MEANING OF CHRISTMAS
B. W. Ing
Years ago, I joined a church that
believed that December 25 was not the birthday of Jesus Christ and therefore,
shouldn't be observed. It was difficult
to accept at first, but I obediently rid my household of all Christmas
ornaments and mementos. Dumping my
plastic Christmas tree was not too painful, but I dearly missed the smell of a
fresh pine tree and the excitement of shopping for gifts. My family enjoyed all the partying and
feelings of joy and well-being at year's end and I cherished Christmas songs
and sang them with a passion. I felt
like a traitor to my family, friends and country. After all, Christmas is as American as apple
Quitting my habitual Christmas card
sending was good, since I saved money and time, but giving up the food,
partying and caroling gave me a nervous twitch.
It was like denying my childhood memories of happy times, warm
friendships and family closeness. At the
far end, it was like denying Jesus and Christianity. Besides, part of my survival procedure in
difficult times involved recalling memories of wonderful Christmases.
Besides, my family, friends and
neighbors began viewing me as if I were Ebenezer Scrooge himself. Looking back, however, the best part of
childhood Christmases was probably the receiving of gifts and as I grew older
and had my own family, I found myself perpetuating the good feelings of
Christmas in my children. As I watched
my own offspring laugh with glee as they opened their gifts, I received
vicarious thrills through the sweet memories of my own childhood. Quite frankly, adult Christmases were never
as good. I was more into food and
partying than trees and decorations, and found myself trying desperately to
resurrect the great feelings of childhood Christmases every year. I never quite made it.
The second stage came when my
curiosity led me to study the origins of many of the customs that Christians
observe during the year-end holiday season.
What I found was more than slightly disturbing. Christmas is as pagan as Buddha's
This phase took about five years,
since for me it was mostly a quizzical intellectual exercise. But, as I began to minister in deliverance
and study spiritual warfare, something within me began to realize that almost
the entire Christmas scene is offensive to God.
It is Babylonian to the core and there is an insidious and hidden evil
about the whole thing. These are strong
words, but bear with me.
The next stage began with a
revelation that there is a definite warning in the Bible for all Christians to
come out of Babylon. Revelation 18:4 says, "Come out of
her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not
of her plagues." Babylon is Satan's spiritual world system that opposes God
and Christmas came out of Babylon,
as we shall see. This bothered me more
than a little. One day, as I was reading
the Old Testament, I realized that God had issued a similar warning to His
people in the days of Ezekiel, the prophet.
In brief, God's judgment will fall upon those who observe Babylonian
customs and worship Babylonian gods, intentionally or otherwise.
The passage in the book of Joshua
concerning Achan and his secret craving for Babylonish garments, silver and
gold shekels also troubled me. The
entire nation of Israel was
unable to defeat a small enemy (city of Ai)
because one man hid Babylonish things under his tent. Jos. 7:1-24.
One thought kept ringing in my mind - does the admonition to separate
ourselves from Babylon
apply today? If it does, we're in deep
trouble with God!
The final event that led to the
writing of this book took place one evening a few years back. As I sat on a couch listening to our music
group practicing Christmas songs, I was thinking, "So what is really wrong
with celebrating Christmas? What is the
true meaning of Christmas, after all?"
All of a sudden, the Holy Spirit
spoke to me and revealed the true meaning of Christmas. The events that took place when Jesus Christ
was born go to the very core of being a Christian today. They are only types and shadows of more
precious things to come. This book
shares that revelation and other thoughts with you.
More than a few saints have scorched
my ears about what a dreadful man I am to even think of depriving Christians of
their most revered and blessed event of the year. How dare I criticize the one event of the
year that gives brings so much love and good feelings to the church and
highlights the birth of Jesus for all the world to see. After all, for many Christians, Christmas is
the one thing they look forward to all year and it gives them strength to go on
despite their many problems.
I warn you - the truth will make you
angry, but hopefully, it will make you free.
I visited Tokyo during early December over thirty years
ago and was astounded at what I saw in the department stores there. They were filled with glittering Christmas
trees, tinsel, mistletoe, Santa Claus, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and all
the trappings of traditional Christmas.
You could smell the wonderful fir trees and hear Silent Night, O Holy
Night, Silver Bells, and other beautiful Christmas songs wafting through the
air. There was that familiar hustle and
bustle of people busy shopping for gifts and you could sense excitement in the
air - a feeling of good cheer and well-being, even love. Children looked in bug-eyed wonder at the
twinkling lights and moving displays.
The gift wrapping was familiar and there was even a Santa Claus for
picture-taking with the toddlers. He was
brown-skinned and had slant eyes, but there he was! Next to the elevator, a Salvation Army volunteer
stood ringing her bell hoping that someone would drop some coins in the familiar
The faces were Japanese, but the
scene could have been found in any city in America during December. Macy’s has no monopoly.
When I flew to Hong
Kong a few days later, the same scene was repeated, with slightly
different faces and another language I couldn't understand. The people were celebrating Christmas!
In truth, Christmas is now a global
observance and Christians who celebrate the holidays share a common bond with
the rest of the world. The problem is -
most of the celebrants are heathen!
These countries and their citizens know no more about Jesus than the
average American knows about Buddha or Shiva.
Less than two percent of Japan’s
populace is Christians! The heathen know
that Jesus and all the other things that are observed and revered at Christmas
time are not inseparable. They may know
how to sing Silent Night and the First Noel, and to say “Mele Clismasu”
("Merry Christmas"), but they worship strange gods. Come to think of it, maybe we do too.
In America, there has been a definite
drive to de-Jesus Christmas. Christmas
trees, Yuletide decorations, Santa
Claus, elves, reindeer, Frosty the Snowman and mistletoe are fine, but please,
no Christ child or nativity scene in public places. In my city, it is actually illegal in public
displays, to even hint that Christmas involves Jesus. It violates the Constitutional Amendment
regarding separation of church and government.
Then again, maybe Jesus never
belonged to Christmas on December 25, and Christmas never belonged to the
church in the first place, as we will see.
IS NOT JESUS' BIRTHDAY
December 25 is not the birthday of
Jesus. Some scholars believe he could
have been born in January or February - but most agree that he was not born on
December 25!1 Although no one knows for sure when Jesus
was born, Jesus was probably born at the end of September or beginning of
October - during the Feast of Tabernacles.
Why would that be?
The belief that Jesus was born at
the end of September or start of October is partially based on the three solemn
feasts that God commanded to be kept during each year. Ex. 23:14-16 says,
Three times thou shalt keep a feast
unto me in the year. Thou shalt keep the
feast of unleavened bread: (thou shalt eat unleavened bread seven days, as I
commanded thee, in the time appoint of the month Abib; for in it thou camest
out from Egypt:
and none shall appear before me empty:)
And the feast of harvest, the
firstfruits of thy labours, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of
ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy
labours out of the field.
yearly feasts are known as: (1) Feast of
Unleavened Bread (also called Passover); (2) Feast of Weeks (also called
Harvest and Pentecost); and (3) Feast of Tabernacles.
We know that Old Testament laws,
ordinances and holy days served as shadows and examples of heavenly things to
come. I Co.
10:11; Col. 2:17; Heb. 8:5. These
feasts, therefore, held special significance to God because they would serve as
examples and shadows of three special things that would happen in the future of
mankind to change our destinies forever.
When the substance (the reality) came, the physical observances (the
types and shadows) of these three feasts were done away with. But using these three feasts, let us find out
why Jesus had to be born in late September, early October.
UNLEAVENED BREAD (THE PASSOVER)
The first feast to occur in the year
was the Feast of the Passover, also called the Feast of Unleavened Bread. You may recall that God used Moses to free Israel from slavery in Egypt. Ten miracles were wrought by God to prove to
the Pharaoh of Egypt that He was God.
But each time, God hardened Pharaoh's heart and he refused to let the
Hebrew nation leave Egypt. Ex. Chap. 7 to 11.2
Finally, God was ready to perform
one last, marvelous miracle that would leave no doubt that the God of Abraham,
Isaac and Jacob was Lord over all. God
announced that at midnight, He would pass through Egypt with the destroyer, the angel
of death, who would kill the first-born of every creature. However, God would spare each household among
the Hebrew people that would take a perfect male lamb, kill it and sprinkle its
blood on the side posts and lintel of the front door. The people were instructed as follows:
Draw out and take you a lamb
according to your families, and kill the passover. And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip
it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two side
posts with the blood that is in the basin; and none of you shall go out at the
door of his house until the morning. For
the Lord will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood
upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the Lord will pass over the door,
and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you. And you shall observe this thing for an
ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever.
True to His word, that night the
first-born of every creature in Egypt
died, but the obedient Israelites were spared.
Death had to “pass over” every household that had the blood of the
sacrificial lamb on the two side posts and lintel of the front door.
SIGNIFICANCE AND FULFILLMENT OF PASSOVER
From the first Passover, we learn
that God has power over death. Thousands
of years later, Jesus, the Son of God, was born in the flesh of a virgin. He lived a sinless life and then died on the
cross for each one of us to save us from sin and death. Some claim that the two side posts and the
lintel represent our body, soul and spirit, and the branch of hyssop represents
the wooden cross on Calvary. Jesus was crucified just before Passover was
to be celebrated by the Jews, and His blood would pay the price for all of our
sins and save us from eternal death.
Jesus rose from the dead on the
Feast of Passover. That's why He is called
the Passover Lamb. I Co.
5:7. He is God's perfect Lamb who
sacrificed His life on the cross at Calvary so
that death would no more have power over you and me. It has to pass over.
Jesus' blood still turns death
away. It is His blood that redeemed us
from death and hell. We are purchased by
His blood. The blood of Jesus can raise
the physical dead. I’ve seen it happen twice!
More often, however, the blood works to save believers from eternal
death and separation from God. Those
that die the physical death will one day be raised up by God to live with Him
The Feast of Passover was the day
that the Son of God, Jesus, rose from the dead.
Therefore, the Feast of Passover served as an example and shadow of
better spiritual things to come. Jesus
became our Passover Lamb for all eternity.
Since the Feast of Passover was
fulfilled by Jesus' death and resurrection, Christians are no longer required
to observe the shadow of better things to come.
It already came!
The second most important feast in
all of Israel
was the Feast of Pentecost, also called the Feast of Harvest or Feast of
Weeks. Simply defined, the word
"Pentecost" means "fifty."
Fifty days after Passover, God required that the first-born male of each
family be presented to Him and the people were to solemnly observe that
day. It was also called the Feast of
Harvest (Ex. 23:16) in which the firstfruits of the crops and of the labors of
the people would be presented to God. It
marked the start of ripening of the corn and wheat crops.
The day of Pentecost has spiritual
significance to all Christians today because it was on the day of Pentecost
that the Holy Spirit was given to us.
Ac. 2:1-4. God came to live
within you and me. Prior to that time, God
did not dwell with or in His people. He
would come once a year on the Day of Atonement to speak to the chief priest,
and on rare occasions, would come and speak with His prophets (but not to
dwell). Today, we are able to speak
directly to God and come into His presence any time through the Holy Spirit
that dwells in all born-again Christians, and by the blood of Jesus. Heb. 10:19.
Besides the gift of life that Jesus
gave to us on the cross, the gift of the Holy Spirit is most precious. Without the Holy Spirit, we can never be like
Jesus. It is the Holy Spirit that
changes us into the very image of the Lord.
It is the Holy Spirit that is the power of the Godhead. It is the Holy Spirit that teaches, counsels
and comforts us, fixes our prayers and takes it to the Father and Son. Jn. 14:16, 17, 26; 16:7-14; Ro. 8:26,
27. It is the Holy Spirit that gives us
gifts and changes our heart. I Co. 12:8-10. It's
the Holy Spirit that gives us power to heal, cast out devils and raise the
dead. Ro. 8:11. The Father and Son are in heaven, but the
Holy Spirit is on earth, drawing people to Jesus and helping the saints on
Therefore, the Feast of Pentecost
served as an example and shadow of mighty things to come and was fulfilled when
the Holy Ghost came to live in God's people fifty days after Jesus rose from
the dead. Instead of celebrating the
Feast of Pentecost in the physical, we now celebrate the substance or
culmination – Christ in us, the hope of glory.
The third most important feast of
the year took place from the beginning of the seventh month (roughly the end of
September, beginning of October) to the 21st day of the seventh month, right
after harvest. Although we use the term
"Feast of Tabernacles," when God instructed Moses, He described three
different aspects of the year-end feast:
The 1st and 2nd days were to be a time of in-gathering of the people
through the blowing of trumpets.
Lev. 23:24; Ex. 23:16.
The tenth day was the Day of Atonement when the chief priest
would enter into the Holiest Place
and offer sacrifices for the sins of the people. Lev. 23:27, 28.
(iii) From the 15th to the 21st day, the people
would consecrate themselves, live in booths (tents) and remember when
the people of Israel were set free from bondage in Egypt (a type of Babylon)
and led into the wilderness. Lev.
For Israel, it was
a happy but solemn time when the hard work of harvest was completed, the grains
and fruit were in the store house and there was a time of rejoicing and
thanksgiving at the end of the Feast of Tabernacles.3
We believe that Jesus had to have
been born during the Feast of Tabernacles.
Jesus' birth in the flesh was also a time of much rejoicing and
thanksgiving. He came to be the
firstborn of a new race of people after His own image. Ro. 8:29.
Jesus came to earth to gather and draw all men unto Him. Jn. 12:32.
Throughout the centuries since He returned to heaven, the Holy Spirit,
working through believers of the Lord, have been gathering souls for
Jesus. When Jesus comes to earth the
second time, He will gather all of His people into the storehouse. It will be a time of harvest and
in-gathering. Jesus, Himself, talked
about how the angels of God will gather up the wheat and the tares at the end
of the age at his second coming. "The
harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels." Mt. 13:39. The wheat will be gathered into His
barn. Verse 30. The tares will be burned. Verse 40.
As with the blowing of trumpets at
the beginning of the year-end feast, God's angels will blow their trumpets as
the Lord Jesus Christ comes back the second time. I Co. 15:52;
I Th. 4:16. Some Bible scholars believe
that Jesus will come back the same time of the year in which he was born the
When Jesus was born in the flesh, He
came to be a living sacrifice, an atonement (cover) for our sins. The Day of
Atonement on the 10th day of the year-end feast was fulfilled by His coming in
the flesh. Jesus came to earth to become
our atonement. In the Old Testament, the
chief priest entered the Holiest with much trepidation and apprehension on the
Day of Atonement. If the sins of the
people were grievous to God and the people failed to repent, the chief priest
would die in the Holiest, in the presence of God. Today, because of His death on the cross, we
can now come boldly into the presence of God by His blood, without fear. Heb. 10:19.
We have all been made priests unto God and the veil that once separated
us from God has been torn away. Rev.
1:6; Rev. 5:10.
On the Day of Atonement, the chief
priest of Israel
would enter into the Holiest, with the blood of the sin sacrifice. When he caused a cloud of sweet incense to
cover the mercy seat and then sprinkled the blood of the sin sacrifice it, God
would appear in the cloud and be with His people. When Jesus was born in the flesh, He also
came to be with His people. That's why
His name is Immanuel - God with us.
The first time Jesus came to earth
in the flesh, He came to live among his people physically. However, after He ascended to the Father, He
sent the Holy Spirit (His Spirit) to dwell in His people. Our bodies have become the temple of God. We are the tabernacle of God. I Corinthians 6:19 states, "What?
know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you,
which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?" II Corinthians 6:16 says, "... ye are
the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk
in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people." God is now with us all the time, not just
once a year during the Feast of Tabernacles.
We have become His tabernacle.
Instead of just once a year on the Day of Atonement, the Lord came to
earth so that He would be with us forever.
Heb. 13:5; Mt. 28:20.
The significance of the Feast of
Tabernacles was fulfilled by Jesus' birth, life and death. He came to live in us by His Holy
Spirit. He is called Immanuel (Emmanuel
in the New Testament) - God with us. Is.
7:14; Mt. 1:23. The worldly sanctuary
with all of its festivals and rituals were done away with. Heb. 9:1-14.
In fact, in the first three centuries after Jesus returned to heaven,
there were no church buildings. People
worshipped in homes, in the streets and wherever they could meet. God is found wherever Christians come
together. Mt. 18:20.
During the forty years following
their release from Egypt,
the Israelites lived in tents. They were
constantly on the move except for very brief interludes. Wherever they went, God was with them. Living in tents is a memorial to the fact
that God freed the Hebrew slaves. Jesus
came to free the world from bondage.
That's why we believe that Jesus had
to have been born in late September, early October during the Feast of
Tabernacles and probably on the Day of Atonement. His birth is the fulfillment of the year-end
feast - from the ingathering (blowing of trumpets) of God's people, to the Day
of Atonement and then to the Feast of Tabernacles. He came to gather all men unto Him, He became
the complete atonement for our sins and today, we are the temple of the living
God. He is always with us, in us. When He comes the second time, He will once
again gather His people into the storehouse.
If the birth of Jesus is not the
fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles, then what is?
BABYLONIAN INVASION OF THE CHURCH
December 25 is winter in Bethlehem and very
cold. Of course, some parts of the world
are warm in December. For instance, Australia and New Zealand observe their winter
during July and August of each year and their warmest dates in December and
January. Bethlehem, being above the equator, is
definitely cold in December.
A friend of mine lived in Jerusalem for a while and
reported that December 25 was so cold she didn't want to get out of bed that
day. True - the winters in Bethlehem are not as extreme as winters in Europe or the
northern regions of the North American continent, but nevertheless, winter in Israel is not a
time to be tending sheep in the desert wilderness.
During the winter, shepherds do not
wander around in the wilderness with their flocks of sheep - at least not by
choice. The cold could kill them. The sheep are placed in barns or caves to
keep them warm. Owners of livestock keep
their animals under shelter during the cold of winter, if possible. If unable to provide a roof for their
animals, they will keep them close to their homes to feed and protect
them. They would not be wandering the
hills. It is highly unlikely that Jesus
was born in the dead of winter in a chilly manger while sheep roamed the
The Bible says that the shepherds
were "abiding" in the fields with their flocks. Lk. 2:8.
The word "abide" means to "reside" or "live
in." The summer pastures or fields
where the sheep had to be taken were not exactly in their backyard. They were often far away from town, although
when Jesus was born, some of the shepherds were close by. When shepherds take their animals to the
fields, they live and wander around with the sheep for weeks and months at a
time, moving from pasture to pasture, far from home. In verse 15b, "the shepherds said one
to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem...." They were outside of Bethlehem
and perhaps an appreciable distance away, since they said, “even” unto Bethlehem. In any case, Bethlehem was reachable. If it had been cold, they would not even be
out in the fields at all, especially at night.
Alexander Hislop, in his book
entitled Two Babylons, claims that there is almost unanimity among Bible
scholars that Jesus was not born on December 25.1 Although Jacob did state in Genesis 31:40
that he was forced to tend sheep and disliked the chilly, frosty nights, it is
also true that he was complaining about the harsh and cruel treatment he
received from Laban, his future father-in-Law.2 Gen. 31:40.
In other words, it was not the usual practice of the people in the area
to tend sheep in the fields at that time of year, day or night.
Jesus, Himself, mentioned that we
should pray that "your flight be not in the winter", referring
to the time of tribulation and the end of the age. Mt. 24:20; Mk. 13:18. This statement makes apparent reference to
the cold and difficulty of travel during winter.
Hislop states that it is
inconceivable that the Roman government would require that all the people
travel to their respective home towns to pay their taxes and be counted in the
cold of winter. The Roman government was
known for formulating laws based on reason and logic. It would have been highly illogical for the
Roman government to pass a law forcing people to travel great distances during
the dead of winter just to be counted and pay their taxes. It is more likely that the time just after
harvest, when the people had just completed their labors and were resting
before winter set in, would be the time Rome would require the people to
travel.3 That would be in late September, early
October - around the Feast of Tabernacles.4
Although Hislop does not
specifically mention the Feast of Tabernacles, he does note that most scholars
feel that Jesus was probably born during October when the harvest work was
over.5 It is interesting to observe that the Feast of
Tabernacles is also called the in-gathering or harvest feast. As mentioned earlier, it came at the end of
September or beginning of October - at the end of harvest. For a period of at least one to two months,
before winter set in, the people rested from their labors and had time to
travel in balmy weather. That would be
the perfect time for people to return to their home towns to be counted and
taxed. Even today, September and October
are among the most heavily traveled months of the year.
IS THE BIRTHDAY OF TAMMUZ, SUN GOD OF BABYLON
Many Bible scholars claim that the
church in Rome
chose December 25 to celebrate Jesus' birth in the second or third century in
order to obscure a thoroughly pagan holiday that was traditionally celebrated
on that day.6 According to the Bible Almanac:
A pagan festival, Natalis
Invicti, was a boisterous Roman affair celebrated on December 25, when the sun
was in its winter solstice. Worshipers
of the Roman sun god enthusiastically pulled their Christian friends into the
partying. By A. D. 386, church leaders
set up the celebration of "Christ Mass" ("Christ's
Coming"), so that Christians could join the festival activities without
bending to paganism.
After the Roman
Empire dissolved, Christians continued the December 25th birthday
custom. By that time, December 25 seemed
more fitting than any other date.7
Thus, December 25 was more a date of
convenience and compromise to allow the people to continue celebrating a pagan
feast - the birthday of Tammuz, the Babylonian sun god, no less.
According to Babylonian legend,
Tammuz rises from the dead at the end of each year. Some scholars claim that it is the birthday
of Nimrod, the first ruler of Babylon. No matter, because Tammuz is considered the
reincarnation of Nimrod. We'll detail
the myth later.
Many of the trappings of Christmas
come from the worship of Tammuz. Around
325 A.D., Christianity became the official religion of Rome.
Out of this period, the Roman Catholic Church evolved. In their zeal to covert the heathen, the
Roman Catholic Church adopted many pagan observances to mollify reluctant
converts. Easter, for example, was
originally called Passover. In fact, the
New International Version, Amplified Bible and New American Standard Bible do
not contain the word "Easter".
That word was inserted after the Roman Catholic Church adopted the Spring
Fertility Festival of Ishtar (Easter), the Babylonian goddess of fertility and
witchcraft. By the time the King James
Version of the Bible (KJV) was translated, Easter was well-established and the
Passover Feast was already widely referred to as “Easter.” Only the KJV and Bibles based on the KJV,
such as the Living Bible, contain the word “Easter.” Ac. 12:4.
The original manuscripts all use the word “Passover.”
Ishtar’s signs were colored eggs and
hot-cross buns. She is also called the
Queen of Heaven, the virgin mother of God.
Jer. 44:17, 18, 19, 25; Jer. 7:17; Is. 47:1, 5 (also – “Lady” of
Kingdoms or “Madonna” in the Latin in Isaiah 47:5, 7).
Today, even Protestant and
charismatic churches celebrate the fertility festival of Ishtar with colored
eggs and hot-cross buns. While the
church reasoned that eggs, chicks and bunnies symbolize birth or resurrection,
they clearly came out of Ishtar's fertility and witchcraft spring festival. It is just a mental sleight of hand to
deceive Christians into adopting Ishtar’s Spring Festival.
Many Protestant churches still
conduct Easter (Ishtar) egg hunts, even around the very altar of God in the
temple of the Lord with no concern as to its origins and what it truly
After the reformation of Martin
Luther, the Protestants changed a number of things, but they failed to discard
many of the pagan customs they had grown used to in the Roman Catholic
Church. They cast off the rosary that
had been borrowed from the Hindus and Buddhists, they did away with monks, nuns
and monasteries that had been borrowed from the Buddhists, and they rejected
Virgin Mary worship which was borrowed directly from Babylon.
(The highest deity in all pagan religions in Levantine civilizations is
a woman with a male child.) Protestants
also rid themselves of purgatory and the confession box which was borrowed from
the Persian religion and the worship of saints (necromancy or the worship of
the dead) which came from the Hindu and Buddhist religions and also many other
Babylonian practices, but they kept Christmas and Easter.
Perhaps, the tradition was too
deeply ingrained in the hearts of the people and leaders of the reformation did
not want to take the chance of arousing dissension among the ranks, choosing to
take one step at a time. Whatever the
reason, Babylonian Christmas and Easter remain even today.
IS A PAGAN OBSERVANCE
Let's face it; the claim that
Christmas is a Christian holiday is not true.
Most people that celebrate Christmas today are not Christians. They are even antichrist or anti-Christian.
It is impossible to quote with
accuracy the total number of people that celebrate Christmas; much less the
number out of the total that is not Christian.
However, in my travels around the world, I have observed people in Japan, Singapore,
Korea, Taiwan, Eastern Malaysia, Hong
Kong and other foreign countries widely celebrating Christmas
without Jesus. In Japan, Taiwan,
Malaysia and Hong Kong, less than 2% are Christians. Yet, most department stores in those
countries feature Santa Claus, Christmas trees, cards and Christmas carols -
the same as in America. In fact, if you suddenly woke up in a
department store in any one of those countries in December, you would think you
were in America - a shopping
mall in California or Macy's in Manhattan.
In the United States, almost everyone
celebrates Christmas, whether they are Christians or not. Christmas is so popular that there are over
64 million websites dedicated to it.
Yes, there are Muslims and Jewish people that stick to their religion,
but the vast majority of non-Christians observe Christmas traditions in one way
or other too. The pagan world has
recaptured what was once their exclusive territory - the celebration of
December 25 as the birthday of their sun god Tammuz. In Egypt,
the son of Isis (the Egyptian title for the
queen of heaven), was born at this very time, "about the time of the
In fact, WICCA (witches groups)
members now feature websites contending that Christmas was originally a WICCAN
festival. Look it up!
One of the most revered and loved
Christian observances involves the Christmas tree. The Christmas tree was originally a
Babylonian celebration and a pagan symbol of fertility. God warns us about following such customs. In Jeremiah 10, we find the following:
Hear ye the word which the Lord
speaketh unto you, O house of Israel:
Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at
the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for
one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the
workman, with the axe. They deck it
with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that
it move not. They are upright as the
palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go....
(King James Version) (Underlining added)
are "dismayed at the signs of heaven...." This speaks of the Chaldeans, who were
the ruling tribe of Babylon. The Chaldeans invented astrology and
horoscopes (also other forms of witchcraft and sorcery). They look at the stars and they are
dismayed. It is a direct reference to
Babylonian fortune-telling, sorcery and witchcraft. Isaiah 47 is a chapter in the Old Testament
that talks about the virgin, daughter of Babylon. Verse 9b says, "They shall come upon
thee in their perfection for the multitude of thy sorceries, and for the great
abundance of thine enchantments." Verse 12 states, "Stand now with thine
enchantments, and with the multitude of thy sorceries." In verse 13, God says, "Thou art
wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the
stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up...."
We too worship like the Babylonians,
with trees cut out of the forests, the work of the hands of the workman, with
the axe. Yes, we also use chain saws and
other tools, but it is still the hands of the workman. We deck evergreen trees with more than gold
and silver and our gold and silver are just make-believe; but nevertheless, we
deck trees with gold and silver tinsel and carry them into our houses during
December of each year. As one Christian
argued, “But we don’t use nails to stand them up; we use clamps.” The difference is insignificant. The Christmas tree has become an idol.
Bishop Alexander Hislop points out
that cutting trees, putting them into houses and decorating them with gold and
silver are ancient Babylonian and Egyptian customs used to celebrate the
birthday of their sun god - Tammuz (sometimes Nimrod), the son of the Queen of
Heaven (Isis in Egypt and Semiramis in Babylon), the Virgin Mother of God.2 We know
not what we worship. Jn. 4:22
all the idols we have, the Christmas tree must rank close to the top. Few Christians will give up the tree without
resistance. Yet, it has nothing to do
with Jesus, and everything to do with Tammuz, the Babylonian sun god. After all, God did say:
Thou shalt have no other gods
before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee
any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that
is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt
not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a
jealous God,.... Ex. 20:3-5.
International Version says, "... a craftsman shapes it with his
chisel...." The Living Bible
claims that it means that the tree is shaped into an idol, while the New
American Standard Bible merely states that "... it is wood cut from the
forest. The work of the hands of a
craftsman with a cutting tool." The
Amplified Bible makes the statement in brackets that the tree becomes an
idol. Brackets indicate that the writer
thinks that it is a justifiable interpretation, although not in the original
Some Christians may argue that they
don't shape it into a wooden idol, although only the Living Bible claims that
it is so shaped. But the heathen have
also placed evergreen trees that are not shaped into idols in their homes,
decked with gold and silver for centuries to celebrate Tammuz' rebirth. Still other Christians justify putting up
Christmas trees on ground that they do not deck it with gold and silver, but
only "fake" gold and silver, or with red and green stringers. Some claim that they do not use streamers,
only lights. One couple informed me that
they merely "frost" their tree and attach colored bulbs or balls.
Some saints justify their Christmas
trees on ground that they don't buy real trees because they have a plastic one,
or that they don't fasten it with hammer and nails - they have a tree holder
with clamps to keep the tree upright.
Others claim that they don't cut the tree out of the forest; they buy it
from a store. These excuses reveal the
rebellion in their heart. It is
disobedience. They simply don't want to
give it up because it represents great memories of childhood and goodwill. The human mind will justify almost anything
in order to resist change. They miss the
God says not to do it because: (1)
it is the way of the Babylonians - the heathens - the enemies of God's people;
(2) it is worthless and vain. Whether it
is shaped into a wooden idol is not material.
It is adored and desired. It is
given much attention and care. Much
effort and money is spent on it. (If
every Christian would take what they usually spend on Christmas and donate it
to the church for mission work instead, the world would be a better
place.) It is folly to say that it isn't
exactly the same as what the heathens do.
It has nothing to do with worship of God. It is against the commandments of God. It is disobedience and rebellion.
Although many will claim that it is
certainly not an idol in their life, try taking it away. They will fight, argue, justify and become
angry. Giving it up is one of the most difficult
things in life for them. They adore it,
love it, cherish it, look forward to it, fight for it, spend much time and
money on it and refuse to give it up.
Yet, they still claim it is not an idol in their life, even though there
is nothing in it that we can even truthfully connect with the birth of our
Santa Claus, the Christmas fairy,
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman are vain
imaginations. It's akin to claiming that
although the word "Easter" means "Ishtar", the Babylonian
goddess of fertility and witchcraft, and although her signs are colored eggs
and hot cross buns, we are actually worshipping Jesus and His
resurrection. Yet, there is absolutely
nothing in the Bible permitting or requiring it. Satan’s deceptions are sneaky. He must be laughing his head off every
December and April.
The closeness of the tree to
Babylonian worship should cast doubt in the mind of any seeker of truth. Jesus said, "But the hour cometh and
now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth:
for the Father seeketh such to worship him." Jn. 4:23.
Is it true that Jesus wants us to worship and remember Him through
decorated evergreen trees?
Ancient Druids considered mistletoe
a magical plant. The Druids were
worshippers of evil spirits. It was
supposed to ward off evil and cure all kinds of diseases.3
Christians have used mistletoe for centuries to celebrate Christmas by
decorating the chancel and altar with it.
They borrowed it from the Druids.
During December, we buy it and place
it on the lintel of doorways in order to steal kisses from unsuspecting damsels
or other individuals. It is an indelible
part of Christian tradition in parts of Europe and especially England. History tells us that mistletoe was an
important part of Druid worship. So too
with many other observances such as burning the Yule log on Christmas Eve.
Although the Yule log is not much
observed today, especially in tropical areas, it was for many centuries a part
of Christmas lore. It is Babylonian in
origin. The word "yule" is the
Babylonian (Chaldee) name for "infant" or "little child."4
In the legend of Tammuz, the sun
god, Tammuz was killed and his soul taken to the underworld where the souls of
the dead reside. His mother, Semiramis,
Queen of Babylon, was so distraught that she decided to challenge the gods and
demand the return of her son. She went
down into the underworld and had to pass through twelve gates in order to reach
the gods. Each gate was fiercely guarded
by powerful monsters; however, she fought so valiantly that she impressed the
gods. The gods finally agreed that if
women would grieve and weep for Tammuz at the winter solstice of each year, the
gods of the underworld would allow Tammuz to be re-born at that time, around
December 23 or 24. In the spring, he
would become a young man; in summer, a mature man; in autumn, an aging person;
in the beginning of winter, he would die.
Over time, Tammuz also became the god of agriculture.
On Christmas Eve, a Yule log would
be burned, symbolizing the dead body of Tammuz.
The next morning, lo and behold! - a live, green tree arose from the
ashes, decked with gold and silver, symbolizing the re-birth of Tammuz!
The Christmas tree was common in
pagan Rome and Egypt. In Egypt,
the tree was the palm tree; in Rome
it was the fir; the palm tree denoting the Pagan Messiah, as Baal-Tamar, the
fir referring to him as Baal-Berith.5
Today, the church perpetuates and
embraces the Babylonian custom with glee! They are deceived.
Although eating a goose on Christmas
is no longer popular in most countries today, it was a Christian custom for
hundreds of years, especially in Europe and early America. Remember the song, "Christmas is Coming
the Goose is Getting Fat"? The
Christmas goose was an essential article in the worship of the Babylonian
Messiah, and also in Egypt
and Rome. The favorite offering to Osiris was a goose
and could not be eaten except in the depth of winter.6
By now, some are probably thinking,
"What of it? These customs are
harmless." If these heathen customs
are nothing, then we should have no hesitation in adopting other pagan
traditions. For instance, why not chant
mantras in church (we already chant certain prayers and songs), pray in the
lotus position (a preferred way of “kneeling”), burn firecrackers to ward off
evil spirits (we can call it the voice of God), offer food or candles to the
apostles and ancestors (called “saints”), have a lion dance (some churches have
a yearly “bless your animal pet” service and this could be part of it), kill a
rooster at the altar and sprinkle its blood on the people (we could say that it
represents the blood of Jesus), have séances at our home meetings (pray to the
“saints”), offer colored eggs to the goddess Ishtar (Easter) and bake cakes to
the Queen of Heaven? Jer. 44:19. Come to think of it, maybe we already
Even secular writers recognize that
Christmas is pagan in origin. Anne
Baring and Jules Cashford, in their book entitled The Myth of the Goddess, say:
All over the world, for countless
millennia, people have participated in a religious ritual at the winter
solstice, when the sun's downward course is arrested and it turns back, as it
seems, to earth. This change of state in
the bleak mid-winter of the year was experienced as the rebirth of the sun and
commemorated as the birth day of the sun god, the luminous divine child. Like the heavenly sun arising from the depths
of darkness, these divine sons were born at midnight, hidden in the depths of
the earth, in a cow-byre, in the reeds, in a cave, out of a rock, in a manger. The cry "The Virgin has brought
forth! The light is waxing" would
have echoed in various tongues across the centuries. In Mesopotamia he was called Tammuz and
Dumuzi; in Egypt he was
called Osiris and Horus, and later, Aion; in Greece,
Dionysos, Helios and Orpheus; in Persia
is called Baby Jesus!
Whether we agree that Christmas is
harmful or not, facts and history force us to acknowledge that many of our
Christmas observances come straight out of the Babylonian religion. Our ignorance and failure to study history
has ensnared us! As the Bible says, “My
people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected
knowledge, I will also reject thee . . . .”
Ho. 4:6. Destroyed? How?
We will find later that Christmas is
more a trap than we can imagine. The
Bible reveals a number of stunning warnings about it. Please read on.
Some people say, "What
difference does it make, when Jesus was born or how we celebrate it? The main thing is that we observe His birth." The answer is - it makes a difference with
God and God has never changed. The Bible
says that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. Heb. 13:8.
God says, "... I change not." Mal. 3:6.
Therefore, what God did and said in the Old Testament continues in full
force today. It's not a question of good
intentions; it's a matter of obedience.
King Saul had good intentions when he showed mercy to King Agag, and
saved the best animals to sacrifice to God, but he lost his kingdom because of
it. I Sa. 15:21-23.
When and how we worship has always
been of vital importance to God. Numbers
3:4 says, "And Nadab and Abihu died before the Lord, when they offered
strange fire before the Lord...." Also,
Lev. 10:1. This incident serves as a
warning to us. The Bible doesn't say
what the strange fire was, but for sure it wasn't what God had commanded. Nadab and Abihu were probably
well-intentioned. After all, they had
been appointed as priests and their father, Aaron was the head priest of
Israel. They were, no doubt, to succeed
Aaron. Therefore, they did not intend to
offend God or deliberately bring scorn or judgment upon themselves. They were trying to please God.
In all probability the "strange"
fire was something that the heathen used to worship their gods. It’s easy to see how one might observe other
religions and try to mimic something from them.
It was a bit of carelessness and a great deal of disobedience. God did not give them the liberty to worship
in ways that God did not order. God is
very precise. In addition, they probably
did not ask permission from their father, Aaron. If so, it was rebellion.
Failure to worship according to
God's standards or commandments was disobedience with dreadful consequences.
Nadab's and Abihu's good intentions
failed to impress God. They died. It
serves as a warning to us today. Yes, it
is rare to see fire come down from heaven to destroy those who offer strange
things to God, but the admonition is clear.
Death can come in many other forms, including spiritual death and
ORDER OF THINGS
When King David brought the Ark of
the Testimony back to the City of David the first time, David failed to observe
the proper order prescribed in the scriptures.
Therefore, God was displeased.
When Uzzah tried to steady the ark, he touched the ark and was
killed. II Sa. 6:6-7.
Uzzah’s death brought fear to
David’s heart and instead of bringing the Ark into the city, he stored it at the
house of Obed-edom. During the three
months that the ark rested in the house of Obed-edom, God prospered Obed-edom's
family. When David heard of the
blessings (Verse 11), he was encouraged once more to bring the Ark of the
Testimony to the City of David.
This time he began to scour the
books of the law. David then realized
that he had failed to follow ancient instructions regarding the exclusive use
of the Levites to act as priests and guardians of the Ark of Testimony and the
proper order of worship. II Sa. 6:10.
This time, David called upon the Levites to act as priests and proper
sacrifices were made with much singing, music and praise to God. David was successful, and the Ark of
Testimony was brought into the City of David.
I Chr. 15:2-13.
When, where and how we worship is
still important to God. Even assuming
(but not agreeing) that God wants us to celebrate Jesus' birthday, are we doing
it in the correct manner? Remember what
Jesus said in John 4:23: "But the hour cometh, and now is, when the
true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the
Father seeketh such to worship Him."
Let's ask a number of important questions.
IMPORTANT THAT WE CELEBRATE JESUS' BIRTH?
Is it important to observe the birth
of Christ at all? If it is important,
God would have told us in no uncertain terms.
Yet, there is absolutely nothing in the Bible requiring that we
celebrate either His birth or resurrection.
As we pointed out, throughout the Old Testament, we find that God was
very precise in when and how we are to worship.
He gave Moses and Aaron minute details about every aspect of worship and
also made sure that the people knew exactly when to worship. Ex. 34:18-26, etc. God specifically instructed Moses to have the
people celebrate and observe not only the three big feasts of the year, but
also many other Sabbaths and holy days.
In the Book of Acts, the Holy Spirit
spoke to the church on many occasions and gave specific instructions. In fact, some Bible scholars claim that the
Book of Acts should really be entitled, the Acts of the Holy Spirit. Despite numerous direct and specific
instructions to the church, the Holy Spirit never required that the birth of
Jesus or His resurrection be celebrated.
In fact, the apostle Paul stated, “Let no man therefore judge you in
meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the
Sabbath days: which are a show of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” Col. 2:16-17.
In other words, these things are only types and shadows of better things
and the substance or body of these things are found in Christ. Why bother with the shadow when you have the
substance which is in Christ?
In fact, the Bible says that if we
go back to observing the things of the law, we reject the covenant of faith and
will be judged by the law. Gal. 3:11;
ISN'T IT IN
Nothing is said in the Bible about
celebrating the birth of Jesus, either by Jesus, the Holy Spirit or the
apostles, much less on December 25.
Christmas is a total concoction of man's vain imaginations. Vain imaginations lead us into idolatry and
sin. It is a stronghold of the enemy. II Co. 10:4, 5.
In Ezekiel 8:7 and 8, the Bible
points out that the prophet, Ezekiel, was instructed by God to dig a hole in
the wall of the temple of God. Ezekiel
saw a door. He walked through the door
and found every creeping thing and abominable creature portrayed on the walls of
the temple. The elders of Israel were
worshipping demons. God told Ezekiel, "Son
of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel to in the dark,
every man in the chambers of his imagery?"
Verse 12b. It was created solely by their vain imaginations. There was no profit in it. They thought it pleased God, but God called
it an abomination.
God seeks those who worship Him in
spirit and in truth. Jn. 4:23. Christmas is like worshipping the tooth
fairy, Santa Claus or the Easter bunny.
There is little truth or Spirit in it.
Did you know that the early church,
after Jesus ascended into heaven, did not observe the birthday of Jesus? It was not celebrated for the first few
hundred years after Jesus ascended to heaven.
In fact, the early church did not observe any of the feasts that the
Jewish faith observed. The Bible Almanac
The New Testament gives no
evidence that the early church observed any holy days, other than holding its
worship on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7; I Cr. 16:2; Rev. 1:10). The Christians did not observe Sunday as a
day of rest until the fourth century A.D., when Emperor Constantine designated
Sunday as a holy day for the entire Roman Empire. The early Christians did not confuse Sunday
with the Jewish Sabbath, and they made no attempt to apply Sabbath legislation
Passover (the day Jesus was
resurrected) was not observed by the early church either. The New Testament is almost completely devoid
of any mention of observing feasts, Sabbaths and holy days. However, the so-called "Easter"
celebration was supposedly celebrated apart from Passover according to
the Jewish historian, Eusebius.2 Eusebius though, was not a contemporary of
the early church (he wrote his treatises around 275 A.D.) and it is not certain
that the early church did observe the resurrection of Jesus. In any case, it was not required by Jesus,
the Bible or the apostles to celebrate His resurrection and certainly not His
TWO RITUALS REQUIRED TO BE OBSERVED BY THE CHURCH.
The only two rituals which Jesus
required to be observed or celebrated were Water Baptism and Holy
Communion. They can hardly be called
feasts. While many saints today consider
Christmas the most holy and important event in Christianity, the early church
ignored the birth of Jesus for over 300 years.
Ironically, the same saint that adores Christmas and Easter may think
very little about Water Baptism or Holy Communion. Yet, in the New Testament, Water Baptism and
Holy Communion symbolize the very essence of our new walk with God.
Jesus Christ fulfilled all the
festivals and sabbaths of the Old Testament.
God used things in the natural to teach us spiritual truths. For instance, the Sabbath Day was a promise
of things to come. In the Old Testament,
the Sabbath was a day of rest. It is not
the day but the rest for God's people that is important.
God doesn't need rest. He never tires. We need rest.
But the rest that God is talking about does not begin and end with
natural rest. Through the natural rest,
God leads us to understand our need for spiritual rest and rest for our
souls. Hebrews 4:4-5 says, “For he
spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the
seventh day from all his works. And in
this place again, if they shall enter into my rest.”
Hebrews 4:9 states, "Therefore
remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also
hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his." Jesus came to fulfill the Law and the
Prophets. Mt. 5:17, 18. He fulfilled the Sabbath Day and all
Sabbaths. Jesus is our rest, our
Sabbath. Instead of observing and
putting importance on a day of the week, we observe Jesus as our Sabbath and
rest, and put all our burdens and cares on Him.
We cease from our works and put our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. We stop our attempts to do good works in
order to please God, and we rest in His power and wisdom. All we desire is to obey Him. Worshipping on Saturday does not make one any
more holy than worshipping on Sunday or Tuesday. Neither do Christmas trees and mistletoe.
All the feasts and sabbaths of the
Old Testament represent types and examples for us. The reality and substance is in Jesus
Christ. Why go back to the shadow and
example when the reality and substance has been given? The written law was done away with and
supplanted by the law of the Spirit. So
why go back to the written law? It's not
that the law was no good. It is
righteousness, but the flesh could not obey it.
Only through the Spirit of God can we walk in righteousness. The law is written in the walls of our heart,
our spirit, and no longer on plates of stone and we are no longer bound to the
written law. Gal. 3:13. When the better covenant came, the old
covenant was done away with. Heb.
7:18-19; Heb. 8:6-8, 13.
Galatians 3:3 says, "Are ye
so foolish? having begun in the Spirit are ye now made perfect by the
flesh?" Verse 17 says, "And
this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the
law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it
should make the promise of none effect."
In short, if Jesus is our Sabbath rest, and if we insist on focusing
on the physical Sabbath, we will have disannulled the promise and gone back to
the shadow, having rejected the substance.
Is not Christmas (and Easter) a
special day or Sabbath Day of observance for most Christians today – a mere
shadow and thing of the flesh?
Having been given the Spirit of
Jesus and faith to rest in, will we reject the fulfillment of the promise and
choose, instead, the unfulfilled shadow of things to come? Will we move backwards from perfection into
imperfection? "For the law made
nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw
nigh unto God." Heb. 7:19. Hebrews 10:1 says, “For the law having a
shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never
with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the
comers thereunto perfect.”
God found fault with the first
covenant and therefore made a new covenant.
Heb. 8:7-9. The shadow was
replaced by the substance, the reality, who is Jesus Christ.
If Jesus fulfilled all the Sabbaths
and feasts of the Old Testament, why create new feasts and Sabbaths? Are Christmas and Easter the substance that
is Christ? I think not.
EVENTS OF JESUS' BIRTH TYPES AND SHADOWS?
If the true meaning of Christmas is
spiritual and the actual circumstances and facts surrounding the birth of Jesus
were meant to serve as a shadow and example of better or heavenly and eternal
things to come, then observing and celebrating the shadow actually disannuls
the substance and reality and makes it of none effect. Gal. 3:17.
Paul's remark in Galatians 3:1, 3 is appropriate: "O foolish Galatians, who hath
bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, . . . Are ye so foolish?
having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?" There are things that are material, fleshly,
earthly and temporal which foretell that which is spiritual and eternal.
If the physical circumstances
surrounding Jesus' birth serve as examples and shadows of heavenly (spiritual)
and eternal things, why bother with the example and shadow when we have the
substance or reality? Are we like the
Pharisees in Jesus' time - knowing the law, but living in religious blindness
and spiritual darkness, observing earthly things but not seeing the spiritual?
WHY IS IT
now, some readers are probably saying, "Well, at least we're glorifying or
honoring Jesus. Anyway, it is an
opportunity for Christians to share about Jesus and save souls." But perhaps Christmas honors and glorifies
Tammuz instead. Perhaps, Christmas
are the multitudes of Christians who claim that they were converted because of
Christmas? No, Christmas never saved
anyone. It is the Holy Spirit that draws
men to Jesus and convicts the hearts of men, not Christmas. The Holy Spirit doesn’t need a Christmas
celebration to convict men of sins and draw them to the Lord. It is the cross of Jesus that is the gospel
of salvation and the power of God unto salvation (1 Co. 1:18), not
Christmas. It is Christians that are
willing to preach the cross that will allow the Holy Spirit to convict hearts.
Christmas is an abomination to
CHRISTMAS IS NOT A NEW PROBLEM
You may recall that during the time
of Jeremiah and Ezekiel, the people of God had been taken captive into
Babylon. During the seventy years of
captivity, Daniel the prophet continued to worship the God of Israel. Daniel refused to compromise the religion of
his people. Not so with many of the
Israelites that began to worship the Queen of Heaven, the Virgin, daughter of
Babylon. Jer. 44:18, 19, etc. Ezekiel also lived during the Babylonian
Ezekiel, Chapter 8, the prophet had a vision in which God tells him to dig a
hole in the wall of God's temple. Eze.
8:7-8. He sees a door which he enters. Verse 10.
He finds the congregation worshipping all kinds of creeping things,
abominable beasts and idols in the imagery of their minds. They were deceived. They are worshipping demons knowingly or
otherwise. In other words, the saints
were worshipping demonic things, thinking that it pleased God. Perhaps they were thinking, "God doesn't
care how or what we do, so long as we come to church and observe religious
things. So what if we borrow a few
things from other religions? God doesn't
look at things like that. He doesn't
care how we carry on, so long as our hearts are right." Quite frankly, they had incorporated certain
things out of the Babylonian religion and were actually worshipping Babylonian
gods and goddesses.
8:14 says, "Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the Lord's
house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for
Tammuz." You see, I didn’t make
up this Tammuz business. The word
“Tammuz” is in the Bible. God’s people
were worshipping Tammuz, the sun god of Babylon in the very temple of God!
the inner chamber, the priests had their backs to the altar, facing the east
and worshipping the sun. Verse 16. Why all the references to women weeping for
Tammuz and the priests worshipping the sun?
This is the Babylonian religion.
Tammuz is the sun god of Babylon.
"Women weeping for Tammuz" is part of the Babylonian
legend and religion.
recall attending an Easter sunrise service on the top of a hill when I was
young. It was dark as the service began.
Then, the sky became lighted and as the sun appeared on the horizon, the
speaker on stage said, “Everyone, turn to the east and worship the sun, the Son
THE TEMPLE IS TODAY’S CHURCH
are two possibilities regarding the temple in Ezekiel’s vision: First, it could be an actual temple in
Babylon at the time. Second, it could be
a vision of the church today. Third, it could be both. It is highly unlikely that the Babylonians
would allow open worship to the God of Israel and allow their captives to
openly practice their own religion in a temple for all to see. Assuming, however, that there was an actual
temple in which these abominations took place, it is obvious that the
Israelites had adopted Babylonian religious practices. God called it abominations. Eze. 8:6, 9, 13. Verse 14 says, “. . . (B)ehold, there sat
women weeping for Tammuz,” an apparent reference to the Babylonian practice
of having women weep for the re-birth of Tammuz at the winter solstice on or
about December 23 to 24. This was the
second possibility is that the temple was a type and shadow of the church
today. Even if the vision was of an
actual temple in Ezekiel’s day, it has been duplicated by the church that
THE MARK OF GOD ON THE FOREHEAD
we come to the spooky part! In the very
next chapter, Ezekiel 9, God calls six men (angels) with weapons, one with an
inkhorn. (Remember, the Hebrew
scriptures did not separate Ezekiel’s writings into chapters.) He instructs the angel with the inkhorn to go
into the city and mark the foreheads of all the men that sigh and cry for the
abominations going on in God's temple (Babylonian worship). Then he instructs the others as follows:
...Go ye after him through the city,
and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: slay utterly old
and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any
man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were
before the house. And he said unto them,
Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city. Verses 5b-7.
God tells the six angels to start
in His church (“my sanctuary”) and destroy all the people who observe
and worship Babylonian things in His very temple! However, those who sigh and cry because of
the Babylonian worship going on in God’s temple were to be marked in the
forehead with God’s mark and spared. All
the rest of God’s people would be destroyed!
can one sigh and cry for the abominations going on in God’s temple or church
unless he first knows what is going on?
Now you know. Will you sigh and cry?
say that all of this is Old Testament?
Turn to Revelation 7:2-3, where an angel has come to destroy, but
another angel says, "... hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the
trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their
in Revelation 9:1-3, torment is coming.
In verse 4, the Bible says: "And it was commanded them
that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing,
neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their
added) Did not God command the angel
with the inkhorn to seal the foreheads of all those that sigh and cry because
of what is going on in God’s temple (church)?
these passages in Ezekiel 8 and 9 speak of the end times? If they do, we are in big trouble. Most churches today love Babylonian things
and celebrations and Christmas and Easter are Babylonian to the core. Are there Christians sighing and crying
because of the Babylonian things going on in God’s church? Will you be sealed on the forehead with God’s
mark? I hope so.
GOD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE
is coming in the end times - not only to unbelievers, but to many people who
profess to believe in Jesus Christ.
Revelation 13:7 says of Satan's end-time beast, "And it was
given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was
given him over all kindreds, and tongues and nations." Also, Daniel 7:21, 25. There's a war coming! and many Christians
will either fall away from the faith or be killed. II Thessalonians 2:3 says, "Let no
man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a
falling away first . . . ." Many
saints will fall away from the faith and renounce Jesus. Some Bibles say, "... except there be
an apostasy first...."
does “apostasy” mean? Webster’s
Dictionary says that it means to turn away from one’s original beliefs or
is going to be a time of purging in the Body of Christ. Not only is Satan's beast going to identify
all of his followers with his mark, God is also going to mark His true servants
on the forehead with a seal of God.
Those that are not sealed with God's mark will perish and some will
taste the wrath of God. Rev. 14:9-10. Yes, many will renounce Jesus when confronted
by the coming one-world government and one-world religion and commanded to
renounce Christianity and take the mark of the beast or be beheaded. Rev. 13:16-18; Rev. 20:4.
prophecies in the Old Testament speak of both the immediate future and of the
end times - our day. For instance,
Isaiah 47:8, 9 speaks of the days soon to come in Isaiah's time concerning
Babylon, but the same language is also contained in Revelation 18:7, 8
concerning Babylon the Great.
Chapters 8 and 9 speak of judgment for those who worship Babylonian gods in
Ezekiel's time, what is the message for us today? It is this: those who worship Babylonian gods
and goddesses and observe Babylonian things will perish in the end times. There will be a great falling away of saints
who will turn away from true worship of God because the church itself has
turned away from true worship of God (apostasy).
Christians adopted Babylonian ways and customs?
The answer is a resounding YES!
Has the Holy Spirit given us so much liberty that we can do those
things which honor Satan's Babylonian religion and demons? The answer is NO!
JESUS THE SAME, YESTERDAY, TODAY
is the same yesterday, today and forever.
Heb. 13:8. As previously shared,
in Joshua 7:20, 21, Achan hid some Babylonish garments and gold and silver in
his tent. Because of that, Israel
suffered defeat at the hands of the enemy and Achan and his entire family were
destroyed. When Israel was devoid of
Babylonish things, they triumphed over the enemy. When they observed Babylonian things, they
were conquered by the enemy.
there is a parallel today. Could the
reason why most of the Body of Christ is powerless be because of the Babylonish
garments and wealth we continue to wear and covet today? If you apply the standard God used in
Joshua’s day, there are many Achans in the Body of Christ today
Body of Christ needs to be cleansed of its Babylonish garments and
covetousness. Because of its compromise
with the enemy and its adoption of Babylonian worship and customs, the Body of
Christ is easily defeated. The enemy has
triumphed needlessly. What sparks of
spiritual power we have seen to date, have largely been manifested by
individuals, but not by the Body of Christ, as a whole. Do not be deceived by all this talk about the
Church Triumphant. The victorious ones
will only be a remnant!
THE FLESH VERSUS THE SPIRIT
In the Old
Testament, we find that God used many festivals, Sabbaths and rituals to serve
as types and shadows of better things to come.
These observances appealed to the senses and emotions. When Jesus came, however, He fulfilled all of
these things. He became our high priest
forever, in the order of Melchisedec.
Heb. 5:10. All the festivals,
Sabbaths and rituals are now found in Him.
the Lord went back to heaven, after triumphing over the kingdom of darkness, He
sent us the Holy Spirit. Ac. 2:1-4. From henceforth, salvation was found in a new
birth experience wherein God gave us a new heart and a new spirit and put His
Spirit within us. Eze. 36:26-27; Jn.
3:5-6. The laws of God are written in
the walls of our hearts instead of on plates of stone for us to memorize and
obey in the flesh. Instead of all the
festivals, Sabbaths, ceremonies and rituals that are to be obeyed in the flesh,
we are called to walk by the Spirit of God.
Our very lives are to be governed by the Spirit of God that dwells in
us. As the apostle Paul said, “For me to
live is Christ.” Phil. 1:21. In Galatians 2:20, he said, “I am
crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:
and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of
God. . . .”
Nee said, “Galatians 2:20 is not a standard or goal. It is not something which is set high above
man for him to exert his utmost strength to reach. Rather, it is the secret of life.” He goes on to say, “The day that you
heard you did not need to die, you felt this was a great gospel. Now, in another day, you are hearing that you
do not need to live. This is also a
is the Holy Spirit in us that is the hope of glory – not fleshy observances and
good works. Col. 1:27. Christmas appeals to the flesh – the senses
and emotions. It does nothing else. In fact, it pushes us backwards in our walk
with God. As the apostle Paul said,
Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before
whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among
you? This only would I learn of you,
Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of
faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun
in the Spirit are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Gal. 3:1-3.
knows the power of a spiritual Christian.
It is his job to prevent you and me from growing up into the image of
Jesus Christ. Satan is not afraid of carnal,
religious people. He is afraid of
Christians who have matured in Christ and know how to obey the Lord. That is why Satan presents us many things of
the flesh. If he can keep us bound to
the flesh and its lusts, he can defeat us.
is a thing of the flesh.
TRUTH AND LIFE
may take offense at this writing. It is
to be expected. Many Christians have a
long-standing vested interests in false doctrines and practices that have
deceived the church for hundreds of years.
Entire denominations are founded on false doctrines or partial
truths. Admitting error is hard on the
ego and people will defend their mistakes unto death.
trying to ruin your holidays. I'm trying
to speak truth and life. We can no
longer afford to worship God through the Babylonian religion. As Arthur Katz and Paul Volk said in their
book entitled, The Spirit of Truth, there can be no power where there is
no truth.2 The Spirit of Power is also called the Spirit
of Truth. The two go together. The more truth in your life, the more
spiritual power you will have; the less truth, the less power.
very famous saints have observed the Christmas traditions inherited from the
past. This does not impinge on their
reputation, righteousness or holiness.
The fact that God has not judged us on our vain imaginations yet, is
proof of His great patience and love.
God, in His great love for you and me, is cleansing His church,
sanctifying it and consecrating it in these last days. We are called the "set aside ones"
for a reason. We are to be separated
from the Babylonian world around us. We
need to know what is of God and what is not.
What is not true worship should be discarded and abhorred by all true
followers of Jesus Christ.
speak the "...truth in love, that we may grow up into Him in all
things, which is the head, even Christ."
Eph. 4:15. There is a time
soon when God will mark the foreheads of His true worshippers. The rest will fall.
Deception is a nasty word and no one
ever wants to be deceived. On the other
hand, the very nature of deception is that the person being deceived does not
even know it. Deception is so insidious
and dangerous that Jesus warned us against it over and over again. In fact, He spoke of great deception in the
end times. When His disciples asked
Jesus about the signs of the end of the world, the very first thing He uttered
was, “Take heed that no man deceive you.” Mt. 24:4.
Many will be deceived. Mt. 24:11. “. . . (I)f it were possible, they shall
deceive the very elect.” Mt.
The Bible is the Word of Truth, but
it can also be distorted, changed, twisted, ignored and amended by man. Many Christians have ignored the admonition
in Revelation 22:18-19, to-wit:
For I testify unto every man that
heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these
things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and
if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God
shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and
from the things which are written in this book.
There is no
reason to believe that the same admonition does not apply to the rest of the
In order to protect the truth, and
to maintain the integrity of God’s Word and the purity of Christianity, the
apostles made clear warnings about the need to reject any doctrine or practice
not taught by the first apostles.
Paul feared that if someone came
preaching a different gospel, the saints would accept him. “But I fear . . . if he that cometh
preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another
spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not
accepted, ye might well bear with him.”
2 Co. 11:3, 4. In other words, do
not accept another Jesus, spirit or gospel and do not tolerate those who preach
such false doctrines or beliefs. It is
axiomatic that in order to unravel the church, Satan will attack two major
areas: (1) who Jesus really is; and (2) the truth of the Bible. We need to carefully guard against doctrines
and beliefs not taught by the early Church and clearly supported by Scripture.
The danger of deception through
false doctrines is so great that the apostle Paul said, “But though we, or
an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have
preached unto you, let him be accursed.
As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other
gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” Gal. 1:8-9.
Even if one of the early apostles changed the original doctrine, we are
not to accept it. Paul did not say “any”
angel, but an angel from heaven! Even
God’s angels are not exempt. Why then
would any Christian be excused? No
matter how smart, popular or godly the person appears to be, do not tolerate it
if he teaches false doctrines or beliefs. Turn away from such; do not “bear
These appear to be harsh words, but
Jesus warns us to “Take heed and beware of the leaven....” Mt. 16:6.
“Then understood they how that He bade them not beware of the leaven
of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.” Mt. 16:12.
Any wrong doctrine is leaven.
“Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore, the old leaven, that ye
may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened . . . Therefore let us keep the feast,
not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with
the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” I Co. 5:6-8.
In the end times, false prophets and
false Christs will abound. Mt. 24:11,
24. They will be able to deceive because
they are respected, famous and well-accepted in the Church. Otherwise, who would listen to them? Therefore, even if a prophet is seemingly
anointed, do not accept a strange doctrine from him. There have been many “anointed prophets” who
ended up in error. You may have met a
few of them.
In the Old Testament, Balaam, an
anointed and gifted prophet of God, fell from favor in the end. So did King Solomon. The prophets of Ahab (I Ki. 22:12-29) and
those in Jeremiah’s days were most likely “anointed” and respected. Yet, they spoke lies. I’m not saying that all prophets lie and I am
not against prophets (I believe very much in prophecy); I’m saying that we have
the duty to test every prophecy and not to accept them just because they are
uttered by a famous and revered prophet or teacher. I Co. 14:29, 32.
Even miracles are not to influence
us. False prophets and Christs will do
miracles and deceive many. Mt.
24:24. They will heal the sick, cast out
devils, raise the dead, but if their doctrine is not clearly supportable or is
rejected by scripture, do not accept it.
In Matthew 7:22-23, Jesus said, “Many will say to Me in that day,
Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out
devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto
them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.” Signs and wonders have little to do with
Many unwittingly allow the truth to
be adulterated because they interpret “touch not mine anointed”
mistakenly. God clearly warns us against
such “anointing” and signs and wonders.
CONTEND FOR THE FAITH
thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, . . . preach the
word; be instant in season, out of
season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and
doctrine. For the time will come when
they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap
to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their
ears from truth, and shall be turned into fables. 2 Ti. 4:1.
means to refute, admonish, convict, convince, tell a fault, rebuke. “Rebuke” means to censure, admonish, forbid,
charge or accuse. “Exhort” means to
beseech, entreat. (Strong’s
Concordance) We are to be guardians of
the truth and watchmen on the wall. We
are not to smile and say, “I love you brother.
I accept what you say for the sake of unity and I will not judge
you.” In instructing elders, Paul says,
. . . Holding fast
the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine
both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers . . . for there are many unruly
and vain talkers and deceivers . . . whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert
whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake . .
. Rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; not giving
heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. Titus 1:9, 10, 11, 13. (Underlining added)
We are to
challenge for the truth and rebuke, refute, reprove, tell a fault, censure,
forbid, charge and accuse, so that others will be saved from deception and
destruction. We speak in love, but
earnestly contend for the faith. Jude
says, “. . . (Y)e should earnestly
contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” Jude 3.
We are not to compromise the truth that God entrusted to us, especially
the elders. Titus 2:15 says, “These
things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.” (Underlining added) Let no person find fault
with you for earnestly contending for the faith.
TO SPEAK OUT
Paul says in 2 Thessalonians 3:6,
Now we command
you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw
yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the
tradition, which he received of us. . .
And if any may obey not our word by this epistle, note that man,
and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. . . Yet count him
not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. (Underlining added)
We are commanded
to note and withdraw from those who preach false doctrines. To “note” is to identify. At the same time, we are not to count him as
an enemy. In Titus 3:10, Paul says, “Warn
a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. You
may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.” Harsh words are sometimes necessary to
preserve the faith.
Elders are instructed as follows:
“Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.” (Underlining added) 1 Ti. 5:20. Paul tells us
to make public the sins of others.
If a brother is in grave error and is being used to deceive others, is
it love to rebuke him? or is it hate?
For the sake of unity and misguided “love”, will you allow him to be
accursed? Ezekiel 3:20, 21 says,
When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and
I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given
him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done
shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the righteous man,
that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because
he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.
Does an earthly father not have the
duty to chasten, point out errors and even take the rod of correction to his
children in order to drive sin and unrighteousness out of them and to guide
them in paths of righteousness? (“He
that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him
betimes.”) Pr. 13:24. Is a father’s chastening of his sons and
daughters wrong? No, it is love. In order to correct, there is a need to
More so must an elder in the Body of
Christ warn and correct brothers in Christ who stray from righteousness and
truth. Once again, we are commanded
to rebuke publicly in 1 Timothy 5:20-22: “Them that sin rebuke before all,
that others also may fear. I charge
(command) thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels,
that thou observe these things, without preferring one before another, doing
nothing by partiality.” (Parenthesis
added) An elder is strongly commanded
(“I charge thee before God”) to rebuke, chasten, point out errors and
correct publicly. Love demands correction. Hatred allows compromise and lies, the end of
which is apostasy. Speak out or disobey
Sincerity by the person uttering
false doctrines is not the issue. The
issue is - is it truth? Most false prophets do not know they are false. Balaam did not know; the four hundred
prophets of Ahab did not know; the many false prophets and priests in
Jeremiah’s day did not know; many modern-day “prophets” do not know. All were probably highly respected, admired and
loved in their day. How will they know
and change unless someone tells them in love?
The refusal to judge and discern has
eroded the foundations of the Church and defiled the very essence of the Church
- truth. How else can one explain why
many in the Church do not believe there is a Satan or evil spirits? or believe
that Jesus was only a man? or that the Bible is not accurate? or that Jesus did
not resurrect physically? or that the Holy Spirit is only to explain God’s
power and is not a real individual? or that Jesus sinned while on earth? or
that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and was first having an affair with her? or
that it was really Judas who died on the cross?
A SIGN OF
The apostle Paul warns us in 2
Thessalonians 2:3, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day
(Jesus’ return) shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and
that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” (Parentheses
added) So, at the end of the age there
will be a falling away from the faith or truth.
The Amplified Bible says there will be an “apostasy.” As mentioned earlier, “apostasy” means - “an
abandoning of what one has believed in, as a faith, cause, principle,
etc.” (Webster’s Collegiate
Dictionary) It speaks of a turning away
from the doctrines and practices espoused by the early apostles and the Bible.
The Body of Christ is already in
apostasy. It has allowed many false
doctrines, beliefs, practices and movements to permeate the Church and destroy
the purity of our faith. Both Jesus and
the apostles constantly and vociferously warned us of the spirit of Antichrist
and false doctrines. “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter
times, some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and
doctrines of devils.” I Ti.
4:1. It wasn’t just Paul speaking; it
came directly from the Holy Spirit. The
deception has been so subtle and cunning that “. . . if it were possible,
they shall deceive the very elect.”
Christmas and Easter were never
taught by the early apostles. They came
into the church after 325 A.D. We need
to earnestly contend for the faith and avoid deception to the utmost.
MEANING OF CHRISTMAS
finally come to the climax!
The true Christmas is in the
spirit. What happened almost two
thousand years ago in Bethlehem was meant to be an example and shadow of
heavenly and spiritual things to come.
It was the promise of even better things. Heb. 8:5.
Even as the tabernacle of Moses in
the wilderness and the sacrifices and rituals of the Old Testament were meant
to reveal spiritual and better things to come, the events of the birth of Jesus
are meant to show us spiritual truths and realities to come. Having received the substance, we are to let
go of the shadow. The new covenant did
away with the old covenant and the types and shadows it represented. So too, must we refuse to go back to the old
covenant practice of observing holy days and Sabbaths.
years ago, I was sitting on a couch listening to our music ministry practice
singing Christmas songs. Yes, we were
still not certain as to what extent we should observe Christmas. We already banned Christmas trees and
decorations in our church, but we loved Christmas songs – not Santa Claus or
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer songs, but true Bible-based carols. We were still attached to beautiful Christmas
music and toyed with the belief that at least we were honoring Jesus and it was
a time of year we would bring unbelievers to Christ. In my heart, I was still unsure as to what
extent we should discard Christmas.
As I was
pondering over the true meaning of Christmas, the Holy Spirit suddenly spoke to
me. The following is an expansion of the
revelation given by the Holy Spirit regarding the true meaning of
Christmas. It all happened within
seconds. This is what the Holy Spirit
that took place when Jesus was born are types and shadows of better things to
shepherds in the fields around Bethlehem tending their flocks by night. Jesus came as the Good Shepherd to guide and
watch over His sheep. We are the sheep
of His pasture.
represents the world. When Mary and
Joseph came to the inn, they were turned away because the inn was too
full. Many are too full of the things of
the world and do not know when the Savior is knocking on the door of their
heart, so they turn him away. They have
no room for Him in their lives.
Jesus was born in darkness in a
humble manger of a virgin and the angels rejoiced the night that He was
born. The world sat in darkness and
suddenly there was a great light! Before
we were saved, we were proud and sat in spiritual darkness. But when we humbled ourselves, repented of
our sins and came to the Lord Jesus, His blood washed us clean as a virgin and
Jesus was born in and of a virgin heart.
When one sinner repents, all of the
angels in heaven rejoice as on that night.
Jesus is always born in the virgin heart of a former sinner who became
humble as that manger, and repented of his sins and the all the angels in
heaven rejoice as on the night when Jesus was first born on earth.
Jesus was born in the city of
David. He is called the son of
David. All born-again Christians become
sons of David. The star of Bethlehem
represents the Holy Ghost. Even as the
star of Bethlehem drew the wise men to Jesus, the Holy Ghost draws all men to
The wise men came from a far country
and brought three gifts: frankincense, myrrh and gold. When a person comes to Jesus, the Father, the
Son and the Holy Ghost come from as far away as heaven to bring the same three
Frankincense was sprinkled on the
meal sacrifice in Moses’ day. Jesus came
as the bread from heaven. His sacrifice
on the cross is a free gift to all who came to Him and accepted Him as their
Lord and Savior. Frankincense is a sweet
perfume even as Jesus’ sacrifice is a sweet gift to the world.
Myrrh is also a sweet perfume, also
called gall. It is sweet to the smell,
but bitter to the taste. It was offered
to Jesus on the cross, mixed with vinegar.
It numbs the body and mind. Jesus
refused it and accepted the suffering.
Myrrh represents our walk in Christ.
When we first became Christians, it is so sweet and we are so excited,
but as we begin to share Christ with our family and friends, and as we walk
with the Lord, it becomes bitter. We are
ridiculed, rejected, scorned and spat at, even as Jesus was as He walked up the
hill to Golgatha.
Many are the afflictions of the
righteous. The righteous refuse the good life and embrace the sufferings of a
righteous walk. The walk of every true
Christian is filled with rejection from family, friends and others. The true walk with Christ will take you up
the same hill as you carry your own cross.
The bitter cup is offered to all Christians. It also is a free gift of love. No one can be make perfect in Christ without
trials and sufferings.
The third gift, gold, represents the
reward of every true and faithful servant of the Lord at the end of his/her
time on earth. The streets and buildings
in heaven are made of pure gold. There
is a crown of righteousness made of gold awaiting those that have truly
followed the Savior.
The events that took place the night
when Jesus was born are types and shadows of better things to come. Every time when one sinner repents and comes
to Jesus, all of the events of that night take place over and over again. The birth of Jesus is in the spirit, not in
Christmas trees, tinsel, egg nog and ham.
Jesus is born every day in the
hearts of sinners everywhere as they humble themselves, come out of darkness,
repent and accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Their hearts are washed clean
as a virgin and Christ is born in their humble virgin heart. The Father, Son and Holy Ghost come from as
far away as heaven to present them the same three gifts – the sweet sacrifice
of His life on the cross, the bitter-sweet walk of righteousness, and the
golden crown of righteousness at the end of a faithful walk with the Lord.
Dear reader, up until that night
when the Holy Ghost revealed what the true meaning of Christmas really is, I
had no idea what it meant. After that
night, I had absolutely no hesitation in letting Christmas and Easter go.
THE EVENTS THAT TOOK PLACE THE NIGHT JESUS WAS BORN
Dear reader, I have much more to say
about the events that took place the night Jesus was born. I have written the following expansion of
those events in this Chapter.
AND THERE WERE IN THE SAME
COUNTRY SHEPHERDS ABIDING IN THE FIELD, KEEPING WATCH OVER THEIR FLOCK BY
NIGHT. Lk. 2:8.
not hard to guess what the shepherds stand for.
Jesus came as the Good Shepherd.
Jn. 10:11. He was an abomination to the world. In Genesis 36, when Joseph brought his family
into Egypt, they wanted to remain separate from the rest of Egypt, for God had
commanded Israel not to adopt the ways of the heathen. Joseph instructed them on what to say when
the pharaoh spoke to them.
And it shall come to pass, when
Pharaoh shall call you, and shall say, What is your occupation? That ye shall say, Thy servants' trade hath
been about cattle from our youth even until now, both we, and also our fathers:
that ye may dwell in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is an
abomination unto the Egyptians. Gen.
36:34. (Underlining added)
While the word
"abomination" may be too strong an adjective to use, it is highly
likely that shepherds were not at the top rung of society in Israel when Jesus
was born. Shepherds were at the very
bottom. There were priests in Israel,
scribes, businessmen, traders and all manner of teachers and government
officials that Jesus could have come as, but a shepherd?
all the jobs available to a young man, shepherding was probably the worse
paying and the most detested. If you had
no skills and education, you could at least watch and care for animals. It was dirty and lonely work. You were accountable to the owner of the
sheep and would likely encounter wild animals such as lions and bears in the
wilderness. It could be dangerous
work. Working in the wilderness with
sheep left you smelling like them and sleeping on the hard desert floor without
benefit of a soft bed and bath was not exactly an employee incentive. There were snakes and scorpions crawling
around at night.
there's something about being a shepherd that changes your heart and prepares
you for ministry. Moses had been chosen
by God to lead Israel out of slavery in Egypt.
When Moses grew up, it was already in his heart to help his brethren,
the Hebrew people. He saw an Egyptian
hitting a Hebrew. Ex. 2:11-12. In his zeal to help his Hebrew brethren,
Moses killed the Egyptian and buried him.
When he discovered that people knew about it, Moses was forced to flee
into the desert to escape prosecution.
He wasn't quite ready to serve God.
ran away to escape arrest and prosecution. He later married and labored as a
shepherd for forty years. Ex. 3:1. During those forty years, Moses learned to be
a shepherd - to protect, care for and guide his father-in-law's sheep. Something happened in his heart. He was once proud and confident in his
flesh. After all, he was the adopted son
of the Pharaoh's sister, educated and well-respected. He enjoyed the good life was headed for great
things. In the desert wilderness, Moses
became humble and quiet. He no longer
had any ambition to be somebody important.
When God informed Moses that he had been chosen to lead Israel out of
Egypt, Moses didn't want the job. In
Exodus 4:10b, he said, "O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither
heretofore, nor since thou has spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of
speech, and of a slow tongue."
no longer desired to be famous or known.
He had no self-ambition. He felt
that he had nothing to offer. Years in
the desert tending sheep had molded him into a humble and quiet man. He was slow of speech and tongue because he
had spent years being alone, learning to think and meditate on life and upon
God. He had learned to keep his mouth
a far cry from the earlier Moses who wanted to do things his own way. As a shepherd, Moses had a lot of time to
think. He began to realize that he had
no control over his own life, that circumstances could change things around overnight. There was no security in the flesh. He was a hopeless murderer with no power in
himself. He was now ready to serve God.
DAVID THE SHEPHERD
important character in the Old Testament was King David. David was also a shepherd. He was so insignificant among his seven older
brothers that he was given the worse job – to tend his father’s sheep. In fact, when Samuel, the prophet, came to
the house of Jessie to anoint the next king of Israel, he asked David’s father
to gather all of his sons and bring them to Samuel. David was so low in the mind of his father
that Jessie forgot to call David. 1 Sa.
became a man deeply loved by God. The
Bible says that David was a man after God's own heart. Ac. 13:22.
It was David who slew the giant, Goliath. But before David killed Goliath, he had much
practice. As a shepherd, David learned
to care for the sheep, feed them, guide and protect them and love them. He risked his life for the sheep. With his bare hands, he killed a lion and a
bear. I Sa. 17:34-36. He learned to be introspective, to meditate
on the Word, to praise God, to have patience, to wait upon the Lord, to become
self-reliant and responsible. He didn't
own the sheep, but he was no mere hireling.
His love for the sheep was extraordinary; he risked his life for
them. A good shepherd never abandons the
sheep when danger comes; he is with them always and will risk his life to
Jesus came to earth, He not only cared for the sheep, fed them, guided them,
protected them and loved them; He also died for His sheep. That is true love. Jn. 15:13.
called Himself the Good Shepherd. Jn.
10:14. He is the chief shepherd. I Pet. 5:4.
Even in the Old Testament, God was called the Shepherd of Israel. Ps. 80:1.
The Lord calls Himself a shepherd for good reason. He loves us like a good shepherd would love
and care for his own sheep. We are the
sheep of His pasture. David alluded to
God as a shepherd in one of the most beloved passages in the Bible - Psalms
23. He said, "The Lord is my
shepherd." God is our shepherd
too – yours and mine.
on earth represent the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ. They are under-shepherds given authority by
the number one shepherd. It is their
duty to feed the sheep. When Jesus asked
Peter, "Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?" When Peter answered "Yes..." Jesus said, "Feed my sheep
(lambs)", three times. Jn.
are shepherds in the mold of the Good Shepherd.
The word "pastor" means shepherd. It is important that sheep have someone to
watch over them. Otherwise, they would
be scattered and become easy prey. Sheep
are so domesticated that they have no defense against predators. That is also why we need to pray for our
shepherds. Satan knows that once you
smite the shepherd, the sheep will be scattered. Mt. 26:31; Mk. 14:27.
was hated by the world. Jn. 15:18. As in the days of Joseph, shepherds were an
abomination to the world. The Pharisees
tried to kill him many times and finally succeeded. But in the act of giving His life for His
sheep, Jesus saved the world.
shepherds watched their flocks the night Jesus was born, they were honored by
being the first humans to see the baby Jesus, except for Mary and Joseph. Up until then, even the angels did not know
what God looked like. They were looking
down with curiosity all over their faces.
The shepherds were honored because the Savior would also be a shepherd -
the greatest shepherd in history and the greatest there will ever be throughout
will come back one day to gather his flock one last time from the four corners
of the earth. Mt. 24:31. Wherever He goes, they will follow; wherever
the Good Shepherd is, His sheep will be also.
One day, all of His sheep will be together with Him in heaven.
WERE IN THE SAME COUNTRY SHEPHERDS ABIDING IN THE FIELD, KEEPING WATCH OVER
THEIR FLOCK BY NIGHT. Lk. 2:8.
flocks in the fields the night Jesus was born represent God's people. We are the sheep of His pasture. As His sheep and lambs, God has the
responsibility to care for us, protect, feed, guide, teach and nurture us,
provided we follow Him. We have the
responsibility of following the Shepherd and obeying Him in all things. Don't call someone pastor if you don't want
to follow and obey him. If we fail to
follow, we become renegade sheep, outlaws, and rebels. But even though we sin and fall into the pit,
Jesus comes time after time again to pull us out of the pit and into the safety
of His arms.
when sheep are incorrigible outlaws, the shepherd has to cull them from the
flock before they teach others to disobey and rebel. The Body of Christ is like
that. Disobedient and rebellious sheep
are cut from the flock from time to time.
You may not see it with your natural eyes, but in the spiritual realm,
they are separated from the flock. They
will backslide and eventually leave the church to go back into the world unless
But he that entered in by the
door is the shepherd of the sheep. To
him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice; and he calleth his own
sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And
when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow
him: for they know his voice. And a
stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the
voice of strangers.
His sheep, we need to know His voice and follow Him. He knows His sheep by name. The Good Shepherd speaks all the time through
the Holy Spirit in us. Often, we hear
Him through His Word - the Bible.
Sometimes, He will speak in an audible voice, though this is relatively
rare. At other times, He will speak to
His sheep through a pressing down on their spirit, or a feeling of joy and
release. Often, He will speak directly
into our spirit and we just know that we know.
Sometimes, it is mere intuition, or circumstance. The Good Shepherd speaks in many ways. We need to learn to hear Him and follow
Him. His sheep know His voice.
the natural, a shepherd also has many ways to communicate with his sheep. Sometimes, it is through a spoken word,
sometimes through whistling, or clucking with the tongue, or singing. Often it is by waving or moving the
shepherd's staff in a certain way. The
sheep know how the Shepherd communicates with them and they follow and obey
him. When I raised horses, my horses
knew my commands. Every movement of my
hand, my clucking and whistling, my shifting of weight, squeeze of my calves
and moving of the reins in my hands brought instant obedience and
response. When a stranger climbed on
their back, however, they did not respond.
The stranger’s voice was different.
one follow without knowing His voice?
Once one becomes a born-again Christian, he or she starts to hear the
voice of God. It is an important
event. I recall when I first heard God's
voice. It was an audible voice that
seemed to come from the pit of my stomach.
At that time, I hadn't even read the scripture that says, "He that
believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers
of living water. Jn. 7:38. But it's true. Later, God began to communicate with me in
other ways. Now, I just know that I
know. It can't be explained because it's
in the spirit. The natural mind cannot
receive the things of the Spirit of God.
They are spiritually discerned. I
Co. 2:14. He can speak right into your
mind and spirit and you just know in your heart that it is the Lord speaking,
but you can't explain it adequately to a carnal mind. Only spirit can know spiritual things. How
precious it is to know the will of God and to hear His voice daily. You can't live without it.
the Shepherd speaks, we obey. If we
rebel and refuse to listen, our spiritual ears get plugged. Perhaps we have wandered away too far. If we obey, however, He will lead us to green
pastures and make us to lie down besides still waters. Ps. 23:2.
The Great Shepherd feeds us and gives us life. As Jesus said to the Samaritan woman next to
the well, "If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to
thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have
given thee living water. Jn.
4:10. The living waters that His sheep
drink are drink indeed. They thirst no
more. When we follow Him, we feast on
the bread of life who is Jesus. His
every word brings us life. The
tumultuous waters of confusion, torment and agitation become peaceful, still
waters. Our faith is in the Good
Shepherd. He restores our soul as we
rest in Him.
are the sheep of His pasture.
BROUGHT FORTH HER FIRSTBORN SON, AND WRAPPED HIM IN SWADDLING CLOTHES, AND LAID
HIM IN A MANGER, BECAUSE THERE WAS NO ROOM FOR THEM IN THE INN. Lk. 2:7.
Bible says that there was no room at the inn.
So it was that night almost two thousand years ago and so it is
today. There are multitudes of people in
the world with no room in their heart and life for Jesus.
the people in the inn were observing the Feast of Tabernacles. They were too busy to notice that the Messiah
was about to enter the world in the flesh.
Something better was knocking at the door. They did not know the times and seasons of
God. Sometimes we are like that
too. We are too busy with the mundane
things of the world and we become numb to what God is doing or about to
do. The unsaved have no idea.
comes and knocks on the door of your heart.
If you answer the knock and invite Jesus in, He will come to
sup and live with you. Rev.
3:20. Refuse to answer the knock and He
will go away.
are many who are too busy with the things of the world. Perhaps they are thinking about where they
are going the next day or what they will eat or drink, how much money they are
going to make, what they are going to do or how they are going to pay their
bills or make it through the hard times ahead.
They are too busy to think of God.
Little do they know that whatever they do or own, will one day be like
dust in the wind. Here today, gone
tomorrow. That’s why Jesus said to “take
no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal
shall we be clothed? [For all these
things do the Gentiles seek:] for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have
need of all these things. But seek ye
first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be
added unto you.” Mt. 6:31-33.
live for today only, thinking little about God and eternity. As King Solomon said, all we are, do and have
is vanity and vexation of spirit without God.
Ecc. 2:11; 17, 26. No matter what
you do, you can't keep it. All your fame
and honor from men and all your money cannot buy you one moment of time. The minute you were born, you were doomed to
die. As King Solomon said to be content
with what God gave you in life. The
greatest thing anyone can do is find God and having found Him, serve Him with
all your heart. You only have one chance
and then eternity to either reap the rewards of having found the Lord and serving
Him or suffer the consequences of your failure to let Him into your life and
night, the Messiah had come to be born in the inn, but there was no room for
Him. He comes to be born in the hearts
of all men, but many have no room for Him.
He will go away. What a
Jesus' mother, was obviously pregnant.
She was in full term and the baby was ready to be born. But no one had sympathy for her, although
Joseph begged for a room. No one would
sacrifice for Jesus, but Jesus came to sacrifice His life for them. Like the Samaritan woman at the well, if she
knew who she was talking to, she would have asked for living water from
Jesus. Jn. 4:10. Would the people in the inn have given Mary
and Joseph room if they knew that Mary was bearing the Savior of the
world? Maybe and maybe not.
same sad story is true today. How often
we share the good news of salvation with friends and family with high hopes and
we find that there is no room in their life for Jesus. It's full with other things - work, business,
sports, problems, relationships. There's
no room for Jesus. They just don't know
that you come bearing good news of life and salvation. They often have no time to even listen to
you. Those at the inn just didn't know
who had come to them. They turned Him
AND LOWLY MANGER
BROUGHT FORTH HER FIRSTBORN SON, AND WRAPPED HIM IN SWADDLING CLOTHES, AND LAID
HIM IN A MANGER; BECAUSE THERE WAS NO ROOM FOR THEM IN THE INN. Lk. 2:7.
manger was a type of barn where animals were kept. Some claim that it could have been a cave
because there were many caves around Bethlehem in those days. In either case, it was not an ideal place to
have a baby. It was dark and lowly and
full of germs and bad smells. There was
probably no bed - only straw. Kings are
normally born in ornate palaces on soft beds; Jesus was born in a dark and
lowly manger. His kingdom was not on
Bible says that before He came into the world, the world lived in
darkness. Lk. 1:79. Suddenly, there was a great light. Mt. 4:16.
Jesus is called the bright and Morning Star. Rev. 22:16b.
The bright Morning Star had come to be among men. He was the light of the world. Before we came to Christ, we also lived in
darkness. Our hearts were black with
sin. There was no hope. But when Jesus came into our lives, He turned
that darkness into light. We became
children of light. Lk. 16:8; Jn. 12:36.
Once our heart was dark and sinful, but when the Savior came, He washed
us clean and white as snow – like a virgin.
2 Corinthians 11:2, the apostle Paul said, “For I am jealous over you with
godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you
as a chaste virgin to Christ.” When
we repent and God forgives us, we become chaste as a virgin.
always happens that way. Jesus is always
born in darkness - in a sinner's heart as black as coal. Then, something marvelous happens. The darkness turns into light.
not everyone wants the light. Many love
darkness. John 3:19-21 says:
And this is the condemnation,
that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light,
because their deeds are evil. For every
one that doeth evil hateth the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light,
that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
King of all the earth was born in a lowly manger. The word lowly means humble. It seems strange that the King of kings would
be born in a humble manger. Kings are
usually born in beautiful palaces and physicians or maybe mid-wives were in
constant attendance. But that's the way
the King of all creation wanted it. You
see, Jesus is never born in the heart of a prideful, kingly person - only in a
lowly and humble heart. Jesus Himself
said, "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly
in heart: and ye shall find rest for your souls." Mt. 11:29. The King is humble - even as the manger He
was born in. Jesus is always born in a
humble manger of a heart. Jesus said, "...
I am meek and lowly in heart...." Mt.
Bible says to repent and be saved. Ac.
3:19; Lk. 13:3. Repentance requires
humility. You can't repent unless you
confess your sins and acknowledge the need to be cleansed by the Lord. In the days of Moses and the tabernacle in
the wilderness, there was only one door into the tabernacle and it was only
about four feet high. In order to enter
into God's temple and presence, you had to bow your head and crouch down - in a
show of humility, unless you were a midget.
So it is today, humility is the only way into the presence of Almighty
God. The proud are always rejected. He dwells with the contrite of heart. Ps. 57:15.
will always be born in a dark and lowly manger of a heart in a sinner who
repents and comes to Jesus in lowliness and humility, like the manger Jesus was
born in, acknowledging his sins and asking for forgiveness, knowing full well
that there is no other way he can attain salvation but through the Lord Jesus
Christ. Ac. 4:12.
AND SUDDENLY THERE WAS WITH THE
ANGEL A MULTITUDE OF THE HEAVENLY HOST PRAISING GOD, AND SAYING, GLORY TO GOD
IN THE HIGHEST AND ON EARTH PEACE GOOD WILL TOWARD MEN. Lk. 2:13-14.
shepherds in the fields heard angels rejoicing in the heavens the night Jesus
was born. They sang and gave good
tidings to men. Lk. 2:14. Can you imagine thousands upon thousands of
angels singing and rejoicing that night?
It was an important occasion the night Jesus was born. The Father was so delighted. It was the appointed time for the world to be
saved through the life and death of one person.
There was great excitement in heaven.
All the angels waited in anticipation.
were no prophets in Israel for four hundred years before Jesus was born. It was like the calm before the storm. But God had Simeon and Anna pray and fast for
years for the coming of the Messiah. Lk.
2:25, 36. They were preparing the
way. When that day finally came there
was great joy in heaven.
you know that every time a sinner comes to Jesus to be saved, all of heaven
rejoices? Luke 15:7 says, "I say
unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth,
more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no
repentance." The angels sing
and dance when one sinner repents and weeps his way into heaven, just as on the
night Jesus was born 2,000 years ago.
Once again, Jesus says in Luke 15:10, "Likewise, I say unto you,
there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that
Jesus is born, it's an important occasion.
The baby Jesus is born in a sinner's heart each time someone comes to
our Lord Jesus Christ and is saved.
Angels always rejoice in heaven when He is born. There is much joy in heaven when one sinner
repents and comes to the Lord and is “born-again.” Not only is the former sinner “born-again,”
Jesus is also born one more time – not in the flesh, but in the Spirit. Eze. 36:26-27.
BORN OF A
BEHOLD, A VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH
CHILD, AND SHALL BRING FORTH A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,
WHICH BEING INTERPRETED IS, GOD WITH US.
mother of Jesus was said to be a virgin when Jesus was born. She was pure, chaste, untouched by the world,
sweet and desirable.
mentioned earlier, whenever a sinner comes to Jesus, repents and accepts Jesus
as his Savior, God forgives him of his sins and the blood of Jesus washes him
white as snow. Rev. 1:5. He becomes as clean as a virgin. The apostle John said, "For I am
jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband,
that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ." 2 Co. 11:2. The word virgin refers to the state of being
pure and chaste, made clean by the blood of Jesus. The people of God are virgins to the
Lord. It is not a matter of physical
virginity; it is a matter of spiritual cleanliness. We are given a new spirit - made anew as
time a sinner comes to God, repents and accepts the sacrifice for his sins made
by our Lord Jesus, God is faithful to forgive him all of his sins and cleanse
him from all unrighteousness. I Jn.
1:9. God also gives him a new heart and
a new spirit. Eze. 36:25-27. He becomes a spiritual virgin and Jesus is
born in his new virginal heart, made clean by the blood of Jesus.
is always born in a virgin heart when one sinner comes to God. You were the virgin the day you were
"born-again" and the Spirit of Jesus was born in your heart. Phil. 1:19.
THE STAR OF
AND LO, THE STAR, WHICH THEY SAW
IN THE EAST, WENT BEFORE THEM, TILL IT CAME AND STOOD OVER WHERE THE YOUNG
CHILD WAS. WHEN THEY SAW THE STAR, THEY
REJOICED WITH EXCEEDING GREAT JOY. Mt.
wise men (the Bible doesn’t say how many, but we infer three because three
gifts were presented, presumably one for each wise man) from a far country were
guided by an exceedingly bright star that led them to the baby Jesus. We call it the star of Bethlehem.
Adam fell, he was a morning star. Is.
14:12. After he sinned, he lost it. His light went out and he saw his flesh for
the first time. Immediately, Adam and
Eve sewed fig leaf aprons to protect their flesh. At one time, they walked in the spirit and
communed with God. Their souls served
their spirit. After they sinned, their
souls (minds – will, emotions and intellect) served the flesh. The flesh leads to death, the Spirit leads to
life. Ro. 8:6, 10. Since then, Adam’s descendants have wandered
in the dark without direction and have found death at the end. The wages of sin is death. Ro. 6:23.
came as the last Adam (I Co. 15:45-47) and is called the bright and Morning
Star. Rev. 22:16b. He came to restore to us everything the first
Adam lost when he sinned. We are the
children of light. Jn. 12:36. We are called to be morning stars - just like
Rev. 2:26-28, Jesus said:
And he that overcometh, and
keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: and
he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be
broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
And I will give him the morning
star. (Underlining added)
as the bright and Morning Star, is our guide through His Holy Spirit. In John 16:13, Jesus calls the Holy Spirit
the Spirit of Truth. He will lead us
into all truth.
said in II Pet 1:19, "... until the day dawn and the day star arise in
your hearts." It is important
that we know that God wants us to be morning stars. The earnest deposit of the Spirit in our
hearts is only the beginning. There is a
reward for all those that diligently and with faith and patience follow the
path of the Lord and fellowship in his sufferings. Phil. 3:10, 14. Philippians 1:19 says, “For I know that
this shall turn to my salvation to you in prayer, and the supply of the Spirit
of Jesus Christ.” The Spirit and the
Son are one. 1 Jn. 5:7. When we become born-again Christians, He is
born in our hearts as the Day Star - the spirit of Christ. Col. 1:27 (“. . . Christ in you, the hope
the end of the age, there will be a people of God who have attained full
maturity in Christ. They will be the
Morning Stars, the army of God. Joel 2:2
A day of darkness and of
gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon
the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like,
neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.
Verse 11 says, "And the
Lord shall utter his voice before his army...." At the end of the age, God will have a people
called the Morning Stars (“. . . as the morning spread upon the mountains. .
. .”). They shall be the army
Holy Spirit, the Christ in all born-again Christians will always lead us
straight to Jesus, just as the Star of Bethlehem led the three wise men to
Jesus almost 2,000 years ago. Mt.
9:10. John 16:23-14 says:
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of
truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of
himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew
you things to come. He shall glorify me:
for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it to you.
The Spirit in you, the Day Star,
will always glorify Jesus. Jesus said, "I
am the way, the truth, and the life...." Jn. 14:6b.
He will not speak of Himself; He will only speak of Jesus. He is the one to lead you to Jesus, to help
you fellowship with Jesus. He is the
star of Bethlehem. He came to live in
your heart when you became born-again.
He is the Spirit of Jesus. Phil.
1:19. The Father, and the Son, and the
Holy Spirit are one. 1 Jn. 5:7.
a sinner comes to God, the earnest deposit of the Spirit is planted in his
heart. As we mature in Christ, we will
shine brighter and brighter until we shall be like Him. Rev. 2:28.
AND JOSEPH ALSO WENT UP FROM
GALILEE, OUT OF THE CITY OF NAZARETH, INTO JUDEA, UNTO THE CITY OF DAVID, WHICH
IS CALLED BETHLEHEM; (BECAUSE HE WAS OF THE HOUSE AND LINEAGE OF DAVID:) Lk. 2:4.
was born in the city of Bethlehem. There
was nothing special or exciting about Bethlehem in those days, but in Bible
history, it was revered as the City of David.
was a man after God's own heart. Ac.
13:22. Whether it meant that God's heart
loved David, or David wanted to have a heart like God's, we do not exactly
know. But David was certainly one of the
men most loved by God. The life of David
and the Psalms that David wrote reveal a man totally sold out to God. He was not perfect, but he was closer than
any one we know. While the Bible talks
about many prophets and how God used them to warn the people of Israel (such as
Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel), David stands out as a man whose life and heart
were fully dedicated to loving and obeying the Lord. David was the one that asked God to search
his heart and to change it. He was truly
a man who understood God and who wanted to be just like Him. His one desire was to do the will of God.
loved David so much that He promised him that there would be a son of David on
the throne forever. Jesus is called the
"son of David" in many passages.
Mt. 9:27; 12:23; 21:9. In Psalm
89:3, God promised David that God would establish David's seed forever and
build up his throne to all generations.
Also, Jer. 33:17-26. Jesus came
to fulfill that prophecy. Jesus said in
Revelation 22:16b, "I am the root and offspring of David...." Therefore, there will be a son of David
on the throne of God throughout eternity.
If the saints are members of a new race of people after Jesus, then we
too are of the house of David.
scriptures say that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, the City of
David. Mic. 5:2; Jn. 7:42. Jesus came to fulfill that prophecy. David and the city of David will be honored
throughout eternity through Jesus.
birth of Jesus in the line of David and in the city of David was not merely to
honor David, but to show us that the Messiah would be just like David in many
ways, or rather, that David was like Jesus in many ways. The Messiah would long to do the will of God,
to obey with all His heart - just like David.
David, of course, cannot be compared to the Lord Jesus Christ. We all fall short of the glory of God, but
David knew the way to God's heart. We
too are to seek God with all our heart, mind and strength, and do the will of
God. That's why the City of David has
such great significance. Bethlehem may
have looked like a dead city in the days of Jesus, but it became the birthplace
of life itself. Life came in the
flesh. Jesus is the way, the truth and
the life. Jn. 14:6.
desired to be just like God - to have His heart and His mind. Like David, we too are to desire the heart
and mind of Christ. Jesus came to
fulfill that desire. Ro. 8:29. Bethlehem will always be identified with the
birth of Jesus, but it is David who first made Bethlehem meaningful to all
the Old Testament, the word "Bethlehem" meant "place of
bread." Jesus is called the bread
of life that came down from heaven. Jn.
6:32, 35; 48.
NOW WHEN JESUS WAS BORN IN
BETHLEHEM OF JUDEA IN THE DAYS OF HEROD THE KING, BEHOLD, THERE CAME WISE MEN
FROM THE EAST TO JERUSALEM. Mt. 2:1.
men came to bring gifts to the baby Jesus.
The Bible doesn't say how many there were, but because there were three
gifts, we believe there were three wise men.
Bible does not say exactly where they came from except that they came from the
east. They did not come from the
surrounding area and it must have been from afar off. Mt. 2:12 says that after they worshipped
Jesus, "they departed into their own country...." In today's jet age, one could argue that
the Middle East is not that large an area.
Regardless, the wise men came from another country - afar off.
is the same today, each time when Jesus is born in the heart of a repentant sinner. Three persons come from afar even from as far
away as heaven - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. They come to bring the same three gifts to
each born-again Christian.
... AND WHEN THEY HAD OPENED
THEIR TREASURES, THEY PRESENTED UNTO HIM GIFTS; GOLD, AND FRANKINCENSE, AND
MYRRH. Lk. 2:11.
gifts were presented to the new-born Jesus: frankincense, myrrh and gold. Frankincense is a sweet-smelling perfume used
by the priests to sprinkle on the grain or meal sacrifice in the temple in the
days of Moses. Lev. 2:1, 15. It was a luxury that was brought into
Palestine by caravan from afar. Is.
60:6; Jer. 6:20.1
Leviticus 6:14-18, God instructed Aaron on to how to make the holy meal
offering. He said:
And he shall take of it his
handful, of the flour of the meal offering, and of the oil thereof, and all the
frankincense which is upon the meal offering, and shall burn it upon the altar
for a sweet savour, even the memorial of it, unto the Lord.
And the remainder thereof shall
Aaron and his sons eat: with unleavened bread shall it be eaten in the holy
place; in the court of the tabernacle of the congregation they shall eat it.
It shall not be baken with
leaven. I have given it unto them for
their portion of my offerings made by fire; it is most holy, as is the sin
offering, and as the trespass offering.
All the males among the children of
Aaron shall eat of it. It shall be a
statute for ever in your generations concerning the offerings of the Lord made
by fire; everyone who toucheth them shall be holy.
is associated with the meal or grain sacrifice that was to be eaten with
unleavened bread and also baked without leaven and eaten. Leaven was a type of yeast or substance that
caused fermentation. Jesus said to His
disciples, "... beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the
Sadducees." Mt. 16:11b. He was speaking of false doctrines. Verse 12.
The meal was to be baked and eaten
without leaven. It represents
unadulterated truth - the Word of God.
The Bible is the Word of God. It
is to be ingested completely and without adulteration or mixture. In our walk with God, we learn to love the
Bible. It is not just about God; it is
the Word of God. Jesus is called the
Word of God. Rev. 19:13. He lives in us as Truth.
Jesus said, "I am the bread
of life: he that cometh to me shall
never hunger; and he that believed on me shall never thirst." Jn. 6:35b. In John 6:53b-58, Jesus said:
Verily, verily, I say unto you,
Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life
in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and
drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink
indeed. he that eateth my flesh, and
drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me and I in him.
As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that
eateth me, even he shall live by me.
This is the bread which came down from heaven: not as our fathers did
eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.
Frankincense is also a sweet savour
or perfume. As we walk with God into
spiritual maturity, we learn to commune with the Lord. Our prayers are sweet savour to Him. Revelation 5:8 says, “And when he had
taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the
Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which
are the prayers of the saints.” Revelation
And another angel came and stood
at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much
incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden
altar which was before the throne. And
the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended
up before God out of the angel's hand.
only are the prayers of the saints a sweet odor or perfume unto God, those that
are saved are also sweet savor unto Him.
II Corinthians 2:15 says, "For we are unto God a sweet savour of
Christ, in them that are saved . . . .”
when Jesus Christ offered Himself up as a blood sacrifice for our sins, it was
a sweet-smelling savour to the Father.
Ephesians 5:1-2 says, “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear
children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given
himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour.”
time when a sinner comes to God and is saved, the sacrifice of His life that
the Lord Jesus Christ made on the cross is offered in exchange for that
sinner's life. Like the meal sacrifice
made with frankincense in the days of Moses, it is offered up one more time to
God. The bread of life has come down
past sinner begins his walk with Jesus, his prayers become a sweet-savor to God
and he himself becomes a sweet-savor to the Lord. Like the meal offering that is eaten without
leaven, the cleansed ex-sinner begins to partake of the bread that comes from
heaven, as he begins to ingest the unadulterated Word of God. Jesus is the Word of God. Rev. 19:13.
As he begins to fellowship with other saints, he participates in Holy
Communion with the Lord. He takes into
his body the bread and the wine that represent the body and blood of Jesus
Christ. I Co. 11:23-26. It is a reminder that Christ lives in us!
is also called gall. It is a sweet
perfume but is also a bitter narcotic.
It is sweet to the smell, but bitter to the taste. It was mixed with vinegar and offered to
Jesus on the cross and used to prepare His body for the tomb. Mt.
27:34; Mk. 15:23; Jn. 19:39.
symbolizes our walk with the Lord. Like
the apostle John, we will find our walk with God bitter-sweet - sweet to the
mouth and bitter in the belly. Rev.
10:9-10. When we are first saved, we are
ecstatic about becoming a Christian. We
can taste the sweetness of a life and walk with Jesus. We are excited and richly blessed. But as we mature, we learn that the walk is a
bitter one also. There are trials and
tribulations - sufferings and tests to perfect us. It is always a bitter cup for those who
choose His way. Many are the afflictions
of the righteous. Ps. 34:19. But what a privilege!
intimated that those who aspire to sit next to Him on His throne must partake
of the same bitter cup He had to drink.
Mt. 20:22, 39. Through the things
He suffered, Jesus was perfected. Heb.
5:8. That's God's way. "For whom the Lord loveth He
chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth." Heb. 12:6. Trials and chastenings are bitter to the
saint, but sweet to the Lord. We rejoice
in our trials, knowing that we are loved and God is perfecting us so that we
might share His throne with Him one day.
Revelation 3:21 says, "To him that overcometh will I grant to
sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my
Father in His throne." Revelation
21:7 says, "He that overcometh shall inherit all things; . . . ."
Christians are given the opportunity to take the bitter cup and carry their
cross. The walk of every true Christian
will always lead to Calvary. There's a
cross for every one of us. Jesus said, “Whosoever
will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow
me. For whosoever will save his life
shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's,
the same shall save it.” Mk.
Paul said that he had gladly given up all the things of the world, which were
considerable, to follow Jesus. In
Philippians 3:10, Paul says, "That I may know him, and the power of his
resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto
His death." It is the path to
spiritual maturity and oneness with Jesus Christ. There is no other way.
6:4 says, "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that
like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so
we also should walk in newness of life." Before we can rise in resurrection life, we
need to die first. Most Christians find
it hard to die to the world and the flesh.
They cling to the life they have on earth. Jesus said in Matthew 10:38-39, "And
he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and
he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it." Every one who truly follows the Spirit of
God will be led to die on the cross of Calvary with Jesus.
a book I once read about a famous Chinese Christian, Wang Ming Tao, who had
spent almost 23 years of a life term in a Chinese prison because he refused to
deny the Lord. During those years, he
brought many guards and fellow prisoners to the Lord. The days in prison were difficult. He couldn't mumble to himself, or even close
his eyes, lest they accuse him of praying.
He couldn't speak the name of Jesus unless he desired to risk terrible
beatings and solitary confinement. He
was tortured and forced to sleep on concrete floors crawling with cockroaches
and bugs, even during bitter, cold winters.
Yet, he never gave up loving the Lord and serving Him. Many were the times when he was beaten and
starved. He counted it a privilege. He was finally released to die because he was
already over 80 years old, almost blind and deaf. He had taken the bitter cup and walked
through the fire.
western Christian reporter went to Shanghai to meet this revered old man. After a guide took him through secret alleys
and by-ways to escape detection, the westerner entered a run-down house and was
led into a room. To his surprise, he met
ten other Chinese Christians who also wanted to meet the famous old man. As they waited for the appearance of the
ex-prisoner, the westerner discovered that half of the men in the room had
themselves collectively spent eighty years in prison for their faith. To each of them, it was nothing compared to
what the old man had endured. They had
all willingly given up their freedom by refusing to renounce the Lord Jesus.
the old gentleman appeared. It was like
holiness had entered the room. In the
days that followed, the westerner fell in love with the old gentleman and his
kindness and humbleness. The old man was
the epitome of holiness. He was able to
endure extreme hardships because of his overriding desire for holiness.
westerner ended up calling him "Uncle." When it came time to leave, he knew that he
would probably never see the old saint again in this life. As he sneaked out the door, he said to the old
man, "Uncle, do you have any precious lessons to share with the Christians
in free countries?" The old man
looked at him and smiled. He nodded and
as he began to close the door he said, "Tell them to walk the hard
God's way. No other people on earth can
walk the hard way with Jesus and into perfection in God. The walk is sweet and yet it's bitter. But, it's a gift from God that leads to life
on the throne of God for eternity. The
saints are given that privilege of walking with the Lord Jesus - along the same
path our Lord walked - to fellowship in His sufferings. Phil. 3:10.
serves as another symbol important to all born-again Christians. Myrrh was an essential ingredient of the oil
of anointing which God instructed Moses to make. In Ex. 30:23-25, God said, “Take thou also
unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet
cinnamon half so much ... and thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an
ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy
anointing oil.” Thus, myrrh
represents the oil of anointing that was used to anoint Aaron and his priestly
sons. Perhaps it means that the
anointing of the Lord is bitter-sweet.
Only those who are willing to pay the price to serve God can have
it. The oil of anointing is also a type
and shadow of the Holy Spirit. I Jn.
2:27; Lk. 4:18. After all, the anointing
is God’s presence.
As some wise saint once said,
"Salvation is free, but if you desire to walk with the Lord Jesus, it will
cost you dearly. It might even cost you
is the promise of heavenly reward at the end of the walk of a faithful
Christian. It represents heavenly
things. Revelation 21:18 says, "And
the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like
unto clear glass." Verse 21b
says, "... and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were
transparent glass." It is the
city of God, the holy Jerusalem. Verse
said in Revelation 3:18, "I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the
fire, that thou mayest be rich." Gold
also represents perfection in Christ. In
order to purify gold, a jeweler subjects the impure gold to much heat. As the gold melts, the dross or impurities
float to the top. The impurities are
then scraped off the top. As the fire
becomes hotter, more dross comes to the surface to be taken away. Eventually, the gold becomes completely
pure. That is God's way.
Bible says that Jesus comes to baptize us with fire. Mt. 3:11; Lk. 3:16. The way to perfection is
the way of suffering. Jesus learned
obedience by the things that He suffered.
Heb. 5:8. Hebrews 2:10b says that
Jesus, the captain of our salvation was made perfect through sufferings. We too are perfected by the things we
suffer. God allows trials in our life to
perfect us. That's why we rejoice in
fiery trials. I Pet. 1:6-7; I Pet.
4:13. God is after pure gold. He is interested more in our purity than in
our works. As we learn to surrender our
lives to Jesus, we become like pure gold.
who suffer with Jesus will reign with Him throughout eternity. II Ti. 2:12.
twenty-four elders sitting around the throne of God are wearing crowns of
gold. Rev. 4:4. Throughout the Book of Revelation, heavenly
things are described as being of gold - the candlesticks, vials full of odours,
the altar which is before God, a golden girdle around Jesus' chest and so
we finally enter the gates of heaven, after a lifetime of service and
perfection in Jesus, we will be surrounded by a city of pure gold with streets
and buildings paved with gold. Rev.
21:18. At the end of the walk of each
faithful servant of the Lord is pure gold!
a sinner comes to Christ, the same three gifts are given to him, by the Father,
Son and Holy Ghost: the sweet frankincense of the sacrifice Jesus made for him
and the partaking of the bread of life from heaven, the fellowship of His
sufferings as we continue our walk into perfection in Christ Jesus by bearing
our own cross, and finally, the heavenly reward at the end of our walk - gold
for eternity. All believers will accept
the frankincense and desire the heavenly reward, but not many will desire the
bitter walk that is offered to them. They
never realize that the myrrh is also a gift from God. Many claim to follow Jesus, but few bear
three gifts are offered to each new-born saint when he comes to Jesus Christ
and is saved. It all started almost
2,000 years ago when Jesus was born.
true Christmas is not found in Christmas trees, gifts, mistletoe, Rudolph the
Red-nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus or Yule logs. The events that took place on the night that
Jesus was born and soon thereafter, were types and shadows of better things to
come. The Christmas we should seek is
found in the spirit realm. In a world
too busy to invite the Savior in, there are, nevertheless, men and women that
are drawn to the Lord Jesus by the Holy Spirit, the Star of Bethlehem that
draws all men to Jesus. When a sinner
repents and comes to the Lord Jesus to accept him as his Lord and Savior, how
the angels in heaven sing and rejoice!
Jesus is born one more time in the heart of a sinner made clean as a
virgin by the blood of the Lamb - chaste and humble. In the midst of darkness, suddenly the Christ
light bursts into his heart - a new spirit is given him and the Spirit of
Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is born in his heart.
The Father, Son and Holy Ghost come from afar, even from heaven, to
present him three gifts - frankincense, myrrh and gold - the sweet savor of
Jesus' sacrifice for his sins, the bitter-sweet walk with Jesus, and the
heavenly reward at the end. Peace and
goodwill on earth has come to that man or woman.
cling to the types and shadows when the substance has come? Even as the types and shadows of the old
covenant were made obsolete by a new and better covenant, the types and shadows
created by the events that took place when Jesus was born were made obsolete
and replaced by the heavenly events that take place every time one sinner comes
to the Lord.
far more precious to God it is when one sinner comes to Jesus, than all the
Christmas trees, carols, ham and eggnog in the world. How wonderful it will be when the saints come
to desire, rejoice and celebrate each time a soul is saved from hell, and
disdain the carnal Christmases of the world.
Christians become excited over the saving of one lost soul as much as they do
over celebrating Christmas on December 25, the world would be reached by the
Gospel of Salvation in no time at all.
Angels don't rejoice and sing because it's December 25; they have
exceeding great joy whenever someone repents and comes to Jesus.
the true meaning of Christmas!
an insult to Jesus for His people to pursue worldly things and celebrations to
honor His earthly birthday while they ignore the wonderful spiritual meanings
of the events that took place the night Jesus was born. Why celebrate the shadow when we have the
substance? Why honor the physical events
and ignore the spiritual?
a further insult to Jesus for us to even think of celebrating His earthly birth
by using things that belong to Satan's spiritual system of Babylon (Rev. 17,
18). Christmas trees, mistletoe, Yule
logs, roast goose, gift-giving, etc. were Babylonian religious customs observed
on the day Tammuz, the Babylonian sun god was born - December 25.
is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of
16:25. We think we honor Jesus by the
things we do at the end of each year in the very temple of God but it leads to
death. Ro. 8:6.
have mercy upon us!
IS NOT JESUS’ BIRTHDAY
PACKER, J.I., TENNEY, MERILL C., WHITE, WILLIAM, JR., THE BIBLE
God turned Aaron's rod into a serpent, and later turned the waters
into blood, sent frogs, lice, flies, caused the livestock to die, brought
boils, hail stones to destroy the crops, locusts, and complete darkness over
DOUGLAS, J. D. & TENNEY, MERRILL C., THE NEW INTERNATIONAL
DICTIONARY OF THE BIBLE 351. "The
whole feast was popular and joyous in nature."
BABYLONIAN INVASION OF THE CHURCH
HISLOP, ALEXANDER, THE TWO BABYLONS 92.
Id. In the footnotes.
Id. In the footnotes.
Id. In the footnotes.
Id. In the footnotes.
Id at 93. “That Christmas was
originally a Pagan festival, is beyond all doubt.”
PACKER, Supra, at 62.
IS A PAGAN OBSERVANCE
PACKER, Supra at 515.
HISLOP, Supra at 97.
Id at 99.
Id at 93.
Id at 97.
Id at 101.
BARING, ANNE AND CASHFORD, JULES, THE MYTH OF THE GODDESS, 561.
PACKER, J.I., Supra, at 541.
1. PACKER, Supra, at 252.
WHY IS IT
NEE, WATCHMAN, NOT I, BUT CHRIST 111.
THAT TOOK PLACE THE NIGHT JESUS WAS BORN
BROTHER DAVID with LELA GILBERT, WALKING THE HARD ROAD 95.
BARING, ANNE and CASHFORD, JULES, THE
MYTH OF THE GODDESS, Penguin Group, London, England (1993).
BROTHER DAVID with LELA GILBERT, WALKING
THE HARD ROAD, Marshall Pickering, London, England (1989).
DOUGLAS, J.D. and TENNEY, MERRILL
C., THE NEW INTERNATIONAL DICTIONARY OF THE BIBLE, PICTORIAL EDITION, Zondervan
Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Mich. (1987).
HISLOP, ALEXANDER, THE TWO
BABYLONS, Loizeaux Brothers, Inc., Neptune, N.J. (1959).
NEE, WATCHMAN, NOT I, BUT CHRIST
111. Christian Fellowship Publishers, Inc., N.Y., N.Y. (1974).
PACKER, J.I., TENNEY, MERRILL C.,
WHITE, WILLIAM, JR., THE BIBLE ALMANAC, Thomas Nelson Publishers,
Nashville, Tenn. (1980).