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Meaning of Christmas
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Christmas


Christmas

 

THE TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS

By Richard B. W. Ing

 

FOREWORD

            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 pie.

            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 birthday. 

            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. 

INTRODUCTION

            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 kettle.

            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.


CHAPTER ONE

 
DECEMBER 25 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.

 The three 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.

 
FEAST OF 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.  Ex. 12:21b-24.

             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.

 
THE 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 forever!

            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!

 
FEAST OF WEEKS (PENTECOST)

            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 earth. 

            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.  Col. 1:27.

 
FEAST OF TABERNACLES

             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: 

            (i)  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.

            (ii)  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. 23:34. 

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 

 

AMAZING COMPARISONS

             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 first time. 

            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?

 

 

CHAPTER TWO

 

THE BABYLONIAN INVASION OF THE CHURCH

 

THE WINTER COLD

             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 hillsides. 

            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. 

 

ROMAN REASON

 
            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.

 

DECEMBER 25 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 represents.

            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. 

 

CHAPTER THREE

 

CHRISTMAS 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 winter solstice."1 

            In fact, WICCA (witches groups) members now feature websites contending that Christmas was originally a WICCAN festival.  Look it up!

 

BABYLONIAN CHRISTMAS TREES

            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)

The heathen 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

            Of 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.

The New 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 text.

            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 whole point.

            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 Savior.

            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?

 

MISTLETOE

            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.

 

THE YULE LOG

            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.

 

THE CHRISTMAS GOOSE

            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 do.  

 

BABYLONIAN ORIGINS

            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 and Rome, Mithras.7

Today, he 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?  Why? 

            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.

 

CHAPTER FOUR

 

SO WHAT?

            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.

 

NADAB AND ABIHU

            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 misfortune.

 

THE PROPER 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.

 

IS IT 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; Gal. 5:3

           

ISN'T IT IN THE BIBLE?

            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 says,

            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 to Sunday.1

            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 birth.

 

THE ONLY 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.

 

A STEP BACKWARDS

            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.

 

ARE THE 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?

 

CHAPTER FIVE

 

WHY IS IT AN ABOMINATION?


WHAT ABOMINATION?

            By 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 dishonors Jesus. 

            Where 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 God! 

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 captivity.

            In 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.

            Ezekiel 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!

            In 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. 

            I 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 of God!”

 

THE TEMPLE IS TODAY’S CHURCH

            There 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 first Christmas!

            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 exists today.

           

THE MARK OF GOD ON THE FOREHEAD

            Now 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.  (Underlining added)

 

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!

            How 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?

            You 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 foreheads."  (Underlining added)

            Again, 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 foreheads."  (Underlining 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)? 

            Do 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

            Destruction 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...."

            What does “apostasy” mean?  Webster’s Dictionary says that it means to turn away from one’s original beliefs or doctrines.1

            There 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.

            Many 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. 

If Ezekiel, 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).

            Have 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 AND FOREVER

            God 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.

            Perhaps 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

            The 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. 

            When 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. . . .” 

            Watchman 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 great gospel.”1

            It 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,

 

O foolish 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.

                       

SATAN’S SNARE

            Satan 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. 

Christmas is a thing of the flesh.

 

TRUTH AND LIFE

            Some 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.

I'm not 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.

            Many 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.

            We 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.


CHAPTER SIX


THE CHURCH IS DECEIVED

            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. 24:24. 

        

PROTECTION AGAINST DECEPTION

 
            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 Bible. 

            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.

 
NO ONE EXEMPT

 
            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 with him.” 

            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 truth.

            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.

 

EARNESTLY CONTEND FOR THE FAITH

 
            Paul says,

                         I charge 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.

 

“Reprove” 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. 

           

A COMMAND TO SPEAK OUT

 
            Paul says in 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 14, 15:

                        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,

 
            Again, 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 judge. 

            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 God.

            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?  What apostasy!

 

A SIGN OF THE TIMES

 
            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.”  Mt. 24:24.  

            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.

 

CHAPTER SEVEN

 
THE TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS

 
            We've 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. 

 
A REVELATION

 
One evening 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 said (paraphrasing):

 

The events that took place when Jesus was born are types and shadows of better things to come. 

 

There were 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.

 

The inn 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 Savior.

 

            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 gifts. 

 

            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. 

 

CHAPTER EIGHT


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.  


THE SHEPHERDS

 
            AND THERE WERE IN THE SAME COUNTRY SHEPHERDS ABIDING IN THE FIELD, KEEPING WATCH OVER THEIR FLOCK BY NIGHT.  Lk. 2:8.

 
            It's 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?

            Of 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.

            But 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.

            Moses 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." 

            Moses 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 shut.

            That's 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

 
            Another 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. 16:11.

Yet, David 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 protect them.

            When 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.

            Jesus 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.

            Pastors 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. 21:15-17. 

            Pastors 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.

            Jesus 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.

            As 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 eternity. 

            He 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.

 
THE SHEEP

 
AND THERE WERE IN THE SAME COUNTRY SHEPHERDS ABIDING IN THE FIELD, KEEPING WATCH OVER THEIR FLOCK BY NIGHT.  Lk. 2:8.

 
            The 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. 

            Sometimes 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 they repent.

            John 10:2-4 says,

             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.

 
            As 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.

            In 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.

            Can 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.

            When 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. 

            We are the sheep of His pasture. 

 
THE INN

 
AND SHE 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.

 
            The 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. 

            Perhaps 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.

The Messiah 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.

            There 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.

            Many 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 heart.

            That 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 pity. 

            Mary, 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.

            The 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 away.

 
THE DARK AND LOWLY MANGER

 
AND SHE 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.

 
            A 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 earth. 

            The 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.

            In 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.

            It 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.

            Unfortunately, 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.

 
            The 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. 11:29.

            The 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.

            Jesus 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.

 

THE ANGELS REJOICED

 
            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.

 
            The 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. 

            There 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.

            Do 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 repenteth." 

            Whenever 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 VIRGIN

 
            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.  Mt. 1:23.

 
            The mother of Jesus was said to be a virgin when Jesus was born.  She was pure, chaste, untouched by the world, sweet and desirable. 

            As 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 virgins.

            Every 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.

            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 BETHLEHEM

 
            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. 2:9B-10.

 
            Three 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. 

            Before 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.

            Jesus 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 Jesus.

            In 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)

 
            Jesus, 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.

            Peter 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 of glory.”)

            At 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 says:

 

            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 of God.

            The 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.

            Whenever 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.

 

BETHLEHEM

 
            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.

 
            Jesus 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. 

            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.

            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. 

            The 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. 

            The 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.

            David 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 Christians. 

            In 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. 

 

THE WISEMEN

 
            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.

 
            Wise 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.

            The 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.

            It 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. 

 

THE THREE GIFTS

 

            ... AND WHEN THEY HAD OPENED THEIR TREASURES, THEY PRESENTED UNTO HIM GIFTS; GOLD, AND FRANKINCENSE, AND MYRRH.  Lk. 2:11.

 
            Three 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 

           In 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.

Frankincense 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 8:3-4 says:

            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.

            Not 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 . . . .” 

            Finally, 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.”

            Every 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 from heaven. 

As that 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!

MYRRH

            Myrrh 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. 

            It 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!

            Jesus 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; . . . ."

            All 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. 8:34b-35. 

The apostle 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.

            Romans 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.

            There's 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.

            A 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.

            Suddenly 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. 

            The 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 road."2

            That's 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.

            Myrrh 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 your life.”

GOLD

            Gold 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 10.

            Jesus 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. 

            The 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. 

            Those who suffer with Jesus will reign with Him throughout eternity.  II Ti. 2:12.

            The 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 forth. 

            When 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!

            Whenever 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 their cross. 

            All 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. 


CONCLUSION

            The 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.

            Why 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.

            How 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. 

            If 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. 

            That's the true meaning of Christmas!

 

EPILOGUE

            What 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?

            What 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. 

"There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."  Pr. 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.

            God have mercy upon us!

 

ENDNOTES

CHAPTER ONE

DECEMBER 25 IS NOT JESUS’ BIRTHDAY

1.  PACKER, J.I., TENNEY, MERILL C., WHITE, WILLIAM, JR., THE BIBLE ALMANAC 515.

2.  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 the land.

3.  DOUGLAS, J. D. & TENNEY, MERRILL C., THE NEW INTERNATIONAL DICTIONARY OF THE BIBLE 351.  "The whole feast was popular and joyous in nature."

 

CHAPTER TWO

THE BABYLONIAN INVASION OF THE CHURCH

1.  HISLOP, ALEXANDER, THE TWO BABYLONS 92.

2.  Id. In the footnotes.

3.  Id. In the footnotes.

4.  Id. In the footnotes.

5.  Id. In the footnotes.

6.  Id at 93.  “That Christmas was originally a Pagan festival, is beyond all doubt.”

7.  PACKER, Supra, at 62.

 

CHAPTER THREE

CHRISTMAS IS A PAGAN OBSERVANCE

1.  PACKER, Supra at 515.

2.  HISLOP, Supra at 97.

3.  Id at 99.

4.  Id at 93.

5.  Id at 97.

6.  Id at 101.

7.  BARING, ANNE AND CASHFORD, JULES, THE MYTH OF THE GODDESS, 561.

 

CHAPTER THREE

SO WHAT?

1.  PACKER, J.I., Supra, at 541.

2.  Id.

 

CHAPTER FOUR

SO WHAT?

1.  1.  PACKER, Supra, at 252.

2.  Id.


CHAPTER FIVE

WHY IS IT AN ABOMINATION?

1.  NEE, WATCHMAN, NOT I, BUT CHRIST 111.


CHAPTER EIGHT

THE EVENTS THAT TOOK PLACE THE NIGHT JESUS WAS BORN

1.  BROTHER DAVID with LELA GILBERT, WALKING THE HARD ROAD 95.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

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).