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Rod McNair

Is Big Brother Coming?

Discover what the Bible has to say about what our government will look like in the near future. Will Big Brother become a soon coming reality? See for yourself from the pages of your Bible as prophecy foretells what is to happen. Tune in to learn more!

[The text below represents an edited transcript of this Tomorrow’s World program.]

A World Wide Dictatorship Coming?

In the Book of Revelation, John saw two beasts in a vision. One rose up from the sea and the other from the earth. Bible students understand these to be human leaders wielding power over the nations. Their power reaches its climax in the latter days, when this unholy alliance seizes far-reaching control over people’s lives. They even force people to take a mysterious mark, without which they are virtually cut off from society.

The Book of Revelation predicts this will happen. But how could such a thing occur in our enlightened age? Will people really give up this control over their lives?

We’ll explore that today on Tomorrow’s World. And we’ll get a glimpse into the coming society these beasts will shape. And we’ll see how you and your family can escape the terrible trap set by these two powerful figures.

During this program, I’ll be offering our free study guide, The Beast of Revelation: Myth, Metaphor, or Soon-coming Reality? So get ready, you won’t want to miss requesting your own copy of this hard-hitting booklet.

So, is Big Brother coming? I’ll be right back with the answers.

A Society Under Total Surveillance

In 1948, George Orwell wrote the book, “1984.” In the novel, he imagined a world governed by a totalitarian dictatorship bent on controlling the population. By cameras and spies everywhere, Big Brother dictates their movements, their behaviors, and even their words. The author coined the phrase, “Big Brother is watching you,” to describe this suffocating level of personal surveillance. George Orwell was an insightful critic of his time, and what he envisioned was government becoming more oppressive, until it controls virtually every movement of every person held under its sway.

The Book of Revelation does describe such a time. It tells of two ruthless leaders who share an alliance and oppress their people like no time in history. Let’s read about it, in Revelation 13, verse 1.

“Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name.”

When compared with Daniel chapter 7 in the Old Testament, we can see this beast is a combination of four world-ruling powers culminating in the Roman Empire. This empire collapsed in 476 AD. That’s the mortal wound described in verse 3. Also in verse 3, his deadly wound is healed. That is the reconstitution of the empire under Justinian in 554 AD, with the aid of the Pope in Rome. This revived Roman Empire would have successive revivals, with the final appearance in the time of the end.

The Beast out of the earth is the second beast, described in verse 11.

“Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon.”

This beast is also powerful, and it represents a religious leader. He does great wonders to deceive the masses. He appears to be an emissary of Christ, but speaks with a very different message, the words of the dragon, who is Satan the Devil.

In verse 16, we find how these two dark forces team up to coerce the population into taking a mysterious mark:

“He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (vv. 16–17).

Is this Big Brother? This sounds a lot like Orwell’s society of “1984.” Think of the suffocating repression of personal rights this is describing. It sounds shocking to us who live in liberty-loving, open societies of the Western world. But Revelation 13 shows this is coming.

These two beasts will not last long. But they will arise in the last days, just before Christ’s return. How do we know this? Because we also read, in Revelation 19:20, that Jesus will destroy these two individuals, at His coming. So, it’s yet to happen in the future.

COVID-19 Monitoring a Disturbing Precursor of Privacy Invasion

Some people feel we already have Big Brother now. They point to restrictions made by our governments because of the coronavirus, for example. When COVID-19 hit, governments around the world moved to get the spread of the virus under control. Restrictions on travel, employment, recreation, and groups meeting together were instituted in many places.

And through this time, some of these measures have been rather unusual. One company, called Draganfly, has developed drones that can be used to detect sick people even from above. Here is how the CEO of Draganfly describes his company’s product:

“What these cameras can do is actually detect fever, which is very different than detecting just temperature…. They can detect sneezing. They can detect your heart rate, your respiratory rate, and they can also detect social distancing” (“Coronavirus News: Pandemic drones to monitor fever, Crowds from above,” WABC-TV, ABC7NY.com, April 15, 2020).

Quite a remarkable device. But some ask, is this technology a little alarming? When a drone, without your consent, determines if you have a fever? Is Big Brother here now?

Let’s get a little perspective. It’s not a great sacrifice to stay six feet away from others, or wear a mask. And it’s a good idea to wash our hands. Christians should do what we can to protect our neighbors and our families. Jesus explained that in Matthew 22:39, when He said, “…love your neighbor as yourself.” Paul also exhorted Christians to obey the government, as long as it doesn’t cause us to disobey God. As stated in Romans 13:1, “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities….”

And yet, some of these COVID-19 restrictions seem to be going further than anything we’ve ever seen. Perhaps that’s why some evangelicals make a direct connection between the recent government actions and the biblical mark of the beast. Notice this article from Yahoo.com on May 14, 2020. The author says that some evangelical pastors have claimed that the government is creating…

“…implantable microchips that could be used to control the population under the guise of tracking COVID-19 infections and immunity…” (Some evangelicals fear the ‘mark of the beast’ from a coronavirus vaccine,” News.Yahoo.com, May 14, 2020).

Are we seeing the mark of the beast? Is it being introduced now, under the guise of COVID-19 monitoring? Has Big Brother arrived?

Let’s be clear. There will always be evil actors who seek to gain power through any means. But Revelation 13’s description of the mark of the beast is something on a totally different level. COVID-19 treatments or policies are not the mark of the beast.

With that said, it is a little unnerving that health officials are using technology that is ever-more intrusive. For example, a crucial element of fighting any contagious disease is contact tracing. That means, when someone gets sick, health officials interview the sick person to find out who they have been in contact with. They then can track down others who might be infected. Knowing who’s been infected allows you to know who to quarantine. And quarantine is not a bad word—it’s a biblical principle used to contain contagious diseases.

But new technology even available on a cell phone takes this tracking process to a totally new level. It’s something that George Orwell might have envisioned in his novel. Consider this report from Amnesty International:

“Media reports suggest that Ecuador’s government has authorized GPS tracking to enforce compliance to quarantine. The Israeli authorities’ move to permit the security service to use cell phone data of infected persons has already raised privacy concerns…. In South Korea, authorities have been sending health advisory texts which have been accompanied with personal details of infected patients…” (“COVID-19, surveillance and the threat to your rights,” Amnesty.org, April 3, 2020).

In other words, some governments are controlling and even distributing very personal, private information, such as health records. As the website goes on:

“Once personal data is collected, there is a real danger of it being shared and used for purposes other than health tracking.”

COVID-19 tracking efforts are not the mark of the beast. Social Security numbers or implanted chips are not the mark of the beast. However, it’s not hard to imagine the beast power deploying technology similar to what’s being developed today. Today it’s used to save lives. Tomorrow, it may be used to take lives.

Have We Willingly Brought “Big Data” Into Our Lives?

So, maybe a Big Brother type of society is starting to develop. The COVID-19 crisis does seem to show technology being developed and used in more invasive ways than ever before. But before we sound the alarm, let’s take a step back and ask ourselves, what was our tech like before the coronavirus?

In December of 2019, a New York Times opinion piece appeared, entitled “Total Surveillance Is Not What America Signed Up For.”

“Your smartphone can broadcast your exact location thousands of times per day, through hundreds of apps, instantaneously to dozens of different companies. Each of those companies has the power to follow individual mobile phones wherever they go, in near-real time. That’s not a glitch in the system. It is the system. If the government ordered Americans to continuously provide such precise, real-time information about themselves, there would be a revolt…. Yet, as a society, without ever focusing on this profound choice, we’ve reached a tacit consensus to hand this data over voluntarily, even though we don’t really know who’s getting it or what they’re doing with it…” (NYTimes.com, December 21, 2019).

The article concludes that maybe this decade, that began roughly around the time when the App Store was founded, in 2008, will be remembered as the decade in which we were brainwashed into surveilling ourselves.

If you have a Smartphone, this tiny computer you carry around in your pocket is sending all kinds of information about you to people you don’t even know. Information about your private emails, your buying patterns, photos of you and children, and even your health information, if you have a device that collects it. We would never consent to this much private information about us going out, if it weren’t so convenient for our lifestyle.

In January of 2019, Fox Business host Stuart Varney made this assessment:

“You’ve heard the expression, ‘Big Brother.’ It’s taken from George Orwell’s book ‘1984’…. News flash, Big Brother has arrived. Big Brother is already watching you. On our program recently, China watcher Michael Pillsbury described a global surveillance system, using facial recognition, which allows the Chinese government to watch anyone, anywhere, in real time. If that’s not a modern day Big Brother, I don’t know what is!” “Big Brother is already watching us: Varney,” FoxBusiness.com, January 30, 2019).

Maybe Big Brother was already beginning to take shape in our society before COVID-19 arrived. In one of the great ironies of our time, maybe we are welcoming him into our lives in exchange for the conveniences of tech. Consider some more examples of our labor-saving smart devices today.

“We’ve also learned that Amazon’s home helper, Alexa, can listen in to what you’re saying, even when Alexa has not been asked a question: She’s always listening. Google operates Gmail, the very widely used email service. Google reads those emails…. Apple’s FaceTime has a bug that allows people to eavesdrop. Facebook knows everything about everyone. They’re following you. I wish I could say there’s a way out of all this, but I don’t think there is. We’ve opened the surveillance box and we can’t close it up….”

No, Google is not the beast and the App Store is not where you get the mark. However, could the technology we’re using daily, which we become dependent on, be preparing us to be manipulated when the dark days do come? What if it’s not Google that’s scanning our emails for marketing purposes, but censorship officials ordered to keep our messages politically correct? Could this happen?

In the book of Daniel, the prophet was given a glimpse of the world of the end-times. Among other things, this is what he recorded:

Daniel 12:4 “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”

“Data” is the buzzword today. Companies are in a race to find ways to mine data and use data, to get consumers what they want before their competitors do. And we as consumers are happy to oblige them with ever more reams of data. All in the name of tech with newer, smarter functions. Knowledge is increasing.

Now is technology bad? Not necessarily. We use technology in this Work, and it helps us in our efforts. To a certain degree, if we live in this world, we have to use the technology of this world. When Jesus prayed for His disciples, before His crucifixion, notice what He said:

John 17:15 “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.”

We live and function in this world. But we should be bond slaves of God, not slaves of our devices. We should be careful to protect our personal information, educating ourselves in how to do so. We should be wary of scam artists, and protect our passwords. We should remember that for every new feature that requires more information, we’re making a tradeoff. We’re allowing a growing presence of invasive technology into our lives. Where will that take us in the future?

No, the beast has not yet arrived. But it is coming. And our society is being conditioned for its coming, and the stripping of personal freedoms that will be a part of society, when the mark of the beast is enforced.

The Beast Has Not Arrived Yet. What Can YOU Do to Prepare?

So, what should you do? At the beginning of this program, we saw that the Bible shows that the two beasts of Revelation 13 will arise, and unsuspecting masses will be coerced to taking the mark of the beast. That’s a mark that will identify a person as belonging to that system. But the prophet Ezekiel gives us some helpful clues on how to be identified with God’s mark, instead.

In Ezekiel chapter 9, God gave Ezekiel a sobering look at the destruction of Jerusalem that was coming in his time. Let’s read it in Ezekiel 9:4:

“And the LORD said to him, ‘Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it. To the others He said in my hearing, ‘Go after him through the city and kill… but do not come near anyone on whom is the mark…’” (Ezekiel 9:4–6).

As our society descends into immorality and corruption, we need to take Ezekiel’s vision as a warning as well. When God allows the Big Brother society of the beasts of Revelation to descend on this world, He will provide a shield for His faithful and zealous people. What should Christians do? We need to take sin seriously. It’s because of sin that God will allow our lands to be punished. If you can see the writing on the wall, get on your knees and pray to God about it. Ask Him to intervene. Ask Him to guide our leaders. But most of all, ask God for help to not be deceived. Because these coming world dictators are going to deceive many, if not most.

The beast of Revelation has a mark. But God has a mark that He marks His people with. What is it? If we want to be protected in the coming years, we must accept the shed blood of Christ for our sins, we must be led by God’s Spirit, and we must keep His commandments. We find that one of God’s commandments is specifically mentioned as a sign between God and His people.

Turn to Ezekiel 20:15, where we find a description of the sins of the nation of Israel before it collapsed. Can we learn the lessons of judgment that came upon that land? Read it with me in Ezekiel 20:15:

“So I also raised My hand in an oath to them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, ‘flowing with milk and honey,’ the glory of all lands, because they despised My judgments and did not walk in My statutes, but profaned My Sabbaths; for their heart went after their idols” (Ezekiel 20:15–16).

Have we in the Western world come to the point where many of us despise the laws of God? These commandments that God gave, saying this is how you will live, and thrive, and prosper? Do we now hold these words in contempt? Ezekiel 20:18:

“But I said to their children in the wilderness, ‘Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, nor observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols. I am the Lord your God: Walk in My statutes, keep My judgments, and do them; hallow My Sabbaths, and they will be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God’” (Ezekiel 20:18–20).

Did you catch that? God told His people to love Him, to love their neighbors, to obey His commandments, including His sabbaths. And His sabbaths—which means the seventh day sabbath, and the annual holy days—would be a marker between God and His people. How is it that we take on the mark of God? We walk with God, we accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we repent of our sins, and we commit to keeping His holy sabbaths.

The Big Brother society of George Orwell’s “1984” is not here yet. But there are signs that it is coming. Now’s the time to show our loyalty and faithfulness to God. Now’s the time to turn to Him with all of our hearts. In the dark days ahead, we want God to mark us as His people, His children, who have His Spirit, and His protection. Today’s intrusive tech is nothing compared to what is coming as Big Brother arrives. What do we do? We put our faith and our trust in God. He is our shield and our great reward in times of trouble.

Hey it’s me again! Thanks for watching this Tomorrow’s World program. If you would like to see other videos like this be sure to subscribe and click on the notification bell. We post several videos every single week. And if you’d like a free booklet about the beast, be sure to click the link in the description. We’ll see you next time.


Is Big Brother Coming?



Digital thumbprint in orange and blue light

Advances in privacy-invading technology are rapidly paving the way for the fulfillment of prophecy.

"If My People Would Humble Themselves..."



Sunrise over a field

In a world where humility is on the decline, we need it more than ever.

"If My People Would Humble Themselves..."



“It’s humbling.” The owner of a small business was relating to me his feelings about the rapidly unfolding COVID-19 crisis. We had just met, striking up conversation while waiting for an appointment. He had around 70 employees in his manufacturing company and he was scrambling to keep ahead of events. This was in the early days of the virus’ impact in the U.S., and the lockdown had not yet been enacted. He was struggling to digest a flurry of national, state, and local guidelines, writing and rewriting company policies, and grappling with how to keep employees safe and protected.

Did Jesus' Disciples Celebrate Easter?

Easter…It’s the holiest day of the year for hundreds of millions of people. But did Christ’s disciples celebrate EASTER to honor His resurrection?

Is Easter The Most Important Christian Holiday?

Easter… It’s the holiest day of the year for hundreds of millions of people. In the northern Hemisphere, traditions focus on the coming of Spring. Winter is over. Fields and farms are alive with color. Trees and flowers burst with new life. And Easter traditions are observed around the world. The “Woman’s Day” website brings out some of the more unusual examples, like young boys dousing young girls with water, in Poland and Hungary. According to the website, this playful tradition has roots in ancient fertility rites. Other Easter traditions are also linked to Spring-time fertility rituals, meant to ensure good crops. In Florence, Italy, for example, they blow up carts with explosives. And in the Greek island of Corfu, they drop clay pots out of second story windows.

If that sounds strange though, how about American traditions, like an Easter bunny that lays eggs?

And what does this all have to do with Jesus’ resurrection?

You see, many well-meaning people practice these rather odd traditions, but also view Easter as a time to honor Jesus Christ. After all, the Bible DOES say Jesus died in the Spring. And after dying and being laid in a grave, He miraculously revived. He was resurrected!

But did His disciples celebrate EASTER to honor His resurrection? That’s an important question to ask. And that’s what we’ll attempt to answer on today’s program.

So join me on Tomorrow's World, as we ask, and answer, the question: “Did Jesus’ disciples celebrate Easter?”

Easter Is A Religious Lie

Easter traditions are kept all over the world. In the Northern Hemisphere, most of them center around the new life of Spring. Winter’s over, and trees and flowers burst with blossoms. But even down-under, when March and April bring autumn, Easter is observed, but with a little twist. Instead of eating chocolate rabbits, Australian children eat chocolates formed in a shape of a mouse-like creature called a “bilby.” When it comes to Easter, it seems there’s something for everyone.

For many who attend church, Easter is the holiest day of the year. And what could be more important than celebrating Jesus’ resurrection?

Many sincere, well-meaning people seek to do just that. But is Easter biblical? Is the word “Easter” even found in the Bible? The answer is, the word “Easter” IS found in one place in the King James Bible. If you have a King James Bible, take a look at Acts 12:4. It tells the story of James being imprisoned and then executed by King Herod. Then, Herod arrested Peter as well. And notice what it says next:

“And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.” (Acts 12:4) (KJV)

But look under the surface. The word “Easter” isn’t intended there at all. Theologian Adam Clarke explains this in his commentary on the verse. He says:

“Perhaps there never was a more unhappy, not to say absurd, translation than that in our text [KJV]…. The term Easter, inserted here by our translators, they borrowed from the ancient Anglo-Saxon service-books….” (Adam Clarke’s Commentary, Vol. 5, p. 774).

He then explains that the goddess Easter, or Ishtar:

“…was celebrated by our pagan forefathers on the month of April…. Every view we can take of this subject shows the gross impropriety of retaining a name every way exceptionable, and palpably absurd.” (Adam Clarke’s Commentary, Vol. 5, p. 775).

So, the one place where the word “Easter” is found in the Bible, is a mistranslation. Does that surprise you? The Greek word translated “Easter” in Acts 12:4 was actually the word “pascha,” or what we say in English, “Passover.” So, Acts 12:4 should have read: “...Intending after Passover to bring him out to the people….”

What was Passover? Passover was a festival being kept by the Jews. It involved eating a meal of a sacrificial lamb, slain just for that purpose. It was in the Springtime. Many Jews still keep Passover today, in one form or another.

So, the word Easter is not found in the Bible. And the one place it seems to be, is a mistranslation. If this is so, why do so many observe it?

As stated already, many people sincerely believe they honor the resurrection of Jesus by observing Easter. And yes, the resurrection IS found in the Bible. All four Gospel writers testified to it. And we in this Work have a profound feeling and AWE for what Jesus did in dying for our sins. We believe that through His shed blood, through faith IN Him, we can ALSO attain to the resurrection. That’s the wonderful hope of every Christian.

But back to the original question: Did the disciples of Jesus celebrate Easter? IF they did, we should follow their example. If they did not, we must ask the question, “Why not?”

And we’ll get to that in a moment. But first, let me offer you our free study guide, Easter: The Untold Story. In it, Mr. Gerald Weston examines the significance of the name, “Easter.” He looks at the ancient practice of worshipping the Queen of Heaven. And he asks the question, could we be worshipping Jesus Christ in vain? This issue strikes at the very heart of what it is to be a Christian. If you’ve not read this booklet, you need to order it today. Request your free copy of “Easter: The Untold Story.”

Just click the link in the description and order it now.

Three Reasons Why Passover And NOT Easter Is The True Christian Holy Day

In the first part of our program, we asked the question, “Is the word ‘Easter’ found in the Bible?” And the answer is, only in a mis-translation of the King James Bible. Now let’s look at the examples of Jesus and His disciples. Did THEY celebrate Easter? Let’s find out what they did, and what they taught. We’ll break it down into three points. The first point is:

#1: AS CHRISTIANS, WE MUST FOLLOW THE EXAMPLES OF JESUS AND HIS DISCIPLES

This point may seem simple, but don’t overlook the obvious. Too often, people base their beliefs too much on tradition and not enough on Scripture. We think many of you DO read your Bible faithfully. You WANT to be like the Bereans of Acts 17:11, who “searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.”

During His ministry, Jesus called many disciples. He commanded them, “Follow Me,” as in Mark 2:14. This wasn’t just an invitation to walk with Him to the next village. It wasn’t just a sentimental feeling. In a very real sense, He was saying, “Look at what I’m doing and follow My example.”

He repeated this many times. In Matthew 10:38 Jesus said, “...he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” You see, following Christ’s example and teaching is what is expected to be a disciple.

After the death and resurrection of Jesus, the apostles followed the same pattern. They urged the brethren to follow their example in practice and doctrine. Notice what Paul told the Philippians:

“Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern” (Philippians 3:17).

Notice what Paul also told the young evangelist, Timothy:

“But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith…” (2 Timothy 3:10).

Did Paul mean that his brethren should just BLINDLY follow him? No. In 1 Corinthians 11:1, he said “Follow me, as I follow Christ.”

Paul wasn’t perfect. Nor were the other apostles. The New Testament is very honest about their mistakes. And yet, Christ worked THROUGH them, so they could TEACH by word and example. Paul said, “don’t just blindly do everything I do or say… look at my example, and if it measures up to Christ, then follow it.”

This is a consistent theme in the entire New Testament. This is what should guide our life: Following the example of Jesus and the apostles. That’s WHY the New Testament has been preserved, so we can know what they did. Luke wrote in Acts 16:4:

“And as they [Paul and Silas, that is] went through the cities, they delivered to them the decrees to keep, which were determined by the apostles and elders at Jerusalem. So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily.” (cts 16:4–5).

The brethren in the first century followed the teachings of Christ and the apostles. As Christians today, we must live by the same rule.

Peter echoed a similar theme in his second letter to the brethren. He said this:

“Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior….” (2 Peter 3:1–2)

Did Peter just make up commandments for them to follow? No--he taught them what He had learned from Jesus. And he lived it in his personal example.

John also taught this. In 1 John 1:2 he wrote:

“...the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us—that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us….” (1 John 1:2–3)

John and the other apostles were passing along what they saw Jesus do, and what they heard Jesus teach.

Why is this important? Because many traditions of modern Christianity simply go AGAINST the example of Jesus and His disciples. Mr. Gerald Weston brings this out in the free booklet Easter: The Untold Story. We are offering this publication today. This booklet will help you see that some of the basic teachings of mainstream Christianity are NOT found in the Bible. Take for example, chapter four. It’s entitled: “Three Days and Three Nights.” Was Jesus in the grave a full three days and three nights? Or just parts of three days and three nights? Can you really know? And does it matter?

In a simple and straightforward way, this booklet will lay it out for you. Use it side by side with your own Bible. Don’t take our word for it. Prove it for yourself. Again, this is a free publication… it’s already paid for. The generous co-workers of this Work have “paid-it-forward”, for you. They want you to have this booklet. So, give us a call or go online and order yours now.

The Disciples Kept the Passover… Not Easter

Welcome back. In the last segment, we saw that Christians must follow the example of Jesus and His disciples. That should be our guide. With that foundation, let’s go on to the next point. Number 2...

#2 THERE IS NO RECORD OF JESUS’ DISCIPLES CELEBRATING EASTER

Dr. Samuele Bachiocchi is a noted church-history expert who wrote the book From Sabbath to Sunday. On page 84, he said this:

“…[T]hough the resurrection is frequently mentioned both in the New Testament and in the early patristic literature, no suggestion is given that primitive Christians commemorated the event by a weekly or yearly Sunday service” (From Sabbath to Sunday, Samuele Bachiocchi, p. 84).

You can search the New Testament from one end to the other, and you won’t find the disciples celebrating Easter. In 1986, a book called The Apostasy of the Lost Century was written by a man named S. Gusten Olsen. Notice what he said:

“When Polycarp was writing his Epistle, Sunday was still a working day…. Not even the association of the resurrection with the symbolism of the sun seems very prominent until the middle of the second century” (The Apostasy of the Lost Century, S. Gusten Olsen, p. 100).

Did you catch that? Mr. Olsen said the idea of the rising sun being symbolic of Jesus’ resurrection--think, sunrise service--was not part of the thinking of the early disciples. The tradition of the rising sun representing Christ’s resurrection didn’t take shape until the 2nd century. Is this because Jesus’ disciples didn’t CARE about the resurrection? Nothing could be further from the truth! When Jesus appeared to His disciples from the grave “...they still did not believe for joy, and marveled...” (Luke 24:41). They were amazed--and grateful! When Thomas, who saw Him later, realized what had happened, how did HE respond? John 20:28 records, “...Thomas answered and said to Him, ‘My Lord and my God!’”

The disciples had a DEEP respect and sense of awe for the miracle of the resurrection. But NOWHERE do we have a record of their keeping a service to commemorate it. Even if they HAD celebrated it, it would NOT have been Sunday morning. We find this passage in John 20:1.

“Now the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb” (John 20:1).

Verse 2 says: “Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him’” (John 20:2).

Did you catch that? Mary was at the tomb before sunrise. It was STILL dark and Jesus was already gone. Jesus did NOT rise from the grave at sunrise, as so many assume.

Did the early disciples talk about the resurrection? Yes--many times! Paul, in his defense before the Sanhedrin, said, “Concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am being judged…” (Acts 23:6) He wrote a whole chapter ABOUT the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15. And in 1 Peter 1:3, notice what the Apostle Peter said:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…. In this you greatly rejoice.” (1 Peter 1:3, 6).

The apostles were witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection. And they were to tell the whole WORLD about it. But nowhere in the New Testament is there a record of an Easter service. It’s just not there.

On the contrary, the disciples WERE keeping a different feast day to honor Jesus Christ. What was that different feast day? That brings us to our final point in this program. Number 3:

#3: JESUS’ DISCIPLES KEPT THE CHRISTIAN PASSOVER TO COMMEMORATE HIS DEATH.

As we saw earlier, Jesus kept the Passover with His disciples. But during His last Passover just before His death, He assigned new symbolic meaning to the bread and wine. Notice how Mark describes it:

“And as they were eating [the Passover], Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body.’ Then He took the cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. And He said to them, ‘This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many’” (Mark 14:22–24).

Jesus used this ancient feast day to institute new symbols about His own coming sacrifice. He explained, “By taking these symbols, you are entering the new covenant.” He was explaining how they could come under His shed blood, and be forgiven of their sins!

The Apostle John also noted that same last Passover, but with other details. He recorded that Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. Notice what Jesus said, in John 13:15.

“For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you…. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them” (John 13:15, 17).

That is a direct command to follow in His steps. Jesus commanded His people to take bread and wine, as symbols of His broken body and shed blood. And He commanded them to wash each others’ feet as an outward expression of humility and Christian brotherhood. He instituted the Christian Passover.

This is very different from what most modern Christians observe today. But there it is, right in the Bible. And He said we would be blessed if we followed His example.

What about the apostles? Do they tell us to observe the Christian Passover? Yes. Paul wrote about it in 1 Corinthians 11, verse 23:

“For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me’” (1 Corinthians 11:23–24).

Jesus instituted new Passover symbols, and Paul was teaching exactly the same thing. He goes on to say:

“In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me’” (1 Corinthians 11:25).

Paul was following the example of Christ. And Paul taught his brethren to follow Jesus’ example, as well. In this light, it’s interesting to note what Philip Schaff, the 19th-century early-church historian, said about the Christian Passover. He said this:

“The Christians of Asia Minor, following the Jewish chronology, and appealing to the authority of the apostles John and Philip, celebrated the Christian Passover… [This observance] was probably the oldest and in accordance with the Synoptic tradition of the last Passover of our Lord, which it commemorated.” (History of the Christian Church, Vol. II, Philip Schaff, p. 201–202).

In other words, this was the earliest observance of the Church. Jesus and His disciples kept the Christian Passover, in commemoration of Jesus’ suffering and death. Even after His resurrection, there was no hint of a sunrise service kept by the apostles. Notice what else Mr. Schaff wrote:

“The Christian Passover naturally grew out of the Jewish Passover… It is certainly the oldest and most important annual festival of the church, and can be traced back to the first century, or at all events to the middle of the second, when it was universally observed, though with a difference as to the day….” (History of the Christian Church, Vol. II, Philip Schaff, p. 198).

Did you notice that? The “Christian Passover is the oldest and most important annual festival of the church.” That’s quite a statement. And yet, how many modern Christians keep the Christian Passover?

On today’s program, we’ve seen that faithful Christians must follow the example of Jesus and His disciples. We saw there is NO RECORD of Jesus’ disciples ever celebrating Easter. Instead, we saw that they observed the Christian Passover. If you are a disciple of Christ, shouldn’t you be observing the Christian Passover today?

There’s so much more to this story. We’ve only scratched the surface. But you can study it in depth, yourself. To do that, you need our free study guide, Easter: The Untold Story. In this booklet you’ll find a wealth of information. Chapter 5 discusses the significance of Passover. Chapter 6 explains the timing of the events of the days right after Christ’s death. And chapter 7 asks the question: “What happened on Sunday?”

This booklet is absolutely free. The truth is too precious to put a price tag on it. And that’s why we don’t ask for money. Jesus said, “Freely you have received--freely give.” So call the number on the screen or, order on our website. Either way, check up on what I’m saying. You won’t regret it.

Keeping The Passover In Word And Deed

In today’s program we saw the Bible requires Christians to follow the example of Jesus and His disciples. We also discovered neither Jesus nor His disciples kept Easter. On the other hand, they taught and practiced the Christian Passover, with new covenant symbols.

When Christians observe the Christian Passover, they partake of bread and wine, in commemoration of Jesus’ death. They are expressing faith in His sacrifice to cover their sins. If you’d like to learn more about the Christian Passover and its significance in your life, just let us know. We have representatives who can get in touch with you, if you ask. The Living Church of God has ministers all over the globe, committed and dedicated to teaching God’s truth and working with those who respond to God’s call.

And don’t forget to order your free literature. It’s entitled Easter: The Untold Story. Learn how mainstream Christianity transformed the original Christian Passover to a day honoring a pagan fertility goddess. You may be shocked.

And thank you for watching. Join us each week as Gerald Weston, Richard Ames, Wallace Smith and I bring you the teachings of Jesus Christ, and the prophecies of Tomorrow’s World. Jesus Christ is coming soon, to set up His Kingdom, and stop the misery of this troubled and confused world. May God speed that day.


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