THE Deception ABOUT CHRISTMAS

(Clearly well researched and written by a Theological and
Scriptural student)

THE TRUTH ABOUT CHRISTMAS
(Article of the ELIM MINISTRIES – SA)

Through the ages Christmas has gained such a prominent (and
permanent) place in the hearts of families, churches and
communities that it will probably take more than a single essay to
change people’s perceptions on this matter. However, the evidence
for the dubious nature of Christmas is so overwhelming, that I
truly believe the time has come, not only to speak out on this
matter, but also do something that shows that we are serious about
the truth. We shall look into the whole matter of Christmas from
two different angles: Firstly, the extra-Scriptural evidence
concerning the origin of Christmas (testimonies coming from sources
other than the Scriptures, like encyclopaedia’s and other
well-documented studies), and secondly, the evidence coming from
within the Scriptures. Those who read these unambiguous
testimonies are challenged to reconsider (and, if necessary,
reshape) their own views and beliefs concerning Christmas.

EXTRA SCRIPTURAL EVIDENCE
“There is no historical evidence that our [Savior’s] birthday was
celebrated during the apostolic or early post-apostolic times” (The
New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, “Christmas,”
p. 47).

“We cannot find enough instances of the use of trees, even
decorated ones such as a pine tree on which images of the god Attis
were hung amid rows of ribbons at a spring festival, to convince us
of the ultimately pagan origins of our custom” (Celebrations by
Robert J Myers, p. 331).

“The day was not one of the early feasts of the Christian church.
In fact the observance of birthdays was condemned as a heathen
custom repugnant to Christians” (The American Book of Days, George
W. Douglas, p. 658).

“In [C.E.] 354, Bishop Liberius of Rome ordered the people to
celebrate on December 25. He probably chose this date because the
people of Rome already observed it as the Feast of Saturn,
celebrating the birthday of the sun” (The World Book Encyclopedia,
1962, “Christmas,” p. 416).

“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).

“The Christmas Tree has been traced back to the Romans. It went
from Germany to Great Britain” (The Encyclopedia Americana, 1942
edition. vol. 6, page 623).

“Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the church …
the first evidence of the feast is from Egypt” (Catholic
Encyclopaedia, 1911 edition).

“Christmas customs are an evolution from times that long antedated
the Christmas period – a descent from seasonal, pagan, religious
and national practices … The exact day and year of (Messiah’s)
birth have never been satisfactorily settled, but 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” (Encyclopaedia Britannica, article
Christmas, page 642).

“There is no authoritative tradition as to the day or month of
(Messiah’s) birth … The winter solstice was regarded as the
birthday of the sun … 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 Encyclopaedia 1970,
page 538, article Christmas).

“December 25 was the date of the Roman pagan festival inaugurated
in 274 as the birthday of the unconquered sun which at the winter
solstice begins again to show an increase in light. Sometime before
336 the Church in Rome, unable to stamp out theise pagan festivals,
spiritualized it as the Feast of the Nativity of the Sun of
Righteousness” (New International Dictionary of the Christian
Church, p. 223).

“In patristic thought [the Messiah] had traditionally been
associated with light or the sun, and the cult of the Sol invictus
(invincible Sun) … presented a distinct threat to Christianity.
Hence, to compete with this celebration the Roman church instituted
a feast for the nativity of [the
Messiah], who was called the Sol
iustitiae” (The Dictionary of the Middle Ages , pp. 317-318).

“The Feast is first mentioned at the head of the Depositio Martyrum
in the Roman Chronograph of 354. Since the Depositio was composed
in 336, Christmas in Rome can be dated that far at least. It is not
found, however, in the lists of Feasts given by Tertullian and
Origen” (New Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 3, p. 656).

“The Latin Church, supreme in power, and infallible in judgment,
placed it (the birth date of the Messiah) on the 25th of December,
the very day on which the ancient Romans celebrated the feast of
their goddess Bruma. Pope Julius I was the person who made this
alteration” (Clarke’s Commentary).

“To me Christmas is a foreign day, and I shall die so. When I was
a boy I wondered what Christmas was … I saw them dressing it (the
church in our town) with evergreens, and wondered what they were
taking the woods in church for; but I got no satisfactory
explanation. A little later I understood it was a Romish
institution, kept up by the Romish Church” (Henry Ward Beecher,
clergyman and lecturer, 1874).

“It is time to come out of the Land of Babylon which the hucksters
of wares and materialism have taken over … and leave December 25
to the pagans” (Peter J Riga, Roman Catholic priest and editor of
the U.S. Catholic magazine).

NATURAL EVIDENCE OF SCRIPTURE

What about the (internal) evidence of the Scriptures – do the
Scriptures in any way command, allow or mandate a festival like
Christmas?

It must be stated categorically that not a word is mentioned in
Scriptures about a festival called Christmas. Nor is there any
commandment (or hint) in Scriptures that believers are supposed to
celebrate the birth of the Messiah on a feast other than the feasts
which Elohim Himself had already established in Scriptures (e.g. in
Leviticus 23).

There is no record in Scriptures of individuals or groups
celebrating the birth of the Messiah. There are, however, numerous
instances in Scriptures where believers – even in New Covenant (New
Testament) times – celebrated one or more of the prescribed
festivals of Yahweh.

It is highly improbable that the birth of the Messiah could have
taken place on the 25th of December. In Luke 2:8 it is said that
“there were shepherds in the same country staying in the field, and
keeping watch by night over their flock”. Most commentators agree
that this could not have happened any time close to the 25th of
December. This time of the year it is mid-winter in Israel – the
season known for its extreme wet and cold conditions. It is also
very unlikely that Caesar Augustus would have called for enrollment
in the middle of the winter season. This would have created a
situation where many people were forced to travel to their
historical hometowns in extreme weather conditions. In the case of
Joseph and Miriam (Mary), who had to travel from Nazareth to
Bethlehem, it would have implied a trip of perhaps several days in
most unpleasant weather conditions.

Although the specific day of the birth of the Messiah is not
mentioned, there are, however, a few hints in Scriptures as to what
time of the year this event may have taken place.

We know that the announcement of the birth of the Messiah was
preceded by the birth announcement of John the Baptist. It is
written in Luke 1:8 that the angel appeared to Zacharyah (John the
Baptist’s father) as “while he executed the priest’s office before
Elohim in the order of his division”. Earlier in this passage it
is mentioned that Zacharyah was a priest “of the priestly division
of Abiyah” (Luke 1:5). What is the meaning of this? According to
1 Chron 24 all the priests were organized in 24 different
divisions. Each division was responsible for a period of two
week’s duty in the temple. The division of Abiyah was responsible
for the eighth period of two weeks (1 Chron 24:10), which
effectively boils down to week 15 and 16 after the commencement of
the year on the first of the first Biblical month of Abib/Aviv
(also called Nisan).

When compared to our own calendar, this time will vary slightly
from year to year but it corresponds more or less with the
beginning of the month of July.

In Luke 1:23-24 it is written: “It happened, when the days of his
service were fulfilled, he departed to his house. After these days
Elizabeth, his wife, conceived, and she hid herself for five
months.

From these words it seems very likely that Elizabeth was pregnant
shortly afterwards (that is: within the first few days of our month
of July). It is stated in Luke 1:26, 31 and 36 that the angel
visited Miriam (Mary) in the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy.
This means that Miriam’s supernatural conception probably took
place somewhere early in January and that the Messiah was
subsequently born nine months later, in the first half of the month
of October on the Gregorian calendar, that corresponds with the
Ninth month on the Biblical calendar.

We cannot be one hundred percent sure when the Messiah was born,
but taking into account the above-mentioned evidence and bearing in
mind that each one of the other significant events during and after
the Messiah’s earthly life (death, resurrection and outpouring of
the Spirit of Elohim took place on one of His feast days, it is
quite possible that the Messiah’s birth may have taken place during
the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) (normally occurring during the
last part of September or the first part of October on the
Gregorian Calendar).

(Lars Enarson says: Most scholars agree that Yeshua was born
somewhere around the time of the Feasts of the Lord in the fall
(fall as in Israel). That means that it could even be Yom Teruah
(falls on the 1st day of the seventh month, Yom Kippur – falls on
the 19th day of the 7yh month, or Succot/Feat of Tabernacles, which
falls on the 15th day of the 9th month. See Lars’s article at the
back on “When was Messiah born?) It would make a lot more sense
if Augustus had planned the enrolment to coincide with a Biblical
festival when most of the Jews would have to travel to Jerusalem,
anyway.

In John 1:14 the Messiah’s incarnation is described with these
words: “The Word became flesh and tabernacled among us”. The feast
of Tabernacles was a feast in memory of those days in the
wilderness when the Israelites had lived in temporary dwellings
(tents) and worshiped Elohim in a temporary tabernacle.
Is it possible, perhaps, that in his wisdom Elohim had purposely
chosen this feast, the feast of Tabernacles, as the proper time to
introduce the One who would come to tabernacle in this world,
giving the people of this world a foretaste of that time in future
(spoken of in Revelation 21:3) when Adonai Elohim’s “dwelling (will
be) with people, and He will dwell with them, and they will be his
people, and YHVH Himself will be with them as their Elohim”? This
means that we do not have to “fabricate” a new festival to
celebrate the birth of the Messiah – in all probability YHVH’s
planning was such that the time of the birth of the Messiah
coincided with a major festival – one (according to Zacharyah
14:16-18) that will still be celebrated in the future reign of the
Messiah.

We have seen that there is overwhelming evidence in
extra-Scriptural sources that during the fourth century the church
had decided to link the birth of Yeshua the Messiah with an
existing feast usually celebrated on the 25th of December which was
filled with pagan and idolatrous traditions and practices. It is
impossible to deny that the entire Christmas package is polluted
with syncretism (a mixture of different religious elements) and
idolatry. Is it any wonder that year after year Christmas is
surrounded with a cloud of death, accidents, immorality, suicide,
family tragedies, violence and feelings of resentment and
emptiness? What would our Father in heaven, looking down on how
the people of this world “celebrate” the birth of his Son, say
about all this? Let us allow Scriptures to have the final word –
notice how Father ???? in all these verses leaves absolutely no
doubt that He rejects all practices and customs with any sort of
idolatrous connotation.
Jer 10:2-4: “Thus says ???? , “Don’t learn the way of the nations,
and don’t be dismayed at the signs of the sky; for the nations are
dismayed at them. For the customs of the peoples are vanity; for
one cuts 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 not move”.

The practice of cutting, decorating and honoring trees played an
important role in pagan rituals as a tribute to their idols.
Jer 44:17-22: “But we will certainly perform every word that is
gone forth out of our mouth, to burn incense to the queen of
heaven, and to pour out drink-offerings to her, as we have done, we
and our fathers, our kings and our princes, in the cities of
Yehudah, and in the streets of Jerusalem; for then had we plenty of
victuals, and were well, and saw no evil. But since we left off
burning incense to the queen of heaven, and pouring out
drink-offerings to her, we have wanted all things, and have been
consumed by the sword and by the famine. When we burned incense to
the queen of heaven, and poured out drink-offerings to her, did we
make her cakes to worship her, and pour out drink-offerings to her,
without our husbands? Then Jeremiah said to all the people, to the
men, and to the women, even to all the people who had given him who
answer, saying, The incense that you burned in the cities of
Yehudah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, you and your fathers,
your kings and your princes, and the people of the land, didn’t
Yahweh remember them, and didn’t it come into his mind? So that
Yahweh could no longer bear, because of the evil of your doings,
and because of the abominations which you have committed; therefore
is your land become a desolation, and an astonishment, and a curse,
without inhabitant, as it is this day”.

Over the centuries the “Queen of Heaven” has been associated with
Semiramis (the wife of Nimrod) her name in other cultures: Isis,
Juno, Athena, Diana, Venus, Minerva, Rhea, Astarte, Aphrodite, “The
Lady”, “Madonna”, “The Mother” and the “Virgin Mary”!
Ezek 8:13-18: “He said also to me, You shall again see yet other
great abominations which they do. Then he brought me to the door of
the gate of ????’s house which was toward the north; and see,
there sat the women weeping for Tammuz. Then said he to me, Have
you seen this, son of man? you shall again see yet greater
abominations than these. He brought me into the inner court of
????’s house; and see, at the door of the temple of ???? , between
the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men, with their
backs toward the temple of,???? and their faces toward the east;
and they were worshipping the sun toward the east. Then he said to
me, Have you seen this, son of man? Is it a light thing to the
house of Yehudah that they commit the abominations which they
commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have
turned again to provoke me to anger: and, behold, they put the
branch to their nose. Therefore will I also deal in wrath; my eye
shall not spare, neither will I have pity; and though they cry in
my ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them.

Tammuz was the son of Semiramis, or Nimrod revived – also called
the god of agriculture, fertility and the underworld. The crying
of the women is symbolic of the efforts to revive Tammuz (or
Nimrod) so that fertility may return to the people’s crops. The
putting of the branch to their noses was probably a symbolic effort
to “inhale” the life-giving power of Tammuz in order to obtain
immortality.

2 Cor 6:14-17: “Don’t be unequally yoked with unbelievers, for
what fellowship have righteousness and iniquity? Or what communion
has light with darkness? What agreement has the Messiah with
Belial? Or what portion has a believer with an unbeliever? What
agreement has a temple of Elohim with idols? For you are a temple
of the living Elohim. Even as ???? said, ‘I will dwell in them, and
walk in them; and I will be their Elohim, and they will be my
people.’ Therefore, ‘Come out from among them, And be separate,’
says Yahweh, ‘Touch no unclean thing and I will receive you.'”

1 Cor 10:14: “Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry”.
Time and space are insufficient to call up more “testimonies” from
Scriptures.

Every reader of this article is encouraged to undertake his or her
own study in this regard. The important question for us is what we
are going to do with the information before hand. Are we going to
take notice of all these facts and carry on celebrating a festival
of which the Messiah has never been a part and of which He surely
has no desire to become part? Or will we be brave enough to turn
our backs on this spectacle that may certainly be noted as one of
the best examples of how the world has been deceived through the
centuries by “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF THE
PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH” (Rev 17:5).

Is it coincidence that (scholars have irrefutably proven that) the
majority of the “pillars” on which Christmas is built, is of
Babylonian origin? For many people it will be traumatic to let go
of this beloved family tradition, but if we truly love our ABBA,
the Eternal One and his Word then I don’t see that we have too much
of a choice …

Blogger Barry: Thanks for your time. Hope you enjoyed. Please
use the comment and follow buttons.

Barry Blomkamp Nd. Bsc (UL)
Professional Public Speaker, Trainer and Corporate Entertainer,
Motivational speaker, Guest & Key note speaker, Seminar &
Conference speaker, Team Builder, Comedian, Master of Ceremonies,

For your Strategic Planning sessions, Management or Sales meetings,
Conferences and/or Seminars, Award functions, Year end parties,
Christmas parties,

Cape Town, South Africa.

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