Monthly letter archive

November 14, 2018

Dear Brethren,

Now that the midterm elections are over, what is going to happen? Will things stay the same, get better, or get worse? Only time will tell. The Democrats won the House of Representatives by a narrow margin—only a few seats. But with a large Republican minority, the Democrats’ power will be limited; so it is likely that little will be accomplished over the next two years to bring about any real change. However, the Republicans increased their majority in the Senate—and that is where the real political power in Congress lies. This is highly significant because President Trump will be able to continue to appoint judges who will judge according to the Constitution as originally written. By making lawful, constitutional judgments, these judges may be able to slow the growth of the lawlessness that has been tearing down the nation.

We can be sure that the struggle will continue between the forces of good and evil—whether religious, political, educational, or cultural. They will continue in their efforts to either build up or tear down this nation. As we all know, however, only a profound, sincere repentance and return to God will delay God’s ultimate judgment against this nation.

What we are experiencing today is much like the days of the judges of ancient Israel. When the children of Israel had a good judge, they returned to God and served Him—but not with all their hearts. Here is a summary of the 480 years of the judges, when everyone was “doing what was right in their own eyes.” It was a continuous cycle of apostasy and return to God: “Therefore He ended their days in vanity and their years in terror. When He slew them, then they sought Him; and they turned back and sought after God earnestly. And they remembered that God was their Rock, and the Most High God was their Redeemer.

“Nevertheless they flattered Him with their mouths, and they lied to Him with their tongues, for their heart was not steadfast with Him; neither were they faithful in His covenant. But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity and did not destroy them; yea, many times He turned His anger away and did not stir up all His wrath, for He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passes away and does not come again” (Psa. 78:33-39).

We see the same thing today. President Trump can be compared to a good judge trying to correct the mess created by the sins of the people. He has done many things to improve the condition of the nation. How long will he be in office and how much more can be accomplished? And how long will his improvements last? We don’t know. But if it follows the pattern of Israel in the days of the judges, the younger generation will undo it all once he is no longer president. And without a doubt, they will do it with a vengeance! What does all of this mean?

For one thing, it proves that the Word of God is always true.

Human nature is a mixture of good and evil—so we do not have, inherently, the ability to properly direct our lives. As the prophet Jeremiah writes, “O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his steps” (Jer. 10:23). And, “All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirits…. There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof is the way of death” (Prov. 16:2, 25).

This is how the world has been since Adam and Eve. However, there are times when people do more good than evil. This is rare. But when more people practice the things contained in the Law of God—whether they understand or even acknowledge the Law—they are blessed. Paul writes: “For when the Gentiles, which do not have the law, practice by nature the things contained in the law, these who do not have the law are a law unto themselves; who show the work of the law written in their own hearts, their consciences bearing witness, and their reasonings also, as they accuse or defend one another” (Rom. 2:14-15).

Conversely, when more people practice the precepts of Satan the devil and live in lawlessness and rebellion, then evil and wickedness prevail—with war, death, destruction, famine, plagues, sickness, and disease. History proves this true with the rise and fall of empires and nations.

Always remember, God’s laws are spiritual and apply to everyone everywhere. Like the law of gravity, God’s laws are working all the time—resulting in blessings for those who are doing good, and curses for those who are doing evil. This applies to all—every man and woman, families, communities, cities, and nations—as God is no respecter of persons!

Here is how God works: Before He executes judgments against people who are sinning, He always gives warnings and time for people to repent. This is what He did for forty years through the prophet Jeremiah before the fall and destruction of Judah and Jerusalem in 585 BC. God gave this warning to the people: “The Word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, ‘Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear My words.’ Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he was working at his wheel. And the vessel that he made of clay was ruined in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.

“Then the Word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘O house of Israel, can I not do with you even as this potter?’ says the Lord. ‘Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hands, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel.

“ ‘If at any time I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck it up and to pull it down, and to destroy it; if that nation, against whom I have spoken, will turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do to them.

“ ‘And if at any time I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build it and to plant it; if it does evil in My sight, that it not obey My voice, then I will repent of the good with which I said I would do them good.

“ ‘Now therefore, speak to the men of Judah, and to the people of Jerusalem, saying, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I am forming evil against you, and devising a plan against you. Return now, each one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.’ ” ’

“And they said, ‘There is no hope; but we will walk after our own ways, and we will each one do according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.’ Therefore thus says the Lord, ‘Ask now among the nations; who has heard such things? The virgin of Israel has done a very horrible thing….

“ ‘Because My people have forgotten Me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused themselves to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in by-paths, not on the highway, to make their land desolate and a perpetual hissing. Everyone who passes by shall be astonished, and will shake his head. I will scatter them as with an east wind before the enemy; I will show them My back, and not My face, in the day of their calamity’ ” (Jer. 18:1-13, 15-17).

Just as God gave warnings to Judah and Jerusalem through Jeremiah for 40 years, Jesus foretold that before His return there would be warnings given to the whole world through the preaching of the Gospel. In Matthew 24, He told the apostles: “And then shall many be led into sin, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another; and many false prophets shall arise, and shall deceive many.

“And because lawlessness shall be multiplied, the love of many shall grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, that one shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be proclaimed in ALL THE WORLD for a witness TO ALL NATIONS; and then shall the end come” (verses 10-14). How will this be done?

Down through time, experts have given warnings about health, crime and corruption, financial matters, governmental problems, war, terror activities, etc. Even religious leaders give such warnings—especially those who have some knowledge of the Bible.

However, Jesus primarily gave the church this two-fold responsibility: First, we are to preach repentance of sin and baptism, obedience to God the Father and Jesus Christ, eternal life through mercy and grace—through the resurrection from the dead. Second, we are to proclaim the return of Christ and the coming Kingdom of God, which will bring peace to all nations.

Today, all the churches of God are scattered, just as they have been throughout their history. As a result, a greater number of groups are preaching the Gospel and serving the brethren and warning the world—as opposed to just one organization.

In addition, God is now doing a greater work because He has provided the digital technology to multiply the outreach of preaching and publishing the Gospel. Think on this! Today, there are more Bibles in the world than ever before—over six billion,  print and digital, in nearly every language. This also fulfills another prophesy of Jesus about His return: “And the gospel must first be published among all nations” (Mark 13:10).

Because this task is far beyond the capacity of the churches of God, He has been and is continuing to use many people and organizations not connected to the Church. But it is actually Jesus Christ Who is doing this work, as He explains in the parable of the sower. “The sower sows the Word [of God—the Bible]…. The One Who sows the good seed is the Son of man; and the field is the world; and the good seed, these are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one. Now the enemy who sowed them is the devil; and the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Therefore, as the tares are gathered and consumed in the fire, so shall it be in the end of this age” (Mark 4:14; Matt. 13:37-40).

God always does the greater work first. Jesus’ ministry was the greatest work—to prepare for the preaching of the Gospel and the development of the Church. Thus, as Jesus told the apostles, the way had been prepared for them to preach the Gospel by those He used who came before them. As Jesus said: “My meat is to do the will of Him Who sent Me, and to finish His work. Do not say that there are yet four months, and then the harvest comes. I say to you, look around. Lift up your eyes and see the fields, for they are already white to harvest. And the one who reaps receives a reward, and gathers fruit unto eternal life; so that the one who is sowing and the one who is reaping may both rejoice together. For in this the saying is true, that one sows and another reaps. I sent you to reap that in which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labor” (John 4:34-38).

It is the same today. We labor upon the work of all those before us. But it is all the “work of God”—from Moses and all the prophets and writers of the Old Testament to all the apostles and writers of the New Testament. Combined, all of these are the “seeds of salvation” that Jesus Christ, as the Head of the Church, has sown in preparation for His glorious return—a sowing in which we now participate.

A Greater Witness is Yet to Come: Just before the Great Tribulation of 3 and 1/2 years begins, God will raise up His Two Witnesses. They will be the most powerful witnesses in the history of the world! John was given this vision as found in Revelation 11: “Then the angel gave me a measuring rod like a staff, saying, ‘Arise and measure the temple of God [the coming end time Temple], and the altar, and those who worship in it. But leave out the court that is within the temple area, and do not measure it because it has been given up to the Gentiles; and they shall trample upon the holy city for forty-two months. And I will give power to My two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.

“ ‘These are the two olive trees, and the two lampstands that stand before the God of the earth. And if anyone attempts to harm them, fire will go out of their mouths and devour their enemies. For if anyone attempts to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. These have authority to shut heaven so that no rain may fall in the days of their prophecy; and they have authority over the waters, to turn them into blood, and to smite the earth with every plague, as often as they will’ ” (Rev. 11:1-6).

They will not come from any of the churches of God. Rather, one will come from the priesthood of the coming Temple in Jerusalem; the other one will be the governor of Judea. We find this in the book of Zechariah. In chapter three, Joshua the priest is a prophetic type of one of the Two Witnesses (verses 1-10).

The second witness is prophetically portrayed by Zerubbabel, governor of Judah: “ ‘The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house. His hands shall also finish it.’ And you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent me [the angel who brought this prophecy] to you…. And I answered and said to him, ‘What are these two olive trees on the right side of the lampstand and on its left side?’ And I answered again and said to him, ‘What are the two olive branches beside the two golden pipes, emptying the golden oil out of themselves?’… And he said, ‘These are the two anointed ones who stand by the Lord of the whole earth’ ” (Zech. 4:9, 11-12, 14).

“These are the two olive trees, and the two lampstands that stand before the God of the earth” (Rev. 11:4). Scripture interprets Scripture! Truth agrees with truth! Thus, the coming high priest of the end time Temple and the coming end time governor will be the Two Witnesses of Revelation 11. The Two Witnesses will not come from any church of God. Christ will select them. He alone will be in charge of the Two Witnesses—not any man!

Included in this letter is a Thanksgiving proclamation by the first president of the United States, George Washington. May God bless you with a meaningful and joyful Thanksgiving! Also included is a short article by Carl Franklin and Dwight Blevins concerning the origin and history of “Saint Nicholas.”

Brethren, we love you and thank you for your love and your prayers for all of us and all the brethren. Thank you for your continued support through God’s tithes and offerings. We realize that you are making every effort to grow and overcome spiritually—and cope with the problems pressing in on your daily lives because of this sin-sick world. We are praying daily that your love and knowledge of God will increase as you grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. May God’s love, grace, and blessings be with you in every way.

With love in Christ Jesus,

Fred R. Coulter


Thanksgiving Proclamation

October 3, 1789 • New York

“Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor—and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

“Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November, next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be—that we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks—for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation—for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war—for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed—for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted—for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

“And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions—to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually—to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed—to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord—to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science, among them and us—and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

“Given under my hand at the City of New York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord 1789.”

President George Washington

Nicolas—The Strange Story of Christmas

The true story of the “yuletide season” is as old as civilization itself. Like syrup poured over pancakes, its peculiarities have flowed in different ways throughout the various cultures of humankind, even becoming a dominate feature of Christianity itself.

At the core of its energy is the conflict between good and evil, fact and fiction, the truth and the lie. Its evergreen branches extend over the earth like angelic wings of light, innocence, and protection. Yet its fruit provides no sustenance for life—only the sweetness of good mixed with the bitterness of evil and death.

Yuletide’s influence has become increasingly pronounced over time. It is growing, not receding. And while its traditions are paraded as a source of warmth and happiness, underneath lies a mystery of darkness, born from ancient times. Suppressed for a time at the destruction wrought by the Great Flood of Genesis, its practices were resurrected at Babel, survived across the ages, and finally became attached to a new host—Christianity. It appeared to be so innocent, so natural, as if it genuinely belonged to the Romish religion: Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas.

Jesus chose twelve disciples to be the foundational witnesses of His ministry. Later, as the nascent church was forming, those disciples (now apostles) were led of the Spirit to set apart God-fearing brethren as deacons (Acts 6:5)—ordained to serve the physical needs of the church. But unknown to everyone, one of those original deacons was seriously flawed. His name was Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch. Over time, his personal ideologies would plague the New Testament church, and would eventually find fertile ground in the proto-Catholic religion.

The name Nicolas implies a victor or conqueror (hence the Greek Nikos or Nike). As was Nicolas, those who have followed in his footsteps are polluters of that which is holy. Yet their approach of attack is subtle and indirect. They seduce the mind, the place where all sin originates. Their motive, while living within the “host religion,” is to foster a spirit of evil—of license to live in sin. Ultimately, the spirit behind Nikos stems from the pagan culture of Nimrod and his female consort, Semiramis.

The Greek Nicator

The prophet Daniel foresaw the arrival of Nikos-type conquerors, warning that at the end of the age the foremost of their kind would rise to power (Dan. 9:27). Early in the fourth century BC, some 200 years after Daniel’s “70-week prophecy” began to be fulfilled, a key Nikos ruler appeared. His name was Nicator—the “conquering victor.” Nicator was one of the generals of Alexander the Great, and after Alexander’s death Nicator established the Seleucid Empire, which was foundational in Hellenistic thought.

In Syria, Nicator founded the city of Antioch. (The location was chosen following a ritual involving the eagle of Zeus. The eagle was given a piece of sacrificial meat, and whatever random location the eagle flew to was chosen as Antioch.) Antioch was named after the father of Nicator, Antiochus, which means stubborn or rebellious—defiant, like a fortress. Later, in the Roman period leading up to the New Testament age, it was the name of the fort which policed the temple mount in Jerusalem, called Fort Antonio in Latin. Tradition records that a short time before Nicator established Antioch, Alexander himself had already erected an altar there to Zeus. Moreover, a shrine to the Egyptian goddess Anat existed near Antioch. In the Greek culture Anat was called Nike, a name which is the feminine form of the male Nikos. These mythical gods and goddesses evolved from the Nimrod-Semiramis dynasty of Babel.

Antioch became one of three cities of prominence in the early Greco-Roman Empire. The other two were Alexandria, Egypt (of the Ptolemy Dynasty), and Rome itself. A century after its founding by Nicator, the Seleucids established a major highway out of Antioch that bridged the city with Hierapolis of Asia Minor—a city near Laodicea (Rev. 3).

A later Seleucid king was the infamous Antiochus Epiphanes, who invaded Jerusalem (169-168 BC) and slaughtered thousands of Jews. Antiochus believed himself to be a manifestation of the god Zeus, thus he was adorned with the title Epiphanes (compare with II Thess. 2:7). In the course of his invasion, he ravaged the Temple and polluted the sanctuary by offering an abomination of swine’s blood on the altar of God. To add insult to injury, Antiochus placed a statue of Jupiter (Zeus) in the sanctuary. A similar statue is on display at the Vatican.

Antiochus’ unprecedented oppression of the Jews led to the Maccabean revolt of 164 BC, which eventually threw off the Syrian yoke. In 66 AD, a similar revolt found Judean Zealots storming the Roman Fort Antonio. But this event ultimately resulted in the complete destruction of Jerusalem and the Second Temple in 70 AD by the military might of Vespasian. Vespasian later rejuvenated the long venerated Roman city of the east, Antioch—which had earlier been the home of the deacon Nicolas.

Nicolas of Antioch

Soon after the establishment of the early church, Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch, was ordained a deacon (Acts 6:5). Apparently, Nicolas was quite influential and had followers—who by the late first century had begun polluting doctrine in the congregation at Pergamos. According to Revelation 2, Pergamos was the very seat of Satan, where an altar to Zeus had long been established.

Irenaeus, an early church bishop from Smyrna, along with other early historians of that period, identify Nicolas of Antioch with the Nicolaitan heresies of Revelation. In the opening chapters of Revelation, Jesus commended the church at Ephesus for rejecting the deeds of Nicolas, but leveled a scathing indictment against the Pergamos congregation because many there had embraced his polluted teachings. (Ironically, Antioch was the foundation of the church in the Gentile world, and where Jesus’ followers were first called “Christians.”)

Nicholas, meaning “victory over the people,” was among the first to begin utilizing Greek mysticism in the commercialization of Christianity. His was a crafty blend of power, money, and pragmatic philosophy—mixed with a bit of truth, the name of Jesus, and license to do evil. It had the flavor of having your cake and eating it too. It functioned by having one foot in the church for the benefits of God, while keeping the other foot in the world in order to reap the rewards of Satan. Appropriating the name of Christ, his followers were psychic dreamers steeped in idolatry and the epiphanies of Greek mysticism.

Like Simon Magus, whom the early apostles confronted, the Nicolaitans introduced the idea of using the name of Jesus for commercial gain, dominance, and control. After all, the concept had worked quite well in the pagan temples of the gentile world, generating wealth and revenue for many societies. In effect, it was the age-old scenario of Balaam, Balak, Baal Peor and the seduction into sin. Jude, Peter and Paul all warned the church regarding the mixing of heathen mysticism, philosophy, and idolatry with the truth of God. 

While it cannot be said that the epistles of Jude and Peter specifically addressed the exploits of Nicolas by name, it is certain that the admonitions of Jude and II Peter did address Nicolaitan doctrines and sins.

Nicolaitan Ideology in Rome

The ideology and iconic name of Nicholas was a hand-in-glove fit for the emergence of a Roman-dominated church of the fourth century. Rome was the foremost empire of the age, thus it was only fitting that foundational concepts of doctrine and church government should begin to be filtered through Roman hands. 

As an empire, Rome was predominately Latin in language, but the New Testament record was passed down in Greek. When the book of Revelation was released to the church in Greek, it was no doubt an insult to the Latin-speaking Gentile-dominated proto-Catholic church of the west. Adding to the insult was the fact that it came from the east, from John—who was mainly associated with the churches of Ephesus and Asia Minor—and not from the church hierarchy in Rome.

One backlash of this was Rome’s dismissal of the authenticity of the letters to the seven churches—as the early proto-Catholic leaders no doubt felt the sting of Jesus’ indictment against Nicolaitan doctrine. But by this time the push was well under way to replace the foundational authority of Jesus’ apostles with that of Rome. Indeed, the “early church fathers” wasted no time in rejecting and replacing the original doctrines of Christ, supplanting them with the spirit of Nicholas and the wicked deeds of his sect. So great was the push-back against the authority of John and his followers from Ephesus that faithful brethren were being put out of outlying congregations because of their association with John.

Clearly, Jesus meant to use Revelation to emphasized the need to hold fast to original truth and doctrine. But to Rome, Revelation became “the salt in the wound” and “the straw that broke the camel’s back.” 

Satan, of course, is the unseen power behind the entire Nicolaitan movement. In time, Satan would use the iconic legacy of Nicolas and his doctrines in a way that would identify modern Christianity (both Protestant and Catholic) as false. Indeed, Nicolaitan philosophy has survived to become the dominate influence for the teachings and governance of what we have come to accept as western Christianity. And none of it came from the Bible, but solely from mystic fairytales and folklore. Ironically, Nicolaitan ideology is behind the very deeds and culture that Jesus says He hates! 

The Nicolaitan Tradition Spreads from the West

It is against the backdrop of such ancient ecclesiastical history that the importance of certain later events becomes clear. Little more than 50 years after the death of the apostle John, one of his disciples from Asia Minor, Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, confronted the bishop of Rome, Anecietus, regarding the observance of the 14th Passover. Anecietus hailed from Homs, Syria, a region of Roman conquest saturated with religions of the occult. History remembers Polycarp’s mid second-century debate with Anecietus as the Quartodeciman Controversy. But by then the influence of Nicolaitan dogma had prevailed, even to the point of Rome substituting the idolatrous Easter in place of Passover as the day to honor the sacrifice of Christ.

But the conflict between the authority of truth out of Ephesus and the corrupt Roman church was just getting started. Just a few decades previous to the reign of Caesar Marcus Augustus, about 195 AD, Polycrates, a second-generation disciple of John’s ministry in Asia Minor, confronted Rome once again on the subject of substituting the day of the fertility rites of Easter in lieu of the 14th Passover.

At that time, Victor (Latin for Nicolas), from a Roman province in North Africa, had become bishop of Rome. Polycrates stated his objections to the observance of Easter, but to no avail. Subsequent to the debate over the timing of Jesus’ Passover, Victor excommunicated the churches of Asia Minor for failing to follow the lead of mother Rome in denouncing Passover as the memorial of Jesus’ crucifixion. So the mixing of truth with the erroneous craft of the Nicolaitans prevailed. Moreover, Victor was the first bishop to begin using the Latin language to conduct official church liturgy; Greek had previously been used.

By the fourth century AD, a Nicolaitan legacy began to evolve—complete with a “Nicolas icon.” Indeed, there appeared a bishop from Lycia bearing the name Nicolas. To this day the religions of the Roman west all remember him as St. Nick.

Nicolas of Patara, Lycia, Asia Minor, was born about 270 AD. He was later called St. Nicolas by the Church of Rome. History and tradition remember him for his acts of secret gift giving. His name could not have been more useful as an icon of folklore. By the time of Emperor Constantine’s Council of Nicea, 325 AD, Nicolas was in his prime, around the age of 55.

Whether by coincidence or by deliberate steps taken to promote the Nicolas legend, the timing could not have been more perfect. Up to now, the legendary acts of Nicolas had been attached to the Romish church itself; but in the ages to follow, his legacy would become an iconic reality, influencing all future generations of what is called “Christianity.”

With the Council of Nicea, many of the mystic traditions dating from the days of Nicolas of Antioch and beyond began to be established as doctrine—backed by Roman ecclesiastical power and enforced by civil law.

The tradition of St. Nick has long driven the mystery, mysticism, and commercialization of Christianity. St. Nick’s month of sainthood is December, linking his mystery to the ancient revelry of the winter solstice of late December—a season when ancient Greece and Rome loosened the standards of moral conduct. Over time, related idolatrous practices crept into New Testament congregations. Jude, the half-brother of Jesus, wrote with great urgency against the stealthy Nicolaitan operatives who were enticing careless Christians to embrace their corrupt mystical doctrines.

In our day, the time of “religious commerce” actually begins about mid-October, looking forward to the goon-faced masquerade on “All Hallows Eve” (Halloween), another occult holiday of today’s Christian world. The timeline of commerce and celebration then extends into December with Christmas, and on to the Roman new year of January 1. From there the mystical theme continues to Ash Wednesday, then on to the vernal equinox of Isis (Easter) where her traditional symbols of peeping chicks and chocolate bunnies merge with the season of new life and springtime fertility.

God’s days of worship and feast-keeping in the western hemisphere always occur in the warmer months of our spring-to-fall seasons, while the “commerce holidays” of the occult fall within the dark and cold of winter. God’s “appointed times” intersect with Nicolaitan doctrine at the all-important annual memorial of the death of Jesus Christ. As already noted, this record of conflict—where a line was firmly drawn in the sands of church history—is that of the 14th Passover, in contrast to Rome’s Easter celebration. 

Christmas Past

 The early Anglo Saxons and Celts of Germany and Holland saw a strong resemblance between the bearded Woden (Odin)—the Celtic god from which we get Woden’s day, or Wednesday—and St. Nick, which opened the door for blending the Sinterklaus tradition into western Christianity. In some cultures, St. Nick was associated with the ash tree of the Druids (a prototype of the Christmas tree) and was thought to carry a chimneysweep around with him. This Woden-Santa was also associated with ashes and coal, which leads easily to the religious tradition called Ash Wednesday (which begins Lent). The associations are uncanny: the bearded Woden, Wednesday, ashes, trees, chimneysweeps, and St. Nick.

In the religion of the Vikings, Odin (Woden) is the king of the Wild Hunt. This mighty hunter, typically depicted with one eye closed, was believed to lead a string of apparition-like figures as they, like Santa and his reindeer-drawn sleigh, transverse the heavens.

It seems Satan has cleverly branded the modern followers of Christ with that which Jesus hates. The deeds of Nicolas are alive and well. With one foot in the church and one foot in the revelry of the holidays of the world, Nicolas has become the author of a cultural and religious mystery. Through philosophy, intrigue, and religion, he has amassed incredible power over the minds of billions, creating an avenue for the most profitable gain the nations have ever known.

Most will contend that the legacy of St. Nick—i.e., Christmas—is merely one of many harmless traditions that have evolved over the centuries to become commonplace and accepted in modern society. God really doesn’t care, they conclude, that Jesus’ church now features a hybrid mix of biblical truth and heathen tradition. With regard to the worship of God, they will suggest that present day practices have little relevance to the evils of antiquity.

However, the Roman church, which has bequeathed many pagan relics to the Protestant world, admits to no such disconnect with history. In fact, on October 11, 1962, in his address to the Vatican Council, which began that fall, Pope John XXIII summed up everything vis-à-vis church history. Reflecting on all that has gone before—and looking back especially to the Creeds and Council of Nicea—Pope John boldly stated, “What was, still is!”

And now, as we approach the end of Daniel’s 70-week prophecy, we await the encore performance of the last and literal Nikos, conqueror of the people. He will be the last of the Nimrodian generations—the crowned head of Great Babel. He will appear in concert with a third Temple in Jerusalem, polluting its sanctuary. This latter-day Nicolas, a prince of the people, will make a covenant with many for seven years (Dan. 9:27). This world prince, according to the apostle Paul, in a brazen assumption that he is an Epiphanes (manifestation), will stand in the Temple at Jerusalem and claim that he is very God (II Thess. 2:7). This Nikos will make war against the saints of God, and have authority over every tribe, language, and nation (Rev. 13:7).  

And “there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation” (Dan. 12:1). But Michael will stand up for the saints—and this will be the end of the matter, the closing chapter of the strange story of Christmas. Finally, the world will understand why Jesus hates the deeds and doctrine of the Nicolaitans.

—Dwight Blevins and Carl D. Franklin