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Tuesday, Sep. 30, 2014

Giving creates Christmas miracles

Posted Wednesday, December 5, 2007, at 10:13 AM

Although people of diverse faiths celebrate the Christmas season in different ways, I have discovered that most of these celebrations have one thing in common.

There are those who believe that Christmas is about Santa Claus. This plump, jolly man spends Christmas Eve delivering Christmas gifts to those children who have been good throughout the year. For those who believe in Santa Claus Christmas holds many magical miracles.

On the flip side, some people prefer to celebrate Christmas, not as a holiday centered around Santa Claus and his elves, but rather centered on the gift that God gave to the world so long ago. Those who celebrate the birth of Christ believe that Jesus was sent to earth to give an everlasting gift -- forgiveness from sin and eternal life in Heaven with God. Also, in following the tradition of the Wisemen, who brought gifts to Jesus, gifts are given to family members and friends. This story also holds a magical miracle for all who believe in God and accept His gift of salvation.

The other day as I was driving, I found my mind beginning to wander. I began to think about how wonderful Christmas time is. It seems to me that at Christmas time, people are extremely giving. This is when I discovered that those who believe in Santa Claus in addition to those who believe in the birth of Christ all celebrate Christmas by giving. Not only do people give to those close to them, but they also give to those in need. It is also a time for people to give to those far from home such as missionaries and soldiers who are fighting overseas. People find Christmas miracles in giving and receiving those gifts.

It is my opinion that Christmas is indeed a magical time. It is magical because of the treasures in the hearts of mankind which allow giving to take place. When one person gives to another, the receiver births a desire to give to someone else. It becomes a cycle of giving and receiving that makes hearts grown fonder and has been to known to make impossible things happen.

Whether you believe in Santa Claus, the birth of Christ or a combination of the two, I hope that you will remember to give to those around you this holiday season. It is in the giving that we receive wonderful miracles and blessings in return.

Though I know that there are more Christmas traditions other than these two that I have mentioned, I do not have the time or the knowledge to write about all of them. It is not my intention to offend anyone who may possess a different belief. If you do have different Christmas traditions, I would really enjoy hearing about them. However, I am sure that in every tradition, giving can be found.


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Giving is all around us everyday of the year and in every season. I am a Christian, Which is why I do not celebrate Christmas!

Mark 7:7-9 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

'Most Christians say.' 'Of course Christmas is Christian: it commemorates the birth of the Savior of the world - Jesus Christ - the Son of God!' Stunning as the following facts may appear, it is essential to bring them to your notice.

Christmas is a PAGAN not a Christian festival.

The 25th December was celebrated in ancient days as the birthday of the unconquerable SUN god, (variously know as Tammuz, Mithra, Saturn, Adonis or BAAL) centuries before Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem.

Nowhere in the Bible are believers in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob required to celebrate Christmas.

The early Christian church did not celebrate Christmas. Instead it celebrated the sacred festivals mentioned in the Bible, in Leviticus chapter 23.

In order to win Gentile converts to the Christian faith, the Roman Church, centuries after the apostolic era, adopted this ancient pagan winter festival of the SUN god and renamed it 'Christmas' mistakenly thinking that it would honor the SON of God.

Scholars have for centuries known these facts. They can be confirmed in any reference library.

This article will first answer the question: When, according to Scripture, was Jesus Christ born? It will then go on to quote various historians who wrote concerning Christmas, then list the scriptural alternatives to Christmas, Easter, All Saints day etc. and the customs associated with them. It will end with a challenging question which all true believers - of whatever faith - must answer. To begin with let me plainly state that the Scriptures do not give the precise date of the Savior's birth. However, by close examination of various passages in the Bible we are able to conclude that most certainly he was not born on the 25th December (mid-winter in the northern hemisphere) but at some time in the autumn of the year. Here is how we arrive at that opinion.

Scriptural Evidence

The story of the Savior's birth is well known; but for those who do not have Bibles here it is.

Luke 1:

5: There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.

6: And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

7: And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.

8: And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course,

9: According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.

10: And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.

11: And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.

12: And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.

13: But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.

14: And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.

15: For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.

16: And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.

17: And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

18: And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.

19: And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.

This passage tells us that the angel Gabriel visited Zacharias during the course of Abia. What is meant by "the course of Abia?" The "course of Abia" (Abijah in Hebrew) we learn from 1 Chronicles 24:7-10, was the 8th of 24 courses during a 12 month year. Each group of priests (all except the most senior who were on duty more often) officiated in the Temple for two weeks every year. Zacharias' turn of duty came when the 8th group (Abijah's) attended; which was during weeks 15 and 16 after the start of the year.

A year in the sacred calendar begins with the new moon nearest the spring equinox. Consequently the new year starts in March or very early April. For the purpose of this study we will work with the equinox date of 20th March. Fifteen weeks (105 days) after the 20th March bring us to early July. In other words, in early July the angel Gabriel told Zechariah that his aged wife Elisabeth would conceive and bear a son, whose name was to be John. Six months into Elisabeth's pregnancy, that is in early January, Gabriel informed the virgin Mary that she also was to conceive and bring forth a son, the Son of the Highest - the Messiah! When Mary said that this was not possible as she had never had sexual intercourse with a man, Gabriel told her that the aged Elisabeth, who had been barren for many, many years, was already six months pregnant - another apparent impossibility with man, but not with God. For with God nothing shall be impossible!

Luke 1:

26: And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,

27: To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

28: And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

29: And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.

30: And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31: And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.

32: He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

34: Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

35: And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

36: And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.

37: For with God nothing shall be impossible.

From the above passages we learn, amongst other things, three vital facts: Elisabeth conceived in early July.

Mary conceived some 6 months after Elisabeth, in early January.

Therefore Jesus was born just over 9 months later; which brings us to an autumn date in late September/early October.

From the above scriptural evidence it is certain that Jesus Christ was not born on the 25th December but in the autumn of the year. Now this is an amazing fact because late September/early October coincides with the Week of Tabernacles, the most sacred week in the sacred calendar. (Leviticus 23:23-44) The Week of Tabernacles is a memorial of Israel's 40 years in the wilderness when the nation lived in 'tabernacles' (booths or tents) and when Jehovah took up residence in a 'tabernacle' which was pitched in the centre of the camp. That is the low-level memorial of Tabernacles. The high-level reality of Tabernacles was when Yeshua the Son of the Highest, the Messiah, GOD INCARNATE, took up residence in a frail human body. In other words, God 'tabernacled' with mankind in the person of His Son - Jesus Christ!

Authoritative Quotations

Now that we know that the Savior was not born on the 25th December but in the autumn of the year, probably during the Week of Tabernacles, let us consider what various historians say about how the 25th December came to be celebrated as the Savior's birth. "The festivals of Rome are innumerable; but five of the most important may be singled out for elucidation -viz., Christmas-day, Lady-day, Easter, the nativity of St. John, and the Feast of the Assumption. Each and all of these can be proved to be Babylonian." (The Two Babylons, by Alexander Hyslop, page 91)

"... within the Christian Church no such festival as Christmas was ever heard of till the third century, and that not till the fourth century was far advanced did it gain much observance. How, then, did the Roman Church fix on December 25th as Christmas-day? Why, thus: Long before the fourth century, and long before the Christian era itself, a festival was celebrated among the heathen, at that precise time of the year, in honor of the birth of the son of the Babylonian queen of heaven; and it may fairly be presumed that in order to conciliate the heathen, and to swell the number of the nominal adherents of Christianity, the same festival was adopted by the Roman Church, giving it only the name of Christ. This tendency on the part of the Christians to meet Paganism half-way was very early developed ... Upright men strove to stem the tide, but in spite of all their efforts, the apostasy went on, till the Church, with the exception of a small remnant, was submerged under Pagan superstition. That Christmas was originally a Pagan festival, is beyond all doubt. The time of the year, the ceremonies with which it is still celebrated, prove its origin. 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.'" (Ibid. page 93)

"Even where the sun was the favorite object of worship, as in Babylon itself and elsewhere, at this festival he was worshipped not merely as the orb of day, but as God incarnate. It was an essential principle of the Babylonian system, that the Sun or Baal was the one only God. When, therefore Tammuz was worshipped as God incarnate that implied also that he was an incarnation of the Sun. In the Hindoo mythology, which is admitted to be essentially Babylonian, this comes out very distinctly. There, Surya, or the Sun, is represented as being incarnate, and born for the purpose of subduing the enemies of the gods, who, without such a birth, could not have been subdued. "It was no mere astronomical festival, then, that the Pagans celebrated at the winter solstice. That festival at Rome was called the feast of Saturn, and the mode in which it was celebrated there, showed whence it had been derived. The feast as regulated by Caligula, lasted five days; loose reins were given to drunkenness and revelry, slaves had temporary emancipation and used all manner of freedoms with their masters. This was precisely the way in which, according to Berosus, the drunken festival of the month Thebeth, answering to our December, in other words, the festival of Bacchus, was celebrated in Babylon... The Christmas tree, now so common among us, was equally common in pagan Rome and pagan Egypt. In Egypt that 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." (Ibid. 96-97)

"Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the church ... the first evidence of the feast is from Egypt." (Catholic Encyclopedia 1911 edition)

"Christmas customs are an evolution from times that long antedated the Christmas period - a descent from seasonal, pagan, religious and national practices, hedged about with legend and tradition... In the beginning many of the earth's inhabitants were sun worshippers because the course of their lives depended on its yearly round in the heavens, and feasts were held at its return from distant wanderings. In the south of Europe, in Egypt and Persia the sun-gods were worshipped with elaborate ceremonies at the season of the winter solstice, as a fitting time to pay tribute to the god of plenty, while in Rome the Saturnalia reigned for a week...The exact day and year of Christ's birth have never been satisfactorily settled, but when the fathers of the church in A.D. 340 chose the day of the winter solstice which was firmly fixed in the minds of the people and which was their most important festival." (Encyclopedia Britannica article Christmas page 642)

"In a famous letter to Augustine, Pope Gregory directs the great missionary to accommodate the ceremonies of the Christian worship as much as possible to those of the heathen, that the people might not be startled at the change, and in particular the Pope advised Augustine to allow converts to kill and eat at the Christmas festival a great number of oxen to the glory of God, as they had formerly done to the Devil." (The Story of Christmas by Michael Harrison, page 28)

"It is nevertheless almost certain that the 25th of December cannot be the nativity of the Savior, for it is then the height of the rainy season in Judaea, and shepherds could hardly be watching their flocks by night in the plains ... Not casually or arbitrarily was the festival of the nativity celebrated on the 25th of December. One of the principal causes that co-operated in fixing this period was that almost all the heathen nations regarded the winter solstice as the turning point of the year - the beginning of the renewed life and activity of the powers of nature, and of the gods who were merely the symbolic personifications of these. In more northern countries this fact must have made itself peculiarly palpable - hence the Celts and Germans, from the oldest times, celebrated the season with the greatest festivities. At the winter solstice the Norsemen held their great Yule-feast in commemoration of the fiery sun-wheel, and believed that during the twelve nights from the 25th December to the 6th January they could trace the personal movements and interferences on earth of their great deities, Odin, Beretha, etc. Many of the beliefs and usages of the old Germans, and also of the Romans, relating to this period, passed over from heathenism to Christianity, and have partly survived to the present day." (Chambers Encyclopedia 1908 Edition Vol.111 page 222, article Christmas)

"There is no authoritative tradition as to the day or month of Christ's birth ... The winter solstice was regarded as the birthday of the sun and at Rome a pagan festival of the nativity of 'sol invictus' was introduced by the Emperor Aurelian on 25th December 274. The church, unable to stamp out this popular festival, spiritualized it as the feast of the Nativity of the Sun of Righteousness. When Christianity spread northwards it encountered a similar pagan festival also held at the winter solstice - the great Yule feast of the Norsemen. Once again Christmas absorbed heathen customs. From the various sources came the Yule log, the Christmas tree introduced into England from Germany and first mentioned in 1789." (Chambers Encyclopedia 1970, page 538, article Christmas)

Pause a while and consider the stunning truths you have just read. Here are famous scholars and historians revealing amazing facts: That each year on the 25th December the pagans held a festival in honor of the SUN god.

And that centuries after the Savior's birth in Bethlehem this selfsame festival of the SUN god was adopted by the Christian Church, given the name Christmas and thereafter celebrated as the birthday of the SON OF GOD!

These are truly eye-opening facts. Remember them.

Bible Festivals, What Are They?

Christmas is not merely a Pagan festival, its adoption into the ecclesiastical calendar along with several other heathen observances (Easter, Ash Wednesday, Halloween etc.) has almost blinded the church to the sacred Sabbaths of Yahweh mentioned in the Bible: sacred days the whole Christian church is commanded to keep. What are these sacred times? They are: The Passover: This service commemorates the death of Jesus Christ, the Passover Lamb of God, who gave his life to purchase our salvation.

The Feasts of Unleavened Bread which commemorate Israel's hurried departure from Egypt when they lived on unleavened bread. Unleavened Bread also foreshadows the time when the Almighty will totally rid His household - the Church - of the leaven of sin, hypocrisy and false doctrine.

Pentecost: This festival commemorates the out-pouring of the Holy Spirit: not just the event that happened on the day of Pentecost in apostolic times (Acts 2), but also when the Most High will pour out His Spirit on His people in these last days, after we have been cleansed of every vestige of sin.

Trumpets: This feast still awaits even partial fulfillment. It foreshadows the time when cleansed, Spirit-filled believers will proclaim the final warnings to mankind; warnings which will be preached when the terrifying events described in the book of Revelation are in progress.

The Day of Atonement: This day of fasting prefigures a time of judgment and atonement when the church will finally be brought into the very presence of the Almighty and be at-one with Him.

The Feast of Tabernacles: This festival commemorates Israel's 40 year stay in the wilderness in temporary dwellings (booths/tents). Tabernacles also commemorates the incarnation, when the Almighty God took up residence in the human body of His Son Yeshua!

The Last Great Day: This feast prefigures eternity; when through the ages to come the ransomed will live with Yahweh the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and His Son Yeshua - our Redeemer!

Yes, these are the sacred Sabbaths of the Almighty God, which we are now proclaiming to you.

Leviticus 23:

1: And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

2: Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.

These are the only sacred festivals in the Bible which believers are commanded to observe.

What Now?

If you have read thus far, you will no doubt be wondering, How does this information affect me? Believe me; I sympathize with you if you are now in a dilemma. Many years ago I was in just such a situation. If all this about Christmas is correct, then how must I react? To ignore truth is obviously not a safe policy to follow: especially when it concerns the choice between Baal worship on the one hand and obedience to the commandments of God on the other. Perhaps you should do what I did when I first learned the truth about Christmas: Go to the library and check it all out. Read as many encyclopedias, dictionaries and other reference works to see if all this is true. And, when you have really studied the matter, make your choice to: Go along with the pagan festival of Christmas.

Or obey the Almighty's commandments.

There really is no other option. 6. What About My Family?

Many sincere folks will nervously ask: What about my family, my children, my friends? How can I possibly stop keeping Christmas; it's a family day for us and the children and grand-children all expect presents; they'll all think I've gone crazy! Well let me tell you that it was exactly the same for me and my family. I have 4 children and now 8 grand-children. Did they suffer? Do the children feel deprived? Did they understand? I can tell you that the children are the least problem. They'll understand faster than you think. Besides you no longer need to tell them all those lies about Santa Claus visiting millions of homes each Christmas with presents for good little boys and girls. Just tell them the truth: that Xmas is not a festival the Almighty wants Christians to keep and that they will get their presents on His Feasts or on their own birthdays. Incidentally, the patriarchs of old remembered their birthdays: that's how all of them knew how old they were. Is it possible to stop keeping Christmas? Yes it is: tens of thousands of Christians the world over have already done so. What's more they are now keeping the Festivals of the God of Israel. Believe me, and I can speak from experience, their children and grandchildren are in no way deprived.

Summary

According to the Scriptures Jesus Christ, Yeshua the Messiah was born in the autumn of the year; probably during the Week of Tabernacles. This extremely important Biblical festival commemorates and foreshadows two important events: Israel's 40 year wanderings in the wilderness when the nation lived in temporary dwellings (booths/tents)

And the incarnation! When the Almighty God took up residence in the person of Yeshua the Messiah - the SON OF THE LIVING GOD!

The early apostolic Church did not celebrate Christmas. You may read the New Testament again and again and you will find this to be the case.

Only after several centuries did the Roman Church begin to celebrate Christmas: which was - and still is - a pagan festival commemorated in honor of the SUN god, variously known as Tammuz, Mithra, Saturn, Adonis and BAAL! In order to win converts to the Christian faith the Catholic Church adopted this pagan festival, renamed it Christmas and now celebrates it in honor of the SON of GOD! Alas! the whole Christian world, with the exception of a few believers, has followed suit. But Christmas is still a pagan festival through and through. Its change of name from Saturnalia, the birthday of the Sun god, to Christ's Mass has not altered its true character one iota: and the evil spirit behind its celebrations still produces the deception, debt, drunkenness, misrule and licentiousness that characterized the pagan revelries of bygone days.

The sacred festivals listed in the Bible (Leviticus chapter 23) are for Jewish as well as Gentile believers in the God of Israel. These divine festivals constitute the Signature (Sign) of Yahweh the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

True believers must give up celebrating the heathen festivals of Christmas, Easter, Ash-Wednesday etc. and begin keeping the Bible feasts listed in Leviticus chapter 23. There really is no other safe alternative.

I'll end this with a prayer that the Holy Spirit will grant you the humility, understanding and courage you will need in order to break with paganism and take your stand for the Truth of the Almighty God as revealed in His Word.

-- Posted by trs2012 on Sun, Dec 9, 2007, at 7:20 PM

Bah, Humbug, The Grench has stole Christmas again! The ghost of Srooge has arisen!

-- Posted by Trevor on Mon, Dec 10, 2007, at 8:27 PM

Those gosh darn Roman Catholics. What will they think of next?

-- Posted by like2b_onree on Sun, Dec 16, 2007, at 12:55 AM

10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ[a] the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

- Luke 2:10-14

Sounds like we should rejoice and celebrate the birth of Christ to me.

Perhaps instead of worrying about on which day to celebrate the birth of Christ, we should rejoice that God loved us so much that He sent His son to this earth to ultimately die for our sins. What a miracle worth celebrating everyday indeed!

- Tabatha Goodwin, Special Projects Manager, The Fort Scott Tribune/Nevada Daily Mail

-- Posted by Tabatha Goodwin, Special Projects Mgr on Thu, Dec 20, 2007, at 10:10 AM


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