The Engrafted Word.
It is now approaching the time of the year where almost every single church and American sets up trees, nativity scenes, and get's ready to celebrate this holiday known as Christmas. Both the religious, Christian that is, and secular world loves this holiday and it seems to be such a time of joy and merriness. But, why do we celebrate Christmas, and where are it's roots from? Christmas falls on December 25th and is said to be the birth date of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, and that is why we celebrate this day. We give glory to Him, spread His Name, and have many customs we participate in that are supposed to be symbolic of Him. But, where do we get these things from?
For something to be so widely and automatically accepted, but also rejoiced over, we should know the origins of what it is, especially when we are attaching the God we worship and seek to uphold the Truth about to it. Is that correct? So, why do we put a tree in our living rooms and deck it with lights, a star atop, and presents underneath? Why do we have a jolly old man “Saint Nick,” accompanied by reindeer, who omnisciently looks over everybody and drops off presents through the chimney and in stockings at night? Why do we decorate our homes with candles and wreaths, mistletoe and the common image of a roasting fire? Why do we celebrate this all on the date December 25th? These are all questions we should be asking ourselves, or else we celebrate Christmas each year in vain; not understanding what we are doing. Let us ask ourselves.
The truth is, we do know the origins and reasons for Christmas. All it takes is a bit of research, but in an age where we have the most access to knowledge but the lowest seeking of it, many people simply do not know. In this, we will go over the origins of this holiday and why people celebrate it. First, there is a great question to precede all other questions about Christmas, the apparent birth date of Jesus Christ: where in the Bible does it say Jesus was born on December 25th? Can we think of just one Scripture verse to give a hint that this is when Jesus was born, or at least any type of historical or archaeological evidence for it? I will personally hand $5,000 to anybody who can show, from the Bible, that Jesus was physically born into the world on December 25th. That is a lot of gifts and good to be done.
The fact is, it is not in there. There is not even a hint, but concrete evidence against a December 25th birth for Jesus. But can we find out, using only Scripture, when He was born? We will see. Why would we celebrate a day that is not His Birth? What is Christmas? Let us find out how Christmas came to be.
The Origins of Christmas
I will be using a quotation from a reputable source, since topics like this are commonly ignored when it is simply one's own research. However the information is available via a simple Google search to anybody who seeks to research. Rather, I would find it more acceptable to use established and respected sources to confirm the allegations.
“Christmas has its origin in two ancient pagan festivals, the great Yule-feast of the Norsemen and the Roman Saturnalia… It was close enough to the winter solstice to acquire many of the associations of the Norse ceremony: the Yule-log, the evergreen decorations in houses and churches, even the Christmas feast itself. These elements were combined with the Saturnalia of the Romans to provide the basis for the early Christian festival. During the Saturnalia, gifts were made by the wealthy to the poor in honour of the golden age of liberty when Saturn ruled the known world, and slaves were allowed to change places and clothing with their masters. They even elected their own mock king who, for the period of the festival, ruled as a despot. The Saturnalia involved the wildest debauchery, and was a festival worthy of [the god] Pan himself. Naturally it came under heavy censure from the early Church and despite the fact that Jesus Christ and the saints gradually replaced the pagan deities it was long considered completely out of character with the Christian ideal. However, the festival was far too strongly entrenched in popular favour to be abolished, and the [Catholic] Church finally granted the necessary recognition, believing that if Christmas could not be suppressed it should be preserved in honour of the Christian God.” (Man, Myth & Magic, Richard Cavendish, ed., 1995, Vol. 3, p. 418).
So, here it is saying that Christmas has it's origins in two, pagan, festivals? Both Yule feast and Saturnalia, around the winter solstice, and was worshiping of the stag god, Pan, eventually accepted into Christendom. Hundreds, if not thousands, of sources confirm this. As a matter of fact, even the Catholic Encyclopedia, 1911 edition, says “Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the church.. the first evidence of the feast is from Egypt” under the section “Christmas.” It is debated when exactly Saturnalia was established as an official Roman holyday, but Cato the Elder (234-149BC) is the oldest source of it's existence. December 25th as sun worship was began by Auerlian in 274AD, and as Jesus' Birthday in 320 AD by Pope Julius I, followed five years later by Constantine. The Winter solstice, or Yule, was part of the wheel of eight high satanic sabbaths. It brings to mind the saying “it's a yule-tide season.”
Why is Christmas being described as a combination of pagan festivals? Well, the Roman Catholic church basically adopted this pagan feast, as well as almost every single other holiday they celebrate, and whitewashed it, attempting to make everything about Jesus. However, Scripture tells us specifically to have nothing to do with the ways of the world (Romans 12:2), tradition of men (Colossians 2:8), works of darkness (Romans 13:12, Ephesians 5:11), appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22), as well as to have nothing to do with paganism, it's traditions, and ways (Deuteronomy 12:29-21, Jeremiah 10:2).
Let us use another source and see their take; the Encyclopedia Britannica, 15th edition, volume 2, page 903. “In the Roman world, the Saturnalia (December 17) was a time of merrymaking and exchanging of gifts. December 25 was also regarded as the birth date of the Iranian mystery god Mithra, the Sun of Righteousness. On the Roman New Year (January 1), houses were decorated with greenery and lights, and gifts were given to children and the poor. To these observances were added the German and Celtic Yule rites when the Teutonic tribes penetrated into Gaul, Britain, and central Europe. Food and good fellowship, the Yule log and Yule cakes, greenery and fir trees, gifts and greetings all commemorated different aspects of this festive season. Fires and lights, symbols of warmth and lasting life, have always been associated with the winter festival, both pagan and Christian.”
I always like to ask people, “would Jesus celebrate Christmas?” Absolutely not. Why would He celebrate something that incorporates the beliefs directly opposed to His Father? Christmas does not end there, however, in it's origins for the day. Saturnalia was December 17th to 24th, yet December 25th was Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, the worship day of Mithra, the Roman sun god, called “the birth date of the unconquered sun,” as just mentioned. It is said to be Mithra's birth date. Interestingly enough this day happens to be the birth dates of numerous pagan gods such as Horus, Osiris, Dionysus, Tammuz, Apollo, Attis, and more.
James Hastings, in The Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics is quoted “Most of the Christmas customs now prevailing in Europe, or recorded from former times, are not genuine Christian customs, but heathen customs which have been absorbed or tolerated by the Church.” (1910, Volume 3, page 608). “The roots of Christmas observance go deeply into the folklore of the Druids, Scandinavians, Egyptians and Romans.” Christ Fact and Fancy, Alfred Hottes. “The Feast of the Nativity rather incorporated than supplanted various heathen festivals. It was therefore only natural that relics of heathen practice should survive as traditional customs.” Christmas and Christmas Lore, T.G. Crioppen.
Why are we participating in something that is obvious to be of pagan nature, derived from a day of idolatry and false worship? Is that where it ends? Unfortunately, it is not. Many people respect Charles Spurgeon, considered the “Prince of Preachers,” and his quote on Christmas is “Those who follow the custom of observing Christmas, follow not the Bible but pagan ceremonies.” Let us explore a few of the Christian traditions we participate in during this season.
Traditions & Customs
I suppose the first would be the Christmas tree; the most prominent symbol of Christmas. Before we get into any background understanding of the tree, let us go to a peculiar biblical verse:
“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.” Jeremiah 10:1-4
Call me crazy, but that sounds a lot like the Christmas tree. They then “deck it with silver and with gold,” does that not resemble our Christmas trees? “They fasten it with nails and hammers, that it move not.” Is that not what we do? Now, the proper context of this verse is referring to idol statues made of wood, carved into the likeness of a figure and then worshiped. So, it is not referring to a Christmas tree in all honesty, however, I believe God said this understanding what would happen in the future, having a multiple meaning to this verse. Regardless, we must listen to the first part of these verses; learning not the way of the heathen (pagans) or their customs (traditions).
Christmas trees date back to ancient Egypt for sun-god worship, especially the Everest and fir, but due to their surroundings they would take palms into their house, yes, around the Winter solstice. They would also put decorations and candles upon them. This “decorating” of the Everest or fir tree is also found in Nordic and Gaulic, even Druid, places where they would put candles upon Everest trees and in their homes as a beacon of light for the winter god, or sun god in some cultures, to find it's way back. Here we are, putting both candles in our windows and lights upon our “Christmas trees.”
It is Babylonian tradition that Nimrod, who we read of in Genesis as a mighty hunter and rebellious towards God, the first man to, in full intent, go against God. He was the king of Babylon and overseer of the Tower of Babylon. Tammuz is said to be the reincarnation of him through his wife/mother Semiramis (also called Ishtar, or Easter) and was worshiped, alongside of Nimrod, as sun god, born on December 25th. When he was killed fell upon an Everest tree trump. Following this, the tree miraculously grew into a full grown Everest tree overnight. Tammuz was instructed by his mother to decorate a tree (some traditions say put a gift under one) in the wild in memory of Nimrod. This is also where the tradition of the 'Yule log' is said to come from, where many pagan cultures would burn parts of a log for 12 days (12 days of Christmas) and sacrifice things, often humans, in honor of their gods, sun gods, and Nimrod.
Closely related to this are the common wreaths. Druids, and many pagan cultures alike, would take a wreath and place candles in it symbolizing both the male and female reproductive organs as well as showing reincarnation and eternal life. Even holly was used heavily in pagan cultures and rituals, as well as mistletoe. According to the Encyclopedia America “the holly, the mistletoe, the Yule log.. are relics of pre-Christian time.” Furthermore, wreaths were used heavily during decoration of temples and homes during the feast of Saturnalia.
Regarding mistletoe, the Encyclopedia Britannica says “the European mistletoe is thought to have had special ritual significance in Druidical ceremonies and lives in folklore today, it's special status as the Christmas mistletoe having come from Anglo-Saxon times.”
It seems that every decoration surrounding Christmas is from pagan origin. Even stockings are a common Yule tradition. Again, as God said, learn not the way of the heathen or their customs.
One of the most popular aspects of Christmas is Santa Claus, the old jolly magical man who watches us all and every year, knows everything we do, writes down a list of what we do, decides who will get what and who is “naughty or nice,” has monuments and events surrounding him, and has kids everywhere write love felt letters and requests to him. It's kind of like he's God. Except he gets more attention. Many people believe Santa Claus originates from Saint Nicholas, a Bishop of Myra (270-343 AD) who had been considered as Santa Claus, nowadays, because his apparent secret giving of gifts, coming from the Dutch Sinterklaas, probably the first image of our modern day Santa Claus that we have. However, is this where Santa Claus originates, or comes from? No, not at all.
(Shown to the right of this is an image) of the “god” Nimrod,
whose son or reincarnated self apparently, is Tammuz,
worshiped on this day of December 25th, as we spoke of.
However, when you look at this ancient artifact
depicting Nimrod he has a beard, is holding a tree,
as well as a reindeer looking animal. This seems to look
almost exactly like Santa Claus, does it not? It would not
be of any coincidence, since all of pagan rituals and
beliefs stem back to one place and one person: Babylon
and Nimrod. It may not look perfectly like our
Santa Claus, but that is because in the 1930s Coca Cola
changed the Santa we have now to a red jacket, little
heavier, droopy wizard hat, and jolly old man.
When we go to Ezekiel 8:14-18 we read of women “weeping for Tammuz” and priests with their backs towards the Temple of God, worshiping the sun and “putting the branch to their nose,” which were all seen as detestable abominations in the Eyes of God. This was the same time all of these traditions were taking place and God was condemning them. There is nothing new under the sun.
Santa Claus also very closely resembled the Norse god Odin, the father of Thor, an old, grey bearded man who would ride upon an eight footed “reindeer,” leaping across the sky, very similar to our Santa Claus flying in the sky in a sled pulled by eight reindeer and going upon the roofs of people's homes dropping off presents. Odin would, during the Winter solstice, the Yule season, go on a hunting mission called the “Wild Hunt,” and children would leave their boots by the chimney filled with carrots to feed Odin's reindeer, Sleipnir, in which Odin would then leave gifts for them by their boots. This sounds awfully familiar to what we do with cookies and carrots for Santa.
People tend to say Santa Claus originates from Saint Nicholas because of gift giving, but they ignore the fact that during Saturnalia gifts were given between the Romans as well as all types of over-indulging, sexual immorality, and wickedness. Santa Claus is simply a compiled adoption of multiple pagan traditions, evolving from each one to create what we now know. Interestingly enough, Santa was, according to Langer's Encyclopedia of World History, a name used for Nimrod throughout Asia Minor. Also known as Molech in the bible, this was the same deity who came down chimneys and to whom infants were burnt in sacrifice, as we read in Leviticus 18:21 “And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech.” This Moloch also has a star (Amos 5:26, Acts 7:43) which many scholars to be either the Star of David or the pentagram star found atop our Christmas trees.
Why do we partake in such wicked traditions? We are no different from the Pharisees to whom Jesus said “Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition (Matthew 15:3)” and “Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition (Mark 7:9).” It is all throughout Scripture that we are specifically told to have nothing to do with pagan practices and traditions, yet we celebrate a day originating from worship of the enemies of God, and say it's okay? “Win the lost at any cost” is the motto, yet the cost is Truth and God. We cannot say we love God and walk in Truth if we spit in His Face celebrating a day of evil.
The Real Birth
(This can be read in the Birth of Yeshua study as well)
Is it possible to figure out when Jesus was born then, according to Scripture? Actually, it is. Many will say it doesn't matter but I have a question: let us say your birthday is July 7th. Well, I'm going to celebrate it and act as if it is your birthday on April 7th. And you're not God! I'm not being rude but showing you an example. And it's actually never been good for people celebrating their birthdays in the bible, but this is The Lord, when the Word became flesh and dwelt with us! It would be bearing false witness against Jesus to celebrate His Birth date on a wrong day and declare it as Truth. So, let us figure out when He was born. To do this let us first go to Zechariah. Zechariah was the father of John the Baptist, and we know John met Jesus in the womb and jumped! In Luke 1:5 we read of this man, spelled Zacharias, who was a priest after the course of AbiYah, and had a wife named Elisabeth. We read that they had no child because Elisabeth was barren. But in verses 8-20 we read that while he was in his course of priest duties Gabriel visited him and said he would have a child with Elisabeth. In verses 23-24 we see that when his priestly ministration days were over (the course of AbiYah) that he went to his own house and Elisabeth conceived, hiding herself for 5 months.
Two things: first, we see this course of AbiYah. In 1 Chronicles 24 we see that David made 24 split courses for priests in their service of the Temple. Each course would be a time of which each priest would fulfill the duties of the Temple. We read in verse 10 that the 8th course was that of AbiYah, the same that Zacharias held. Secondly, when we understand the Levite priest background we know that these priests were supported by the people and the tithes would support them financially. So, to skip a part and then go back to it we see that Mary goes to Elisabeth's house in Luke 1:39-40 into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda. There is one city that was a Levite city in this area called Hebron and is in the mountains (Joshua 14:15, 20:7, 21:11) and was about 30 miles (with mountains) from Jerusalem. The other possibility is the village of Juttah, of Hebron. So, it is extremely likely that this is where Zacharias lived. If we follow the course of AbiYah we can find that these courses began on the first new moon of first month of Jewish Civil War, and this course would land us at our June 13-19, or 12-18 Sivan.
With Zacharias leaving after this to go home it would take him about 3 days to go home and we see Elisabeth conceived. So we can put the conception of John at 23 Silvan or June 24th. Now, people will argue this and say that they may not have had relations as soon as he got back but I have a question: if a man hasn't seen his wife in 2 weeks and an angel just came to him and told him his wife is going to bear a child, is he really going to wait? I don't mean to be inappropriate by the first part but seriously, let us be honest with ourselves and human nature. Now that we can date John's conception, we see that after this Elisabeth hid herself for 5 months. What is more interesting is that in Luke 1:26 we read that in the sixth month (in context referring to Elisabeth's months) Gabriel came to Mary and Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, then she made "haste" to Elisabeth's house, her cousin. Now Nazareth to Hebron is a hike, but not a week or more if even that. Jesus Himself walked all around this area and quite fast, but Mary made haste, she went extremely fast! So here we see John and Jesus first meeting (verse 41). Now, where would this date of Mary's conception take place?
According to the Jewish calender it would be on 1st Tebeth, or December 25th. So we see here that Scripture shows that Jesus was conceived and begotten on December 25th! Now, let us do some math. If at this time John was 6 months in the womb and Jesus was just conceived at this time, we would know that in 3 months John would be born. We also see this confirmation in Luke 1:56-57 that Mary stayed with her for 3 months and "now Elisabeth's full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son." So we know now that John is now born, and that Jesus is now 3 months in the womb. If we do some math, we can find out when Jesus was born! Also, considering this is God in the flesh it would be only appropriate to know that He would go through a perfect human gestation period. If we add this up we come perfectly to 15 Ethanim / Tisri, which is September 29, and is the first day of the Feast of Tabernacle!
In those days the Romans would have taxes due at feast days since people would be joining together and it would make this simpler for them, thus explaining more the timing according to Mary & Joseph as well as the inn being full! This would also explain why the shepherds would be in the field, it would be too cold in December. So we see that Jesus was born on the first day of Sukkot, and even more, would have been circumcised 8 days later on the Great 8th Day of the Feast! The significance behind this is that Jesus is our Tabernacle (Hebrew 8:2, 9:2,11, Common Sense 1:1, Revelation 13:6, 21:3). It is amazing and appropriate that God would present our Tabernacle, Jesus Christ, on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacle, especially since it is the only Feast with 8 days and fits perfectly for His circumcision, and 8 being the number of new beginning, transformation. Oh praise The Lord, His Word shows us exactly when Jesus was born, on His Feast Day, and the Feast Day (exactly Sept. 29) of Michael and all Angels: "And again, when He bringeth in the First Begotten into the world, He saith, And let all the angels of God worship Him." Hebrews 1:6. It is also found to be obvious, then, that our nativity scene is false, especially since the “three wise men” had not been there during His Birth, or even shortly after.
How beautiful is the Word of God! Not only do we understand that Jesus was born on the Feast of Tabernacles, but from further research how He was crucified on Passover, buried on Unleavened Bread, and risen on Firstfruits (email for study on that) and the Holy Spirit descended on Weeks / Shavuot, or as we know it Pentecost! Even more, that God had Jesus conceived on December 25th to destroy all of these false gods and beliefs by the official entering of His Son! If we know this Truth, why do we celebrate a pagan day, Christmas, then? People consider the “Jewish feasts” to be Jewish, but God says they are His Feasts in Leviticus 23:2. They are His, and appointed times to proclaim Truth- In Jesus! If we partook in these, we would see the beauty! But rather, we celebrate pagan holidays such as Halloween, Christmas, Easter, Lent, and more (email for study on those).
We are called to worship in Spirit and Truth (John 4:24) and not have anything to do with darkness or pagan rituals. The Roman Catholic church and the world has conformed to these holidays, maybe of some degree to win souls, but that is not the way to save people. We do not forsake God and His Truth in hopes to bring somebody to Him. Tertullian, the church father who lived in the 2nd and 3rd century, along with many other church fathers, warned Christians to have nothing to do with these winter celebrations especially the customs of decorating their homes according to the pagans.
“The Minervalia are as much Minerva's, as the Saturnalia Saturn's; Saturn's, which must necessarily be celebrated even by little slaves at the time of Saturnalia. New-year's gifts likewise must be caught at, and the Septimontium kept; and all the presents of Midwinter and the feast of Dear Kinsmanship must be exacted; the schools must be wreathed with flowers; the flamen's wives and aediles sacrifice; the school is honoured on the appointed holy-days. The same thing takes place on an idol's birthday; every pomp of the devil is frequenced. Who will think that these things are benefitting to a Christian? … But, however, the majority (of Christians) have by this time induced the belief in their mind that it is pardonable if at any time they do what they heathen do.” Tertullian, On Idolatry, Chapters 10 & 14.
Tertullian said it well. There is no reason or excuse to celebrate this day and their pagan customs. We should live according to the Bible and conform our lives to God, rather than just do what we please and make excuses for why He is okay with us celebrating something He condemns by nature. I do not believe it is necessary for us to do nothing on this day, for all days are His, but we should use the opportunity to witness to unbelievers. We just should not falsely claim it to be Jesus' Birth date. Many pagans and unbelievers in the world mock us and therefore God because of our ignorance in celebrating pagan days. We are only showing ourselves to be exactly what they think we are. Hosea 4:6 says “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge,” and we are.
However hard it may be, I think it is very necessary for us to all ask ourselves why we celebrate a holiday that is not only not rooted in our God but comes from the works of the devil, in complete honesty and sincerity. We cannot use the same excuse as we do for Halloween “we turn the focus to Jesus rather than the enemy!” Because, tell me, in all honesty and context when has that every been done by God or anybody in the Bible in the same way? It never has. God always told us to completely avoid all types of paganism and never assimilate ourselves with it.
There is no lukewarm excuse to make something something it is not, and claim it as Truth for Jesus, when really that is simply an excuse to justify something we have been doing for hundreds of years, many times before we even became believers.
As for pastors, it is your responsibility to be a wise and faithful servant to your congregation and to give them nourishment in due time (Matthew 24:45), you do not want Jesus to come back finding you have been forsaking the Truth and lying to your congregation for the sake of tradition, man made tradition. You are called to uphold Truth. Do not worry about people rebelling and disliking you, for the same thing happened to Paul; “have I become your enemies because I tell you the Truth?” Galatians 4:16. He also says that if you are to seek the approval of man, and not only God, then you should not be a servant of Christ (Galatians 1:10). People love their traditions, just as the Pharisees, but that never means they are okay. We would do best to follow God, and not man.
“Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: 'These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'” Matthew 15:7
Christmas is guilty of falsely worshiping Jesus as His Birth, laying false claims upon God, and incorporating evil into Light, which is not possible. Therefore it is vanity, and it is taught as doctrine, but is simply the commandment of men. You are not condemned for observing Christmas, by no means, but we must ask how God feels about it. Just because something appears to please Him, does not mean it does. And if something does not please my God, I personally want nothing to do with it. We are to present ourselves as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable, which is our reasonable service and not be conformed to the world, but be renewed by the transforming of our minds to know the perfect Will of God (Romans 12:1-2). That is our calling. Again, in Ephesians 5:11 we are told “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” By celebrating and upholding Christmas, we are fellowshipping with works of darkness regardless of whatever excuse we use.
It is sorrowful how rejoicing we are over Christmas, Easter, and Halloween but when it comes to God's “own Feasts,” His Feasts, which He personally celebrates, we dismiss them as “old Jewish stuff.” That shows perfectly our hearts towards The Lord. We are not after His Own Heart, with a Davidic spirit, but after our own, whitewashing the Truth and bending Scripture to fit our lives, rather than bending our lives to fit Scripture. We can say whatever we want, but God has said it clearly dozens of times in Scripture “do not do that which the pagans do,” and our God never changes.
Let us use this year to set the record straight and to declare His Real Birth and the real origins of this day! Let us still assemble ourselves together, but not with the devil's decorations and trinkets, but with the Spirit of unity and Spirit of Truth; edifying and encouraging one another to spread the Truth as well. We do not forsake this day altogether because the devil laid claim, no, we take this day back from him as Gods without all of the devil's details in it. I hope this is used to bless and help any of us, and for those who remain in rebellion, just know that what we set up as idols we must account for at Judgment, and that which we teach falsely about God, we will pay a terrible price for at Judgment.
May God richly bless each and every one of you! May we all continue in love, unity, justice, peace, and Truth