilities of Satan the devil—and unclean or demonic spirits.

THE POWERS OF SATAN THE DEVIL: Satan can talk. He talked with Adam and Eve (Gen. 3). He talks with God (Job 1-2). He talked with Jesus when tempting Him, and Jesus answered him (Matt. 4; Luke 4). He also accuses the saints day and night before God (Rev. 12:10). Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44). He has the power to deceive people—in fact, the whole world (Rev. 12:9). He has the power to inspire people to lie (Acts 5:3; John 13:2). He has the power to possess people (John 13:27). He has the power to project thoughts and attitudes of sin into the hearts and minds of people, to cause them to lust and sin (Eph. 2:1-3).

THE POWERS OF DEMONS—UNCLEAN SPIRITS: In the Gospel accounts, we find that demons or unclean spirits can possess people. They can talk—Jesus talked with them on occasion (Matt. 8:28-34; 9:32-33; Mark 9:17-27). Demons can bring other demons and repossess a man, so that his end is worse than at the beginning (Luke 11:24-26).

Satan is the prince of demons and ruler of this world (John 14:30) and god of this age (II Cor. 4:4). Also, there is a hierarchy of demons, and they rule in high places throughout human society (Eph. 6:12).

A MORE ACCURATE TRANSLATION OF REVELATION 13:15: Now that we understand the powers of God and the powers of Satan and the demons, we can determine a more accurate translation of Revelation 13:15.

We know that the “false prophet” speaks like a dragon. In order to perform miracles and wonders, he must be Satan-inspired and undoubtedly possessed by a powerful demon. With that understanding, we can conclude that he cannot command or direct righteous spirits, or angels. This means that the pneuma or spirit that the “false prophet” gives to the image of the Beast cannot be a spirit or an angel of God. Therefore, the only “spirit” or pneuma that the “false prophet” can give to the idol image of the Beast is a demonic or satanic spirit—one that can speak to deceive the people of the world.

Therefore, a more accurate translation of Revelation 13:15 is this: “And he [the “false prophet”] was given power to give a satanic spirit to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast also could speak; and he causes everyone who will not worship the image of the beast to be killed.”

This translation is more in keeping with the actual meaning of the Greek. Furthermore, it fits into the context of Satan working through these two Beasts as described in Revelation 13.

Fred Coulter


Should Christians Celebrate Easter?


Egg-laying bunnies, sunrise services, Lent—such strange customs.

What do they have to do with Jesus’ resurrection, anyway?

Maybe there’s something you haven’t been told.

by Philip Neal

Millions of professing Christians will rise a little early come Easter Sunday—just so they can participate in a local “sunrise service” ostensibly honoring Jesus’ resurrection. Later that day, little children will hunt for beautifully decorated Easter eggs, supposedly laid by the Easter bunny. Catholics, of course, will have already begun the season with Lent, a forty-day period of abstinence and “mourning” leading up to Easter.

But what does it all mean? Where’s the biblical connection of Easter to Jesus’ resurrection? And why didn’t Jesus teach His disciples to observe Easter?

Ask the average Christian why he or she holds to a particular belief or practice and you’ll probably get a blank stare. “It’s a tradition,” some might answer; or, “It’s what the church teaches.” But the fact is, most people don’t have a clue as to the origin of much of what they embrace as truth. Typically, people tend to just accept what they are told—without thinking. The result is that many “Christians” unknowingly find themselves participating in what are actually ancient traditions founded in pagan mystery religions that flourishing thousands of years before Christ!

The Amazing Historical Origin of Easter

It comes as a surprise to many to learn that the only place in the King James Version of the Bible that even mentions “Easter”—Acts 12:4—is a gross mistranslation. Here, the Greek word Pascha (translated Easter) always means “Passover.” The widely-acknowledged error has been corrected in all modern translations. Referring to the passage, Barnes’ Notes comments that there “was never a more absurd … translation than this.”

So, if there is no biblical basis for Easter, where and how did it originate?

Astonishingly, Easter has its roots in ancient, polytheistic pagan religions. Countless scholarly books and reference materials document the historical development of Easter—clearly demonstrating that it is fully pagan in origin.

In Come Out of Her My People, Dr. C. J. Koster, writes: “The whole subject of Easter, its Sunday-emphasizing date, and its pagan emblems and rites, such as Easter sunrise services, is crowned by the general admission that the word ‘Easter’ is derived from the name of a goddess, the dawn-goddess, the spring-deity, the goddess of fertility.

“Easter had a pre-Christian origin, namely [involving] a festival [held] in honor of Eostre, the Teutonic dawn-goddess…. This Eostre was also known to be the spring goddess of fertility. [As] another form of sun-worship … Eostre, also called Eastre, Eostra or Ostara, was adopted by or merged with Christianity. This same dawn-goddess was also well known … [as] the Assyrian Ishtar, goddess of the morning” (emphasis added). 1

In the ancient Middle East, people were deeply connected to the land and to the naturally occurring agricultural cycle. The land’s fertility was the key to survival. The spring of the year was highly anticipated—when productivity and fertility returned after a long desolate winter. Many cultures celebrated the coming of spring as an integral part of the worship of their gods or goddesses, particularly those associated with fertility. Koster adds that eggs and rabbits were common symbols of fertility, and that the Easter goddess was “not only goddess of dawn but also goddess of spring with all its fertility symbols and fertility rites.” 2

The Encyclopedia Americana states that the word Easter is “derived from the Norse Ostara or Eostre, meaning the festival of spring … when nature is in resurrection after winter. Hence, the rabbits, notable for their fecundity, and the eggs, colored like rays of the returning sun….” 3 According to The Catholic Encyclopedia, “a great many pagan customs celebrating the return of spring gravitated to Easter…. The rabbit is a pagan symbol and has always been an emblem of fertility” (emphasis added). 4

Alexander Hislop, in The Two Babylons, writes that Easter “is not a Christian name. It bears its Chaldean origin on its very forehead. Easter is nothing [more] than Astarte the queen of heaven, whose name, as pronounced by the people of Nineveh, was evidently identical with that now in common use in this country [England]. That name, as found … on the Assyrian monuments, is Ishtar” (emphasis added). 5 In other words, the ancient Assyrians pronounced Ishtar the same way we pronounce Easter today!

The origin of Easter, however, is actually quite ancient—going all the way back to the post-flood biblical Tower of Babel. Nimrod—who stood in opposition to the true God of heaven (Gen. 10:8-9)—was the key founder of the ancient Babylonian “mystery religion.” After his death, his wife, Queen Semiramis, was determined to maintain their “religion” by deifying him as the sun-god. Later, Semiramis gave birth to an illegitimate son, Tammuz (also known in Greek culture as Adonis), who she claimed was actually Nimrod reborn. Semiramis herself was deified as the “queen of heaven.” Fred Coulter, in Occult Holidays or God’s Holy Days—Which?, writes that Easter is, in part, a tradition that “celebrates the return of Semiramis into her reincarnated form as the Spring Goddess…. The Babylonian goddess, Ishtar … is another pseudonym for Semiramis, the wife of Nimrod, and the real founder of the Babylonian cult.” 6

Tammuz is central as well to the Easter amalgamate. Following his untimely death at age forty, a tradition began in which he both died and was resurrected each spring. Coulter says “the Easter bunny and Easter egg symbolize the sexual union that produced Tammuz, the son and false messiah of Semiramis, the queen of heaven…. The son of Nimrod, Tammuz was the ancient false messiah who allegedly died and was resurrected each year.” 7

Indeed, an obvious death and resurrection drama-theme reappears in many pagan religions. It seems that anciently Ishtar and Tammuz were both involved in a mythological death and resurrection cycle—one as the moon-goddess of spring and fertility, the other as the sun-god messiah figure—making them perfect forerunners of the modern Easter tradition. According to Coulter, sunrise services originated with the Babylonian priesthood to symbolically hasten the resurrection of both. 8

Historically, laments were held for the departed Tammuz for forty days—a day for each year of his life. The period ended, of course, in the early spring at his “resurrection.” Hislop writes: “The forty days [of] abstinence of Lent was directly borrowed from the worshippers of the Babylonian goddess [Ishtar].” 9 Is it a mere coincidence that Orthodox Christendom today practices a peculiarly similar custom—Lent’s forty days of mourning and abstinence leading up to Easter?

Sir James Frazer, author of The Golden Bough, adds this: “The sorrow of the worshippers was turned to joy…. The resurrection of the god [Tammuz] was hailed by his disciples as a promise that they too would issue triumphant from the corruption of the grave.” 10 Note the uncanny parallel between the so-called “resurrection” of Tammuz and the biblical teaching on the resurrection of the saints (Rom. 6:5; I Cor. 15:12; etc.).

How Easter Crept Into the Orthodox Church

Considering its clearly pagan origin, just how did Easter find its way into Christianity? The answer has to do with syncretism—the reconciliation or fusion of differing systems of belief. After the death of the apostles, the Church began to grow rapidly among Gentiles, particularly in the West. After several decades, the church at Rome—now apostate but possessing considerable political and financial clout—became dominant, controlling. Determined to bring the masses of pagans into the church, Orthodox leaders in Rome were careful not to force them to abandon their idolatrous celebrations. Craftily, church leaders found a way to blend various ancient customs and pagan practices—and then apply them to Christian doctrine. Easter itself is largely a convergence of various heathen traditions applied to Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Koster, for example, writes that “festivals were celebrated [by pagans], with the rites of Adonis or of Tammuz … [and with Christianity’s] dead and risen Messiah being assimilated to the pagan celebration of the dead and risen Adonis (Tammuz)” (emphasis added). 11

Referring to the fusion of the Passover with pagan spring celebrations, Hislop writes: “To conciliate the pagans to nominal Christianity, Rome, pursuing its usual policy [of syncretism], took measures to get Christian and pagan festivals amalgamated, and, by a complicated but skillful adjustment of the calendar, it was found no difficult matter, in general, to get paganism and Christianity—now far sunk into idolatry—in this, as in so many other things, to shake hands.” 12

Concerning the syncretism of Easter, Frazer says: “When we reflect on how often the Church has skillfully contrived to plant the seeds of the new [Christian] faith on the old stock of paganism, we may surmise that the Easter celebration of the dead and risen Messiah was grafted upon a similar celebration of the dead and risen Adonis…. Taken altogether, the coincidences of the Christian with the heathen festivals are too close and too numerous to be accidental. They mark the compromise which the Church was compelled to make…” (emphasis added). 13 Frazer adds that “the Church may have consciously adapted the new festival [of Easter] to its heathen predecessor for the sake of winning souls for Christ.” 14

The Catholic Church also uses the term Christianization to describe this mixing of pagan rites with Christian practice.

Easter Becomes an “Official” Church Holiday

As Easter gained in popularity—and the Roman church grew in influence—a long and bitter controversy developed between those faithful in the East who adhered to the Passover and those in the West who preferred Easter. The issue came to a head around ad 197, when Polycrates of Asia Minor paid the Roman church leadership a formal visit. In Ecclesiastical History, the well known church historian Eusebius writes: “A question of no small importance arose at that time. For the parishes of all Asia, as from an older tradition, held that the fourteenth day of the [new] moon … should be observed as the feast of the Savior’s Passover…. [The] bishops of Asia, led by Polycrates, decided to hold to the old custom handed down to them. He himself, in a letter which he addressed to Victor [bishop of Rome] and the church of Rome, set forth in the following words the tradition which had come down to him: ‘We observe the exact day [commanded in Scripture]; neither adding, nor taking away. For in Asia also great lights have fallen asleep, which shall rise again on the day of the Lord’s coming, when he shall come with glory from heaven, and shall seek out all the saints. Among these are Philip, one of the twelve apostles … and, moreover, John, who was both a witness and a teacher, who reclined upon the bosom of the Lord … and Polycarp in Smyrna, who was a bishop and martyr…. All these observed the fourteenth day of the Passover according to the Gospel, deviating in no respect, but following the rule of faith.’ ” 15

But Roman efforts to induce those from the East to abandon Passover observance were unsuccessful. As The Encyclopedia Americana brings out, the “early Christians were Jews and the Hebrew [Passover] tradition was powerful in their minds. A party of such conservatives [led by Polycrates] known as the Quartodecimans thus pressed for a continuance of the Jewish Passover … even to the point of schism, but they were overruled by the [Roman] Church as a whole….” 16 (Quartodeciman comes from the Latin word for “14th” and was a label given to those who followed the scriptural command to observe the Passover on the evening of the 14th.)

In From Sabbath to Sunday, Samuele Bacchiocchi writes of this time: “On the one side, bishop Victor of Rome championed the Easter Sunday custom … and threatened to excommunicate the recalcitrant Christian communities of the province of Asia which refused to follow his instruction. On the other side, Polycrates, bishop of Ephesus and representative of the Asian churches, strongly advocated the traditional Passover date of Nisan 14. Polycrates … refused to be frightened into submission by the threats of Victor of Rome.” 17

When Polycrates firmly refused to agree to the demands of the Roman church, Victor proceeded to excommunicate him—as well as all Christians who continued to observe Passover. The excommunication, as it turned out, lacked authority; the dispute remained unresolved, and over time the eastern and western churches drifted further apart on numerous issues.

In time, however, the Passover versus Easter controversy became pivotal; the church at Rome ultimately saw it as a test of their authority. Koster continues the story: “The Passover dispute between the Western Church and the more Scripture-adhering believers of the Near East was finally settled by Constantine’s Council of Nicaea in the year [ad] 325, where it was decided that Easter was to be kept on Sun-day…. [With] Constantine taking the lead, the Council of Nicaea decided to reject [the Passover] … in favor of Easter Sun-day…. Constantine exhorted all bishops to embrace [Easter Sunday observance].” 18

With the authority of imperial Rome finally behind it, Easter soon came to replace the Passover within visible, organized “Christianity.” True, faithful Christians were forced underground in order to continue their observance of the biblical Passover.

Are the Scriptures Silent on Easter?

While there is clearly no biblical support for Easter, the Scriptures actually do have much to say against Easter—both directly and indirectly. Interestingly, the Babylonian Astarteand the Assyrian Ishtar—are referred to dozens of times in the Old Testament using the Hebrew word Ashtaroth (Ashtoreth, Asherah), typically translated as groves in the KJV. Such groves were used in idolatrous ritual celebrations. For example, “And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord and forgot the Lord their God, and served Baalim and the Asherim” (Judges 3:7). This verse could just as well be translated, “and served Baalim and Easter”!

Virtually all scholars agree that Asherah (or Asherim, plural) is none other than Astarte—also known as the “queen of heaven.” Notice Jeremiah 7:18: “The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven and to pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke Me to anger.”

Verse 10 calls the practice an “abomination.” The Jamieson Fausset & Brown Bible Commentary has this to say about Jeremiah 7:18: “Cakes were made of honey, fine flour, etc., in a round flat shape to resemble the disc of the moon, to which they were offered…. The Phoenicians called the moon Ashtoreth or Astarte: the wife of Baal or Moloch, the king of heaven. The male and female pair of deities symbolized the generative powers of nature….” 19

The cakes offered to the “queen of heaven”—Astarte/Ishtar—are the “hot cross buns” of today’s Catholic “Christianity”! Koster adds, “The ‘buns,’ known by the identical name boun, were used of the queen of heaven already 1500 years before the Christian era…. Even the round shape … with the cross on top exactly represents the very ancient symbol of the sun, namely the cross with a circled around it. This was especially known to be the symbol of the Babylonian Sun-deity.” 20

Surprisingly, “sunrise services” are mentioned in the Bible as well—but only in a negative way. The prophet Ezekiel was shown, in vision, an important prophecy concerning the sins of God’s people—then and today. “He also said to me, ‘You shall see greater abominations that they are committing.’ And He brought me to the opening of the gate of the Lord’s house, toward the north. And behold, women were sitting there weeping for Tammuz”—the false messianic figure who dies and is resurrected every spring!—“And He said to me, ‘Have you seen this, O son of man? You shall see greater abominations than these.’ And He brought me into the inner court of the Lord’s house, and behold, at the opening of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men with their backs toward the temple of the Lord and their faces toward the east; and they worshiped the [rising] sun toward the east. And He said to me, ‘Have you seen, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they do the hateful things which they do here?’ ” (Ezek. 8:13-17).

Can we begin to put the pieces of the puzzle together—Asherahs, the “queen of heaven” with her cakes, worship of the sun, Tammuz—and see that the “Christian” Easter has been contrived of ancient myths, and is itself nothing but a pagan abomination?

Consider God’s warning to Israel as they possessed the land He had promised to them: “Be careful to observe and obey all these words which I command you, so that it may go well with you and with your children after you forever when you do that which is good and right in the sight of the Lord your God. [And when you] … take their place and dwell in their land, take heed to yourself that you do not become ensnared by following them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not ask about their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods that I may also do likewise?

You shall not do so to the Lord your God, for every abomination to the Lord, which He hates, they have done to their gods; even their sons and their daughters they have burned in the fire to their gods. Whatsoever thing that I command you, be careful to do it [only]. You shall not add to it, nor take away from it” (Deut. 12:28-32).

In other words, do not attempt to incorporate or mix pagan practices with the worship of God! Worship God strictly according to Scripture—add nothing and omit nothing. Attaching Jesus’ name to pagan religious practices can never make such practices holy or right in God’s eyes! Claiming to worship Christ while utilizing heathen rituals is an abomination to God!

God tells Christians: “Do not learn the way of the heathen….” (Jer. 10:2)—do not even mention the name of their gods! (see Ex. 23:13). The apostle Paul wrote: “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and lawlessness have in common? And what fellowship does light have with darkness? And what union does Christ have with Belial? Or what part does a believer have with an unbeliever? And what agreement is there between a temple of God and idols? For you are a temple of the living God, exactly as God said: ‘I will dwell in them and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.’ Therefore, ‘Come out from the midst of them and be separate,’ says the Lord, ‘and touch not the unclean, and I will receive you’ ” (II Cor. 6:14-17).

Do we really believe these plain Scriptures? Clearly, a true Christian can never mix what is godly with what is pagan—or the true with the false! For God can only be worshipped in a spirit of truth (John 4:24).

Jesus Only Gave One Sign that He Was the Messiah

Today’s Easter tradition is developed around a “Good Friday” afternoon crucifixion and an “Easter Sunday” sunrise resurrection. What most Christians fail to realize is that this scenario threatens to annul the only sign Jesus gave as proof that He was the Messiah—that He would be in the grave exactly three whole days and three whole nights. “For just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, in like manner the Son of man shall be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights” (Matt. 12:40).

You don’t have to be a math genius to see that from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning is not three days and three nights. Thus, on this count alone, Easter is shown to be fraudulent. 21

What’s more, Scripture nowhere instructs Christians to honor Jesus’ resurrection. Rather, we are commanded to commemorate His death through the Passover (see Luke 22:19-20; I Cor. 11:23-26; etc.). Again, Easter—which focuses on Christ’s resurrection—is proven false.

This all begs the question: What god is really being honored by Easter? Who is the real “savior” central to the Easter Sunday tradition? Is it the Jesus Christ of the Bible? Or, could it be that traditional Christianity is unknowingly worshipping a false savior—another “Jesus”? (See II Corinthians 11:4.)

It’s been said that the most dangerous counterfeit is the one that most closely resembles the truth. The master counterfeiter is Satan the devil, the “god of this world” (II Cor. 4:4)—and he is actively deceiving the whole world (Rev. 12:9). The apostle Paul warns that Satan has planted false teachers among us—those 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. 11:13-15).

Is it any wonder, then, that Christendom has been corrupted by various pagan traditions such as Easter—traditions that have been deceptively sold to us as “Christian”?

Have you too been deceived?


1. Koster, Dr. C. J, Come Out of Her My People, Institute for Scripture Research, South Africa, 1998; pp. 24, 27.

2. Koster, p. 25.

3. The Encyclopedia Americana, 1956 edition, p. 506.

4. The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 5, p. 227.

5. Hislop, Alexander, The Two Babylons, p. 103.

6. Coulter, Fred R., Occult Holidays or God’s Holy Days—Which?, York Publishing, 2006; p. 55.

7. Coulter, pp. 56, 61.

8. Coulter, p. 56.

9. Hislop, p. 104.

10. Frazer, James, The Golden Bough, p. 350.

11. Koster, p. 25.

12. Hislop, p. 105.

13. Frazer, pp. 345, 261.

14. Frazer, p. 359.

15. Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, Book V.

16. The Encyclopedia Americana, p. 506.

17. Bacchiocchi, Samuele, From Sabbath to Sunday, p. 198.

18. Koster, p. 24.

19. Jamieson Fausset & Brown Bible Commentary, Zondervan, 1961; “Jeremiah 7:18”

20. Koster, p. 26.

21. For a detailed account of Jesus’ death and resurrection, see The Day Jesus the Christ Died by Fred Coulter.