Father rises early, throws a large log on the fire, dresses warmly, grabs his axe and heads into the woods. He’ll soon return with bundles of greenery to place on and around the house.
Humming cheerfully, Mother prepares the ham, lights the red candles at the center of the table, and fills wine glasses for the adults who will soon arrive. Everyone eagerly awaits the gift exchange amid brightly colored candles and figurines.
The decorated living room will shortly be filled with singing as the children, off from school, join the festival games while eating their fill of fruits and nuts. “Merry Mithra” they call out. “May Mithra bless us, every one.”
This is the Roman Saturnalia, a.k.a. Feast of Mithra. It’s December 25 – some 50 years before the Savior is born at Bethlehem. It could just as easily be 2,000 years before that, as these same rites are rooted in the customs of the ancient Babylonians and their worship of their sun god.
The focus of this holiday is a Roman god known as the Sun of Righteousness. This is his birthday celebration of the Saturnalia, the Feast to the Roman deity Saturn.
But for the Name, the Rest Is the Same
If you were to place this celebration up against today’s December 25th festivities you would be hard pressed to discern any major differences. Except there would be tons more presents to exchange and homes would be more garish today. Other than that, the masses would be just as comfortable with the rites of Mithra as with St. Nick.
Even those who want to “put Chr-st back into Christmas” will sense a communion with the ancient sun god of the Romans. Mithraism promised immortality to its faithful. The pagan Roman faith included such rites as fasting at certain times, baptism, marriage, the last rites, and liturgy with candles, incense, and holy water.
More striking than this, perhaps, are the personal similarities of Mithra and Messiah: Mithra “was the creator and orderer of the universe … he incarnated on earth … his birth on 25 December was witnessed by shepherds. After many deeds he held a last supper with his disciples and returned to heaven … after the last battle, victorious over evil, he will lead the chosen ones through a river of fire to a blessed immortality” (Mystery Religions in the Ancient World, p. 99).
All of this begs the question: who is being honored on December 25th? The Savior, or the Roman sun god? Don’t feel alone if you are mystified by it all. Many ancients were also confused. Pope Leo I (440-461) chastised Christians, who on Christmas celebrated the birth of the sun god. And the syncretism never stopped.
From the start, the Christmas observance was mired in a pagan and pseudo-Biblical combination that still scourges it today. Why the discordant mixture of the nativity with evergreen trees, St. Nick, Wassail bowls, wreathes, mistletoe, and Alvin the chipmunk? Is this how the Savior should be honored? Who authorized such a thing?
Search the Scriptures and you will not find one instance where Yahweh commanded or even requested such a rite. For that matter, He never even authorized a birthday celebration for His Son. Surprisingly, there was no birthday observance for the Savior until 300 years AFTER His birth. Being that no one knew when He was born, the Christmas observance was timed to coincide with a midwinter pagan festival already in progress for thousands of years. It honored the imperial gods Mithra and Saturn.
By a process of amalgamation, the winter solstice celebration became permanently linked with the birth of the Savior. Here is how one of many references describes it:
“In the 5th century the Western church ordered the feast [of the Savior’s birth] to be celebrated on the day of the Mithraic rites of the birth of the sun and at the close of the Saturnalia, as no certain knowledge of the day of [Messiah’s] birth existed. Among the German and Celtic tribes the winter solstice was considered an important point of the year and to commemorate the return of the sun they held their chief festival of yule, which, like other pagan celebrations, became adapted to Christmas” (Encyclopedia Americana, vol. 6, p. 622).
This source candidly admits that Christmas customs have no basis in the Bible. Notice:
“Most of the customs now associated with Christmas were not originally Christmas customs but rather were pre- Christian and non-Christian customs taken up by the Christian church. Saturnalia, a Roman feast celebrated in mid-December, provided the model for many of the merrymaking customs of Christmas. From this celebration, for example, were derived the elaborate feasting, the giving of gifts, and the burning of candles. Lights also played an important part in most winter solstice festivals” (ibid).
Does Yahweh honor such worship?
‘But He Understands… Doesn’t He?’
So what if we borrow customs pulled from heathenism? Shouldn’t Yahweh be pleased simply because we observe the birthday of His Son? Does it really make any difference HOW we do it?
Simply put, it certainly does. Every aspect of His worship must be honored according to His precise commands or it does not consititute His worship.
Yahweh says that any worship outside of His commands is expressly prohibited:
“Take heed to yourself that you be not snared by following them [pagan worshipers], after that they be destroyed from before you; and that you enquire not after their elohim, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their deities? even so will I do likewise.’ You shall not do so unto Yahweh your Elohim: for every abomination to Yahweh which He hates, have they done unto their elohim … Whatever thing soever I command you, observe to do it: you shall not add thereto nor diminish from it,” Deuteronomy 12:30-32.
Mixing forms of worship was what got ancient Israel into so much hot water with Yahweh. He is pointedly particular about how we worship and glorify Him. Adding rites and rituals is adding unacceptable worship. Anything less or anything added to what is commanded in His Word – and we will reap our own judgment.
Consider the biggest rite of the holiday, adoration of the tree. The brightly lit tree is a solar religion survival, and its greenery a symbol of life and fertility worship.Jeremiah 10 condemns tree worship, a mainstay in the worship of pagan gods.
“Thus says Yahweh, ‘Learn not the way of the heathen … For the customs of the people are vain: for one cuts a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, and with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not…’’’ verses 2-4.
Yahweh is not pleased that most have not chosen to separate themselves from the ways and worship of the world. Paul urged the Corinthians, “Wherefore ‘come out from among them and be separate,’ says Yahweh, ‘and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and you shall be My sons and daughters,’ says Yahweh Almighty,”2Corinthians 6: 17-18.
Let’s Just Be Honest
The Corinthians shared the same misconception as many today: they thought they could worship Yahweh the same way they had always worshiped their other gods. Just retool and rebaptize the rites and rituals to a Biblical context and have the best of both.
Yahweh says if you do that, it won’t be Me but some other you’ll be worshiping. I’m not like the many false gods of heathenism. I demand special worship from those who are mine. Not only is your worship vain, but I will also punish those who will not listen to Me.
“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues” (Rev. 18:4).
Be honest with Yahweh. Pretending you are keeping the birthday of the Messiah by gathering around a pagan tree, coveting presents, eating ham, standing under mistletoe perhaps to steal an immoral kiss, and using Santa Claus as a surrogate savior who keeps track of who’s naughty and nice – and rewards accordingly – is tacitly wrong and does not honor or serve the One you may be trying to worship. To our Heavenly Father and His Son, any unauthorized worship is an abomination.
Keep in mind what Yahweh told Israel at the foot of Sinai about the deities of false worship:
“You shall not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them: for I Yahweh your Elohim am a jealous EI, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep My commandments,” Exodus 20:5-6.
His ways as revealed by His laws are not grievous (lJohn 5:3), but point to His exclusive and saving way of life. Come to know Him. Shun the empty ways of the world that ultimately lead to destruction, and find Him through real and complete obedience to His Word. Nothing less will do. Nothing more can please Him than to do just what His Word tells us to do.
Watch: “Christmas the Untold Story” from Discover the Truth TV below.
Every February 14 we see an “angelic” infant with a bow and arrow aiming for the heart of his “valentine.”
Cupids are everywhere with bows and arrows, heart shapes, paper lace, birds, and flowers. All these are associated with St. Valentine’s Day. But just where did these symbols and celebration of the 14th of February come from? Most of all, should we be celebrating this seemingly innocent day on which so many remember sweethearts and loves?
A Priest with a Heart
The origin of this day is not clear, as there is more than one explanation. The most accepted legend is that a Roman priest named Valentine had a special feeling for young people.
When the Roman Empire needed soldiers, Emperor Claudius II decreed that no one could marry or become engaged. Claudius believed that marriage made men want to stay at home instead of out fighting wars.
The kindly Valentine defied the Emperor’s decree and secretly performed weddings for a number of young couples. He was arrested, imprisoned, and put to death.
Another legend holds that Valentine was aiding persecuted Christians and was imprisoned. A jailer and his family were so impressed by his sincerity that they became Christians themselves. Valentine was fond of the jailer’s blind daughter and by a miracle restored her sight. On the morning of his execution he sent her a farewell message signed, “From your Valentine.”
February 14 a Fertility Festival
Valentine was beheaded supposedly on February 14. Not so coincidentally, this is also the eve of an important and more ancient Roman festival, the Lupercalia. (Lupus is Latin for wolf.) On this evening Roman youths drew names of girls who would be their partners during this ceremony.
To the Romans, Lupercalia was serious business. Mark Antony was master of the Lupercali College of Priests. He chose the Lupercalia festival in 44 B.C.E. as the proper time for offering the crown to Julius Caesar.
On February 15 the Luperci priests gathered at the cave of Lupercal, where according to legend, Romulus and Remus—founders of Rome—were nursed by a mother wolf.
Following a sacrifice, two youths of noble birth were brought forward. After a ceremony, they ran through the Roman streets, lashing about with goatskin thongs. The streets would be crowded with young women because a lash of the sacred thong was believed to increase their fertility.
The goatskin thongs were called februa and the lashing the februatio, both stemming from a Latin word meaning to purify. From it comes the name for the month February.
Long after Rome had become a walled city and the seat of a powerful empire, the Lupercalia lived on. When Roman armies invaded what are now France and Britain in the first century B.C.E., they took with them many pagan customs. Included was the Lupercalia.
By the fourth century Christianity became the dominant religion in Rome and the Lupercalia was declared unlawful. Throughout the empire the church endeavored to stamp out pagan practices brought in by the heathen.
“Unable to abolish some of the pagan festivals that the people loved, they accepted these and gave them Christian names,” we read in The Story of Valentine Symbols, by Edna Barth.
Barth explains, “So it was with the Lupercalia, which survived late into the fifth century. St. Valentine’s name was given to a festival that had celebrated springtime and fertility in human beings and other animals. And, do what the church might, the ancient meaning never quite left it. Memories of the Lupercalia as a celebration of mating were handed down, attaching themselves to the saint’s name.”
It was the eve of the ancient fest of the Lupercalia, when Romans habitually preserved the memory of an ancient rural deity, Faunus.
It is not difficult to imagine that the public beheading of Valentine the Christian was a pagan’s victory—here was a priest who professed the Bible, beheaded at this heathen celebration!
Frank Staff writes in his book, The Valentine and Its Origins, “In later years when the early Christian fathers were busy obliterating pagan superstitions and dates by substituting those of the Christian belief, names of many of the martyred Saints were used to replace the old festivals.
“In this way St. Valentine, having suffered on the eve of the Lupercalia, the 14th of February was now to perpetuate forever the memory of this festival of the return of the Spring when a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love and when the birds begin mating.
“Centuries later it was usual on St. Valentine’s Day for young men to draw by lots the names of young women, a custom that lingered in some of the more remote villages of the British Isles right up to Victorian times. Some accounts written during the Victorian era of St. Valentine’s Day maintain that the putting of the names of young women into a box to be drawn for by the men was part of the ceremony of the Lupercalia, and has been repeated so often as to be believed true. But it has been authoritatively stated that this has yet to be proved.”
Not all historians agree with Staff, and see a direct connection between drawing names for Valentine’s Day and the Lupercalia,
Strong evidence also exists that the custom of sending valentines and other rituals on February 14 has erotic origins and it likely was a licentious festival. Lupercalia was a spring festival involving peculiar fertility rites and especially involved young people.
The little cherub called cupid, from the Latin cupido or “desire,” is actually the Greek deity of love known as Eros. Alexandrian poets made him popular in Rome (Funk and Wagnalls Encyclopedia, p. 2542)
Valentine’s Day customs in the United States trace to early settlers from Germany and Britain.
Bottom Line: The Dollar Sign
Valentine’s Day is immortalized by manufacturers of greeting cards and candy, florists and clothiers who see the chance to induce customers through yet one more holiday to part with their money. “If you don’t give a gift at Valentine’s Day you don’t love others” is the subtle message.
The big problem with involvement in worldly holidays and special days of man is their rank pagan origins that have nothing to do with Scriptural worship. Even more, these days have replaced the true, Biblical observances commanded by our Creator. Paganism has always sought to replace True Worship. The one condemnation Yahweh repeatedly leveled against Israel was their desire to participate in the heathenism of those around them and worship other deities in place of Yahweh.
We as believers must never place anything before Yahweh and His way of life. We must give up the ways of a deceived world that has no love of Yahweh.
“Wherefore come out from among them, and be separate, says Yahweh, and touch not the unclean thing and I will receive you,”2Corinthians 6:17.
It is amazing how much our world is steeped in heathen, truth-supplanting tradition. The days of Lupercalia are with us even in subtle ways.
As one writer observed, “Today we still refer to one who fancies himself with the ladies as something of a ‘wolf,’ and when a pretty girl walks down the street young men give a ‘wolf whistle,’ which shows that the spirit of the Lupercalia is still with us.”
Yahweh’s true Spirit is here as well, and available to those who have a real desire to live honestly and purely for Him. A position of rulership in His coming Kingdom awaits those who do.
Sounds of holiday “cheer” grow louder as we draw to the close of the secular year. One can hear the Christmas juggernaut rev up in September and then explode into warp drive once it rumbles past a hardly noticed Thanksgiving.
Christmas, the granddaddy of all worldly celebrations, was never kept with such intensity when we were a more Bible-based nation. The observance was even outlawed by Puritan colonists. But now that it is deeply ingrained in the mass conscience by annual mass practice –and relentlessly driven by merchants with massive greed – it will not be dislodged until Yahshua returns and reinstates His righteous and true holy days.
The Yuletide extravaganza is nowhere commanded or even found in the Scriptures. Yet, we see the familiar signs admonishing, “Put Chr-st back into Christmas” when He was never there in the first place.
In stark contrast to Christmas, just recently honored again by Yahweh’s true saints is the Feast of Tabernacles. This joyous, eight-day Biblical blessing has been a standing command in the Scriptures for more than 3,000 years. It is taught and observed in both testaments. Along with other holy days, it was kept by the ancient patriarchs as well as by the Apostles and Yahshua the Messiah Himself. Still, it remains a near total mystery to the world.
Why do you think that is?
One answer is that man has always had difficulty doing what his Creator asks of him. There is a natural, human resistance against anything Yahweh tells us to do. We would rather make our own rules for life and worship, unfettered by Biblical do’s and don’ts. Added to this clash of the carnal are multiple layers of family ritual and cultural tradition, and a society with preconceived notions about what everyone will automatically be observing. No one ever asks, “Do you keep Christmas?” They just assume you do as most everyone else, and so overcoming that common presumption presents an automatic obstacle.
All of this adds up to a formula for forgetting the Father and just going with the traditional flow.
It’s nothing new. A stubborn Israel was constantly being admonished by Yahweh to follow Him and eschew the ways of the world. They mostly failed. Yet, when Jeroboam created his own false observance a month after the Feast of Tabernacles, ordaining his own priesthood to boot, the people flocked to it, 1Kings 12:32. That’s the nature of recalcitrant man.
The key to True Worship is that honoring the Father must be done on Yahweh’s terms and His alone. If that means keeping His holy days and giving up the world’s holidays, then that is what it must be.
Nowhere in the list of “Days to Keep” found in Leviticus 23, Exodus 12, Deuteronomy 16 and elsewhere do we see any of today’s popular holidays. We are presented the same option as ancient Israel – keep Yahweh’s days as commanded or ignore them and follow the inventions and conventions of man.
Some will take this issue up with their minister, expecting fair and honest consideration of the issue. Instead they will immediately hear the tired old bromide, “Those Old Testament days are unnecessary today. We are in a New Testament dispensation.” (Which leads one to ask, since when did the New Testament teach us to keep heathen holidays?)
Today’s clerics completely disregard the fact that Yahshua the Messiah and His apostles in the New Testament observed the very days found in Leviticus 23, and they will keep them again in the Kingdom along with the resurrected saints, Ezekiel 45:17-25,Zechariah 14:16-19. This fact begs another question: If the Biblical days were kept by the early Assembly and will be kept in the Kingdom, why shouldn’t they be observed now? We are told in 1Peter 2:21 that Yahshua left us an example to follow. Shouldn’t we be following it?
It is appalling that sincere inquirers cannot get the Truth from most ministers who are supposed to be guiding them into it. Instead, they are sent spinning off in an oblique direction whenever they inquire about why the church ignores the Bible’s commanded holy days. Ezekiel prophesied of this very thing, “Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they showed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them,” 22:26.
If one seriously studies the Bible with an open mind, it will soon be obvious that churchianity is ignoring some of the most important and elemental truths of Scripture – Yahweh’s laws. At the same time telling you how unnecessary Yahweh’s Scriptural holy days are, churchianity observes with dedicated veneration the popular holidays that are completely missing from the Scriptures.
So what will it be, holidays or holy days? Is your desire to please people or to please Yahweh? It is your choice. And so are the consequences of what you choose.
As Labor Day ends the world draws a bead on its major year-end holidays. The first of which is the strangest of all, Halloween. Candy and costume makers love it. Discount retailers make a huge “killing” on everything Halloween, their promotions driven by a lust for profits helping to keep the sinister observance near the top of the secular holiday charts.
Until recently it was mostly a childhood affair, but Halloween has grown up. Adults are joining the celebration by the droves as they head off to work dressed in adult-size costumes sporting red or green hair and painted faces, later in the evening they will paint the town red with costume parties. It seems that everyone is getting into the spirit.
But what spirit are they getting into? Is all of this just harmless fun? One look at the displays and costumes and it is clear that Halloween is in a contest with itself to be scarier and more sinister than ever. Murder and mayhem are the core themes, which prompts one to ask whether glorifying evil is wholesome and enriching to anyone, let alone innocent children. Consider the message being sent to children when society gives its sanction to the forces of darkness.
Then there is the rite of trick-or-treating, which introduces the twin ideas of threat and extortion to impressionable young minds. The other side of “trick” is the “treat,” where children are encouraged to don the masks of the dark side for the questionable “reward” of massive quantities of unhealthy candies! It leads one to wonder – who is really getting tricked?
Real Fears and Superstitions
One must ask what Yahweh the Heavenly Father thinks of all of this. Can a Bible believer celebrate with a clear conscience an observance that revels in the occult and evil?
Halloween is an intensely superstitious observance deeply rooted in ancient Celtic mystery worship. It was originally the Druidic Feast of Samhain until the Roman church came along and morphed it into a holiday called “All Hallows Eve” or Halloween.
The Celts and their priests, the Druids, were nature worshipers who dreaded winter’s darkness. With the end of the harvest season and the approaching of winter, the Celts believed that the veil separating the living from the dead was at its thinnest on October 31, the last day of the Celtic year.
Enter the Many Spirits
These people believed all laws of space and time were suspended on this night, allowing the spirit world to intermingle with the living. On October 31 the disembodied spirits of all those who had died during the preceding year would come back in search of living bodies to possess for the next year. It was believed to be the spirits’ only hope for the afterlife.
Joining this mix were evil phantoms in the form of fairies revisiting the earth and tormented the living. The fairies were often considered hostile and dangerous to humans because they were thought to be resentful of human takeover of their lands. Consequently on this night they would sometimes trick people into becoming lost in fairy mounds where they would be trapped forever. There was great apprehension for other dangers as well. Crops were in jeopardy, babies could be stolen, farm animals killed, food and milk spoiled – all because of this open doorway for evil spirits. It was a frightening time for these ancients.
To protect themselves and prevent harm, the Celts would leave treats for the spirits outside their homes. The idea was that a spirit looking for a person to possess would be sidetracked by a bowl of fruit, nuts, and other treats. The spirit would then leave in peace. Spirits were believed to assume grotesque appearances this night. To avoid being recognized by them people would wear masks when they left their homes after dark so that the ghosts would mistake them for fellow spirits and not plague them. The trick-or-treat custom reflects this superstition.
Other Defensive Measures
Fire symbolized the power of the sun deity while it was believed that it offered protection against mischievous ghosts. Home fires were allowed to go out and be rekindled with protective sacred fires at the end of this, the pagan year.
Some believed spirits could be warded off by carving a grotesque face into a gourd or root vegetable like a turnip and placing a candle inside. Because ghosts and witches feared fire, the candle within the jack-o-lantern along with the scary face became a weapon against evil influences when placed in front of the home.
It was believed that witches used skulls on Halloween to communicate better with the dead. It was also believed that witches derived from black cats their power to invoke evil spirits. The Celts were particularly fearful of black cats because they thought the animals were originally humans who had been transformed by sinister powers.
Halloween an Occultic Synthesis
Since this night belonged neither to one year nor the other, Celtic peoples thought that chaos reigned, and so the masses would engage in horseplay and practical jokes. Hence we see some of the original “trick” in trick-or-treating.
Other ancient superstitions survive today. Ducking or bobbing for apples was a marriage divination. The first person to bite an apple would be the first to marry in the coming year. Apple peeling was a tool to predict how long your life would be. The longer you could make the apple peel come off unbroken, the longer your life was destined to be.
Why apples? In the course of the four hundred years that the Romans ruled Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain. The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees and whose symbol was the apple.
Yahweh’s true Holy Days revolve around three harvest times in the year. The Celts also had three harvests: August 1, or Lammas, was the first harvest when the first fruits were offered to the gods in thanks. The fall equinox coming in the third week of September was the “true harvest.” This was when the bulk of the crops would be brought in. The third, Samhain at the end of October, was the final harvest of the year.
No one blended profane practices with their own beliefs more than the Roman Church, which typically baptized paganism in order to draw heathen converts into the fold. In 1000 C.E. this church would make November 2 All Souls’ Day and November 1 All Saints Day in honor of the dead. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. When Christianity spread through Europe the November 1 holiday was merged with All Saints’ Day, also called All Hallows’ Day. The evening before was referred to as All Hallows’ Evening or the contraction we know as Hallowe’en. Together, the three celebrations – the eve of All Saints’, All Saints’, and All Souls’– were called Hallowmass.
A Righteous Creator vs. the Unrighteous
Halloween is a holiday with a dark past that is only thinly masked by the addition of a few later traditions. What does Yahweh think about observing it? Is Halloween okay because “it’s just harmless fun for the children”– as if Yahweh sighs passively and says to Himself, “Oh well, let them have their fun reveling in ancient rites of the occult and deceived. I’ll just look the other way.” That is how many must reason if their consciences ever start to tug at them.
The masses just drift along letting society shape their personal beliefs and practices, not stopping to question anything the world observes but blindly joining in. Most have never tried to learn what Yahweh their Creator thinks about what they do and how they live out their lives, and Halloween is no exception.
Can we mix light with darkness? Is a little compromise with idolatry acceptable to a sovereign Heavenly Father? Will He reward such behavior?
In 1Corinthians 10:20-21 is a message for those who want it both ways, thinking that no harm is done so long as they give lip service to the Bible, too: “But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to Elohim: and I would not that you should have fellowship with devils. You cannot drink the cup of the Savior and the cup of devils: you cannot be partakers of the Savior’s table, and of the table of devils.”
If there is no Heavenly Father then it doesn’t matter one way or the other what we observe. But because there is a Mighty One who demands that we follow Him in complete Truth, then we have a problem with the world’s days rooted in ancient mystery practices that glorify the dark side as well as the Evil One himself.
Imagine Yahweh giving a passive nod as He sees all kinds of symbols of witchcraft being pandered to and glorified at Halloween. Imagine this in light of Exodus 22:18, where He thunders in His law: “You shall not suffer a witch to live.”
Or consider what we find in Deuteronomy 18:10-14: “There shall not be found among you any one that makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto Yahweh: and because of these abominations Yahweh your Elohim does drive them out from before you. You shall be perfect with Yahweh your Elohim. For these nations, which you shall possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for you, Yahweh your Elohim has not suffered [allowed] you so to do.”
Participating in the practices of rank heathens as one does in the observance of Halloween is expressly forbidden in the Scriptures. Read Deuteronomy 12:29-32: “When Yahweh your Elohim shall cut off the nations from before you, whither you go to possess them, and you succeed them, and dwell in their land; Take heed to yourself that you be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before you; and that you enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. You shall not do so unto Yahweh your Elohim: for every abomination to Yahweh, which he hates, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: you shall not add thereto, nor diminish from it.”
How can a True Worshiper allow his son or daughter to dress up like a witch or warlock, knowing that Yahweh condemns witchcraft? In 1Thessalonians 5:22 we are told to avoid even the appearance of evil. Halloween celebrates and revels in a vast array of evil appearances! And is it any wonder that all this glorification of evilness is a nighttime activity? In John 3:19-20 Yahshua said that evil loves the darkness.
One of the biggest problems of Old Testament Israel was their inability to keep their worship pure. The Apostle Paul in1Corinthians 10:6 tells us that their experiences are an example for us “that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted.” Yahweh does not accept compromise with any other belief system, let alone practices that spring from the darkness of rank heathen religion and superstition.
Trying to put a positive spin on Halloween, the chorus of the world will say, “Oh, come on, Halloween is just harmless fun. How can you deprive the children?”
Keep in mind that what children practice they also learn from. How can a parent seek to promote healthy, wholesome values in a child who is allowed to don masks of vile creatures or deformed humans with the underlying theme of murder, mayhem and evil? Should a caring parent wanting to teach truth to his or her child introduce that child to sinister, pagan falsehoods that Yahweh repeatedly condemns?
Nothing But the Truth
As we have seen, a Bible believer cannot follow Truth while dabbling in the exact opposite and still be acceptable to the True Father.Jeremiah 10:2 says very clearly, “Learn not the way of the heathen.”
The sincere worshiper can’t live a lie. Halloween is filled with lies born in the depths of rank ignorance in one of history’s most pagan and superstitious cultures. In fact, virtually all of the world’s major holidays revel in lies, from Santa and Rudolph of Xmas customs to Easter’s egg-laying bunny.
The true man and woman of Yahweh must make conscious, deliberate choices. The true faith is not a passive banality that just goes along with whatever society does.
In 2Corinthians 6:14-18 we are admonished to separate from all forms of evil and darkness. “Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness? And what concord has Messiah with Belial? or what part has he that believes with an infidel? And what agreement has the temple of Elohim with idols? for you are the temple of the living Elohim; as Elohim has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their Elohim, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be separate, says Yahweh, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says Yahweh Almighty.”
One of the biggest mistakes Israel made upon entering the Promised Land was in not completely removing the false worship they found there. Our fallen natures have an attraction for what is wrong and sinful. It takes conscious, proactive efforts to overcome it. Wickedness pulls at us like a magnet drawing iron. We constantly struggle with iniquity.
Why are most children attracted to horror movies? What is it that draws the human spirit to the dark side? It’s a natural human attraction. And it is this pull, this desire that could lead to sin, that carnal human beings must overcome daily. Jeremiah 17:9 says about the natural man, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I Yahweh search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.”
Why continue being involved in the abominable, which your Creator hates and condemns? Where’s the reward in keeping dead-end holidays? Begin pleasing Him and start reaping the blessings! Let the world have its fruitless, empty observances. Say with the patriarch Joshua, “As for me and my family, we will serve Yahweh.”
Resolve today to observe with Yahweh’s true saints the inspired holy days commanded in the Word. If you do that you will be most richly blessed when the Messiah Yahshua returns to reward those few truly faithful who followed a different path – one that leads to life everlasting.
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This annual rite is bigger than ever—especially among adults. It’s just harmless fun, most believe. Harmless? Let’s take a look below the surface of this annual rite to see what’s really behind the mask-querade.
On October 31 children across the land learn how extortion works through one of the world’s most popular of ancient pagan festivals.
We call it Halloween, which is a contraction of the words “Hallowed” and “evening.” But there is nothing holy about this night. “Trick or treat!” the bantam, masked marauders cry as they go from door to door coercing goodies from mostly compliant residents.
Along with blackmail, the chance to deface private property and get away with it is also a big part of this “hallowed evening.” Shaving cream, soap, and toilet paper are essentials in the juvenile vandals’ bags of tricks prepared especially for this weird, annual ritual. Imagine trying to explain the whole scene to a visitor from another planet…
Adults Now Big into the Act
Visit many office buildings and department stores on October 31 and you’ll see adult employees dressed in silly or grotesque costumes, perhaps with painted faces and fluorescent green hair.
They are psyching up for the Halloween party that night — when they’ll have a chance to act foolishly with impunity. It seems that as our world sinks deeper into paganism and fascination with the occult, this holy day of the heathen Druids has zoomed to the top of the holiday charts. In fact, among adults Halloween is starting to vie in popularity with Christmas.
But is Halloween just a harmless time of fun for the whole family, where everyone can practice their pumpkin-carving skills and then head for the store to be the first to sport the latest in weird costumery?
It is time to tear the mask from Halloween and expose it for what it is. What we find at its roots should concern anyone who professes belief in Scripture.
Night of the Wandering Dead
Rooted in Druidic demon worship 2,000 years old, Halloween continues to cast its ugly spell on modern peoples.
The ritual was not called Halloween when the Celtic peoples of pre-Christian Ireland and Scotland observed it on November 1. For them it was the Feast of Samhain (pronounced Sa-ween), Lord of the Dead. This was also the beginning of the Celtic new year, a time to give thanks to the sun god for the harvest.
But it was also a terrifying night when it was believed time stood still and the souls of the dead walked abroad, mingling with the living and playing malicious tricks on them. The Celts thought that the sinful souls who died during the year had been transferred to the bodies of animals. Through gifts and sacrifices these souls could be freed to claim a heavenly reward. Samhain judged these souls and decreed that their existence was to continue as either animal or human.
The spirits of the dead that were thought to collect around houses of the living were greeted with banquet-laden tables. (They believed spirits needed food.) When the feast was over villagers donned masks and costumes to represent the souls of the dead and paraded to the outskirts of town to lead the ghosts away. Thus they thought they might avoid any retribution the roving spirits may cause them in the event they had not provided suitable and sufficient sustenance. Such reprisals included causing livestock to die, turning milk sour, and spoiling food.
In some areas, food was set outside for the spirits so that they would leave the house untouched. The trick-or-treat ritual re-enacts these ancient superstitions.
Amid all of this superstition the Druids were offering up sacrifices to the sun god. “It was common for horses to be sacrificed since they were sacred to the Sun God. There were also human sacrifices. Men, mostly criminals, were imprisoned in wicker and thatch cages shaped like animals or giants. The Druid priests set fire to the tindery cages and the men were burned to death…In the Middle Ages in Europe, black cats were still being thrown to the flames in wicker cages, for they were thought to be the friends of witches or even transformed witches,” Celebrations, The Complete Book of American Holidays, p. 258.
Samhain Merges with All Saints’ Day
So where does “Hallowe’en” come in, this “hallowed evening”? The celebration in the Roman Catholic Church, which was later to merge with Samhain, was known as All Saints’ Day. All Saints’ Day originated in the 7th century when the Pantheon at Rome was wrested from the barbarians, made into a cathedral, and renamed the Church of the Blessed Virgin and All Martyrs. Thus, from honoring all gods (which is the meaning of the Greek word “pantheon”) the Pantheon became the center for glorifying all saints (Funk and Wagnall’s Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 363).
This day that honored all the “hallowed” or holy saints, was first observed on the evening of May 13, and was known as the All Hallows festival.
The day was officially sanctioned in 835 by Pope Gregory IV after it was moved to November 1 to coincide with
Samhain. It began on the evening of October 31, which was called All Hallows Eve.
Thus, without forcing the pagans to drop their heathen practices and accept Christianity, the Roman church merely made room to accommodate the barbarians.
Just as it confiscated the pagan Pantheon for its own uses, the Roman church incorporated the customs of Samhain to further its mission to convert the known world to Catholicism.
The two celebrations made strange bedfellows: one in respect of evil spirits, the other honoring so-called saints.
One writer noted, “The three days between October 31 and November 2 see pagan and Christian celebrations intertwined in a fascinating way. All Hallows Eve, usually called Hallowe’en, is followed by All Hallows’ Day, which is also All Saints’ Day, and the three-day period is a perfect example of superstition struggling with religious belief,” Year of Festivals, p. 76.
Can we mix light with darkness? Is a little compromise with idolatry acceptable to a holy Creator? Paul warns us, “But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to Elohim; and I would not that you have fellowship with devils. You cannot drink the cup of the Master, and the cup of devils: you cannot be partakers of the Master’s table, and of the table of devils,” 1Corinthians 10:20-21.
The joining of the two celebrations spawned an odd hybrid of beliefs about what was supposed to happen in the spirit world. Souls in purgatory appeared as witches and toads to persons who had wronged them. Halloween fires now were used to comfort souls in purgatory and people prayed for them while holding burning straw in the air.
Even the idea of trick-or-treating by evil spirits transformed into an acceptable church practice: costumed children went around on All Souls Day offering to fast for the departed souls in return for money or an offering.
As the Celts converted to the new religion, they did not forget their stories of the dead traveling to the afterworld on Halloween. Rather, exhibitions of this night became more evil and the observance adopted even more malicious overtones.
Let’s take a look at the familiar customs of Halloween and ask ourselves whether they are fit practice for a True Worshiper.
That Smirking Jack-o-lantern
In America it starts as a pumpkin, but in Europe it was often carved from a turnip, large beet, potato, rutabaga or even a skull with a candle in it. The fearsome face of the fat jack-o-lantern was representative of the god of the dead, Saman, who would drive off less powerful evil spirits abroad that night.
As glimmering lights flickered over an English marsh or an Irish bog, people imagined dead souls had returned to earth. They would place the jack-o-lantern on posts and in windows to ward off the spirits of the dead on Halloween.
The word jack-o-lantern is an abbreviation of “Jack of the Lantern.” Jack is another name for joker or Satan. In an Irish tale, a man named Jack was fond of playing tricks on the devil. Annoyed, the devil tossed Jack a burning coal from hell and with that in his lantern Jack was condemned to walk the earth forever.
The jack-o-lantern is a Halloween idol that keeps alive an ancient symbol of demonic superstition.
Witchery and Black Cats
A pagan practice that was not eradicated upon the coming of Christianity was witchcraft. The word “witch” comes from the Anglo-Saxon wicce, or “wise one.” Witches were thought to be possessors of magic.
Witches, who worship the deities of nature, have living talismans or symbols through which they derive their dark powers. They invoke evil spirits to enter the bodies of their talismans. Some witches have dogs, owls, snakes or swine for their talismans, but the most common are cats. Cats have been closely associated with mystery religion from the Egyptians to the Norse. But the Celts had a particular fear of cats, believing they were humans who had been changed into feline form by evil powers. The black cat particularly was connected to demonic powers.
Black cats are the chief idol of the goddess of Wicca, Diana. In legend, she turns into a black cat to commit incest with her brother, Lucifer.
Eventually the Druids themselves came to be regarded as witches. Witch hunting during Halloween became almost a national pastime in the colonial years of our nation.
Halloween is regarded as the highest “sabbath” for practicing witches today.
Witchcraft is demonic worship in diametric opposition to the worship of Yahweh. Yahweh minces no words about it. He told Israel through Moses, ‘Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live” (Ex. 22:18). He says in Deuteronomy 18:10, “There shall not be found among you any one that makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch.”
How can a True Worshiper allow his son or daughter to dress up in imitation of a witch or warlock, knowing how Yahweh condemns witchcraft? We are commanded to avoid even the APPEARANCE of evil (1Thes. 5:22).
The Airborne Witch
The broomstick is a symbol of the male organ, on which the witch mounts and leaps high around the fields to “teach” the crops how high to grow (ABC’S of Witchcraft, pp. 48-49).
The notion of flying witches relates to the fact that witches believed they could fly great distances to their feasts by smearing their bodies with ointments containing drugs. The drugs gave them psychedelic “trips” making them think they flew (Ibid., pp. 142-146).
Colors of the Demonic
“Orange, black, and red, the devil’s colors, are the colors associated with Halloween…,” so says the Good Housekeeping Book of Entertainment, p. 168.
Black prefigures black magic and demonic influence. The black of night is when these forces of evil are busiest, using the cover of darkness for their sinister works.
Yahweh warns, “Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from Yahweh, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who sees us? and who knows us?” (Isa. 29:15)
In John 3:19-20 Yahshua said, “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that does evil hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.”
How much time should any Bible believer give to a rite that is observed in the dark and that revels in the colors, symbols, and practices of Yahweh’s adversary, Satan the devil?
Skulls and Skeletons
The skeleton is a form of the god of the dead, the witches’ “horned god.” The Dictionary of Satanism by Wade Baskin says this about skulls and skeletons under “skull worship”: “Skulls play an important role as sacred relics and as objects of worship among primitives. Among Polynesians and Melanesians, skulls of ancestors are worshiped in order to establish connections with the spirits of the dead. Like the head of Osiris in Egypt, the skulls of ancestors may also serve as tutelar deities. The head or its parts, each of which may stand for the whole, can be used as magical food or as a means of increasing the fertility of the soil.”
Under “skull,” the Dictionary of Lore and Legend says, “Symbol of death, often with crossed bones beneath.”
Isaiah tells us what Yahweh thinks of the courting of death and the dead: “When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritualists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their Elohim? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?” (Isa. 8:19-20, NIV)
Fires to Call Up the Sun God
Being that Halloween is a Celtic new year’s festival, many of its surviving rituals trace to the Celtic feast. The fire rite was practiced in many areas around the world on the night before the new year. The old fire was allowed to go out and a new one was kindled — usually a sacred fire from which the fires of the village were re-lit. The fires were thought to rejuvenate the waning sun and aid in banishing evil spirits. The Druids built hilltop fires to celebrate important festivals (Celebrations, the Complete Book of American Holidays, pp. 258-259).
Ghosts and witches feared fire, it was thought, and so fire became the best weapon against evil spirits. Witchcraft was punished by burning at the stake, fire being used as a means of purification. The light that fires gave off was a sign of sacredness.
Popular at Halloween parties is apple bobbing. It was a means of divination among the Druids and survives in cultures influenced by the Celts.
Because the apple is a common love charm, the practice of ducking for apples seems to have been associated with the selection of a lover (see The Folklore of American Holidays).
Apple bobbing was originally a fertility rite deriving from the Christmas observance, which was replete with various fertility rites.
Selling Out to Sin
One of the perpetual failings of ancient Israel was their inability to keep their worship pure. The record throughout history has not been any different. Yahweh’s people have always been tempted to compromise their faith by selling out to the dominant culture and its practices.
For those who are satisfied with less than total truth, the concessions come easier.
Today we witness Easter egg hunts on church lawns, Christmas trees in church vestibules, and Halloween parties in church basements (on the pretext of keeping the children off unsafe streets and away from tainted Halloween candy).
“It’s for the children,” goes the rationalization. “We really just do it for them.”
What our children practice they also learn from. Why would we want to introduce to them pagan falsehoods? How can we instill in them a desire for righteousness if we allow them to revel in ancient customs of evil on Halloween? How can we promote healthy, decent values while allowing them to don hideous masks of vile creatures or deformed humans — with the underlying themes of murder, mayhem, and death?
Can we live a lie? Can we mix the holy with the profane and expect Yahweh to still bless us? “Learn not the way of the heathen!” He thunders in Jeremiah 10:2. Come out from among them and be separate, and touch not the unclean thing, Paul writes in2Corinthians 6:17.
Paul also admonished, “Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness?” (2Cor.6:14)
Halloween has no redeeming value. It is one big trick on an ignorant or indifferent society, and another victory for the forces of darkness.
Almighty Yahweh gives us a final warning in the law about demonism and witchcraft: “For all that do these things are an abomination unto Yahweh: and because of these abominations Yahweh your Elohim does drive them out from before you. You shall be perfect with Yahweh your Elohim” (Deut. 18:12-13).
Become perfect before Yahweh. Drop the empty, senseless, heathen observances of man and resolve to begin keeping the true holy days He has commanded in His Word. Discover what true blessings and deep fulfillment are when you begin to comply with His will and not the will of society.
It’s December. Darkness overtakes light as winter days shorten. Frigid blasts whistle through leafless, lifeless trees. The ground is frozen with a layer of ice and silence. Nothing moves. By all appearances, nature has died.
And then, intruding like hoofbeats comes the most hyperactive frenzy of merrymaking, gush and glitter ever conceived in the heart of man. Wine flows freely, songs of cheer echo through halls strung with holly and mistletoe. Gifts are exchanged while candles like a million points of light puncture the darkness. Out of the throes of encroaching death springs a frenetic celebration of life—all in the urgent hope of reviving the god of life and fertility. It’s Christmas 500 B.C.E. Time makes no difference to this changeless holiday.
Contrary to common belief, Christmas is not the celebration of the birth of the Savior at Bethlehem. That story was much later tacked on to this ancient festival to a solar deity. The fact that the holiday is deeply rooted in pagan sun worship was reason enough to keep the Puritans and other early American settlers seeking religious purity from taking any part in it.
The Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature notes, “The Puritans regarded these diversions, which appear to have offended more against good taste than against morality, with a holy horror. Prynne says, in his strong way (in Histrio-Mastix), ‘Our Christmas lords of misrule, together with dancing, masks, mummeries, state players, and such other Christmas disorders, now in use with Christians, were derived from these Roman Saturnalia and Bacchanalian festivals, which should cause all pious Christians eternally to abominate them’’’ (“Christmas,” p. 276).
Christmas, with its bag-full of life-celebrating superstition, stretches back far beyond the Saturnalia. Steeped in beliefs of reincarnation and immortality the ancient Babylonians thought that their king and sun-god Nimrod, who had been cut down, was brought back to life in the form of a green tree.
His revival coincided with the winter solstice at the end of December, when the sun returns in its yearly cycle and days begin to lengthen once more. Hence, the burning of the yule log signifying the sun’s light and warmth, and the ever-living evergreen tree strung in lights like miniature suns. As pointed out in the book, 4,000 Years of Christmas, by Earl W. Count, “Mesopotamia is the very ancient Mother of Civilization. Christmas began there, over four thousand years ago, as the festival which renewed the world for another year,” p. 18.
Lies of Yuletide – Pagan Christmas
None of these or other facts about Pagan Christmas is a mystery. All are readily available every year in a variety of media. What is mysterious, however, is the complete indifference the religious masses show toward these revelations about Pagan Christmas.
Unable to refute its pagan origins and practices, many argue, “Well, we do Christmas for the children. How can we deny them such a fun and exciting thing?” Wait a minute. What caring parent would allow their child to indulge in a diet of nothing but candy bars and soft drinks day after day? For the child nothing could be more enticing — but at the cost of his or her very health and longevity. The effects of spiritual toxicity last much longer and can be permanent.
Aside from being anchored in dark Mystery Worship, the perceived “Biblical” side of Christmas is tethered to a sequence of lies and twisted facts. Saint Nick has superseded the Savior. Children are taught to be good for Santa’s sake (a mythological character who can do magical things), not for the One whose birthday is presumably being honored. From start to finish, the entire observance is fraudulent.
No Christmas Command Anywhere
Significantly, not one verse in all of the Scriptures commands man to remember the birthday of Yahshua the Messiah’s human advent. If there were, rest assured that man would virtually ignore it, as he does the other direct commands of Yahweh. Ironically, this holiday—entirely missing from Scripture—is elevated to superholiday status.
Nowhere does the Bible say the Messiah was born on December 25. That date coincides with the Saturnalia, the pagan Roman feast held in December at the winter solstice in honor of the returning sun-god. In the spirit of joining what cannot be overthrown, the Roman church adopted this day of solar rebirth as the birth of the Savior. The Son for the sun.
Yahweh is not well-pleased. “In vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men,” Yahshua said inMatthew 15:9.
Along the way Bible truths truths have been twisted into fantasy. For example, the wise men never came to the manger but to Mary and Joseph’s house as much as two years after His birth (Matt. 2: 11). The Messiah was not a babe by then but a child. Their gifts were not birthday presents but royal gifts befitting a King (of the Jews). Tradition says the shepherds came and worshiped Yahshua in the manger. The Bible says they glorified Yahweh the FATHER for all that they had seen and heard, Luke 2:20. Christmas is clearly the case of an ancient rite retrofitted into a biblical story of the Messiah and the results are a compendium of error and myth.
Sending the Wrong Message
This annual greedfest is entirely fixated on gift-getting. The popular question is, “What did you GET for Christmas?” Visions of dollar signs dance in the greedy heads of retailers, who glory in the fest hoping to earn up to 60 percent of their yearly profit from the spending madness. Imagine any other birthday observance where the celebrators come together to give gifts to one another and ignore the guest of honor!
In a flagrant violation of the Second Commandment not to make or bow down to any graven image, the tree is idolized with an adoration verging on shameless worship. Gift offerings are placed at its base, while children brag to their friends about having the most presents. Adults hold contests for the most beautifully decorated property, while many churches bring trees and holly into their halls to entice more through their doors..
A Relative Latecomer
Nowhere in the entire Bible do we find that anyone was told to keep Christmas, or find even a shred of evidence that anyone did. In fact, Christmass as a celebration of the Savior’s birth was not observed before the fourth century. These facts alone are testimony to the absence of any heavenly command or ongoing Biblical practice.
Let’s read once more from the Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature: “It is historically certain that the Christmas festival proper is of comparatively late institution. This may doubtless be accounted for in the following manner. In the first place no corresponding festival was presented by the Old Testament, as in the case of [Passover] and Pentecost. In the second place, the day and month of the birth of [Messiah] are nowhere stated in the Gospel history, and cannot be certainly determined… It was not till the sixth century that the whole Christian world concurred in celebrating the nativity on the same day” (“Christmas,” pp. 276-277).
A person who seeks only the pure word of truth will give up this solar survival called Christmas in favor of what Almighty Yahweh DOES command in His Living Book.
Leviticus 23 lists seven annual observances that Almighty Yahweh gave man as an ordinance “forever.” These are called Feasts of Yahweh, not Feasts of the Jews or any other nationality or race. They are for ALL men everywhere in honor of the one true Creator Yahweh, your Designer and Maker. Shouldn’t True Worshipers seek to keep the days specifically commanded in the Scriptures, and not the holidays man has devised that are not?
The Christmas super-holiday is the standard for popular observances today. Families will gather on December 25, gorge themselves on ham and turkey, stare at a decorated tree while a swooning Bing provides the ambience, and exchange billions of dollars in gifts, many of them unwanted. A crescendo of months of retailer hype will climax on one grand day of the Savior’s supposed birth.
But hold on. Amid the bells and booze, frolicking elves and fruitcake, many sense that something isn’t right. If Christmas is a celebration of the birth of the Savior at Bethlehem, who came to bring peace on earth and good will toward men, why isn’t there more peace and good will in our world? With so many millions observing this holiday, should not our world be changing for the better with each celebration? Is this not what a “religious” observance is supposed to accomplish?
Maybe the problem is simply that people fail to catch and hold the “spirit”of Christmas. Or could the holiday itself be flawed? Why do so many people sense an emptiness at this time of year, a major letdown amid the torn gift-wrapping and crushed ribbon bows
Where’s the Scriptural Christmas?
Christmas, after all, is supposed to be rooted in the Bible. It is assumed to honor the birth of the Savior of men in a manger at Bethlehem. (Its name is a contraction for “Christ’s Mass.”) But the overblown rites of Santa Claus, tinsel, Rudolph, gift exchanging, and football mostly obscure any religious overtones of the observance.
A revealing survey would be to poll frantic Christmas shoppers to find out how many know the origins of Christmas. Do YOU know what Christmas is all about? Are you mildly amused each year with newspaper and magazine articles detailing the strange, irreverent customs of Christmas? On the other hand, maybe you have found these facts somewhat troubling. Isn’t it time you honestly investigated the matter? If Christmas is that significant – the biggest holiday of the year demanding a great deal of your time and money – shouldn’t you at least know what it is actually all about? This is especially serious considering the religious flavor of Christmas. The Creator in heaven may just have a definite opinion about the observance of this holiday that you need to discover.
Do you observe Christmas because you believe it is in the Bible? Try as you might, you will not find a hint of Christmas anywhere in the Scriptures. There is neither a call to observe it nor an example where anyone in the Bible did so. Shocking? Millions are oblivious to this simple fact. As one authority puts it, “There is no historical evidence that our [Savior’s] birthday was celebrated during the apostolic or early post-apostolic times,” Christmas, p. 47, The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge. Another writer makes this astounding statement: “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, by George W. Douglas.
What a revealing statement! The single most important religious holiday observed today in Christianity would have been FORBIDDEN in early New Testament times. Many historians and Biblical scholars corroborate this fact. Now read a candid admission from the New Catholic Encyclopedia, “Inexplicable though it seems, the date of the [Messiah’s] birth is not known. The Gospels indicate neither the day nor the month,” vol. 3, p. 656. And the Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature says, “The fathers of the first three centuries do not speak of any special observance of the nativity. No corresponding festival was presented by the Old Testament … the day and month of the birth of [the Messiah] are nowhere stated in the Gospel history, and cannot be certainly determined,” Christmas, p. 276.
If Christmas is as popular and pervasive a religious holiday as retail sales indicate, why isn’t it found anywhere in the Bible? Why aren’t we told the month – let alone the day – of the Savior’s birth?
“But what about the manger scene with shepherds and wise men?” you ask. Yes, the manger is described in the Bible, but it was never provided as a focus for the continued observance of the birthday of the Savior. Shepherds came to the manger, but the wise men visited a house up to two years later. Here’s the account of these wise men, right from Matthew 2:11, “And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary [Miriam] his mother, and fell down and worshiped Him.”
And then there is the timing. Usually during Christmas plays someone will read the account in Luke 2:8: “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.” Is this describing a cold December scene? According to Jeremiah 36:22, December is wintry in the Holy Land, cold and rainy, and on occasion snow covers the ground (see Daily Life in the Time of Jesus by Henri Daniel-Rops).
Luke, however, says that sheep were still in the open fields. This had to be BEFORE the cold winter rains and snows began to fall. The livestock had not yet been moved to shelters. Notice: “It was a custom among Jews to send out their sheep to the deserts about the Passover [early spring], and bring them home at the commencement of the first rain” (Clarke’s Commentary by Adam Clarke, vol. 3, p. 370). Clarke says the first rain commences in October or November. He adds, “As these shepherds had not yet brought home their flocks, it is a presumptive argument that October had not yet commenced, and that, consequently, our Savior was not born on the 25th of December, when no flocks were out in the fields …the [Bible says] flocks were still in the fields by night. On this very ground the nativity in December should be given up.”
Another indication that the Savior was born in the fall rather than in winter is the fact that Caesar Augustus had declared a census or tax be made of the empire, and each citizen had to report to his hometown to register, Luke 2:1-5. Ordering the people of the empire to travel great distances in the dead of winter would have surely incited a revolt, at least among the Jews in the Holy Land. No right-minded Roman emperor would have requested such a thing. He more likely would have called a census in early fall after the crops were harvested and the people had money and time to travel before bad winter weather set in.
Various prophetic Scriptures indicate that Yahshua the Messiah was born at the time of the fall Feast of Tabernacles. That may have been one reason that the inn was full when Joseph came to Bethlehem, as the city had swelled with Feast observers.
Sun (Not Son) Worship
If Christmas is not in the Bible, where did it come from? The answer is found in every encyclopedia and in many newspapers or magazines appearing around December 25. What they say about the roots of Christmas should shock every honest Bible believer into taking a serious look at the annual observance and what it REALLY celebrates.
Historians do not hide the fact that Christmas was an invention of the Roman church, designed to compete with the heathen Roman feast of Saturnalia in honor of the sun deity Mithras. Mithras bore remarkable similarity to the Biblical Messiah. The Mithraic feast, like Christmas, was celebrated to commemorate his birth.
Notice the remarkable parallels, as detailed by Joscelyn Godwin, professor at Colgate University. He writes that Mithras was “the creator and orderer of the universe, hence a manifestation of the creative Logos or Word. Seeing mankind afflicted by Ahriman, the cosmic power of darkness, he incarnated on earth. His birth on 25 December was witnessed by shepherds. After many deeds he held a last supper with his disciples and returned to heaven. At the end of the world he will come again to judge resurrected mankind and after the last battle, victorious over evil, he will lead the chosen ones through a river of fire to a blessed immortality,” Mystery Religions in the Ancient World, p. 99. Godwin remarks, “No wonder the early Christians were disturbed by a deity who bore so close a resemblance to their own, and no wonder they considered him a mockery of [the Messiah] invented by Satan.”
These two popular movements were vying for dominance in the Roman Empire – one being pagan sun worship, the other Christian. Historian and archaeologist Ernest Renan once wrote, “If Christianity had been halted in its growth by some mortal illness, the world would have been Mithraist” (Marc Aurele, p. 597). Caught in the middle were the Roman emperors, who wanted to unify and solidify their diverse empire. They didn’t need divisive religious factions. For political reasons, the Roman rulership saw great advantage in synchronizing and harmonizing these religious beliefs into one.
So today, much of what is accepted as Bible-based tradition is the direct result of compromising and mixing with heathen religion. Roman Emperor Constantine, a former pagan himself, gave the most significant push to the Christian-pagan blending of teachings like Christmas. Among other things, he would decree that worship for Christianity switch from the seventh day Sabbath to the first day of the week – Sun-day – the day superstitious heathens worshiped the sun. “On the venerable day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed” (Codex Justinianus lib. 3, tit. 12, 3; trans. in Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, Vol. 3, p. 380, note 1).
“This tendency on the part of Christians to meet Paganism half-way was very early developed,” says Alexander Hislop in The Two Babylons, p. 93. Interestingly, Hislop notes that the pagans gave up precious little of their own beliefs and practices. “And we find Tertullian, even in his day, about the year 230, bitterly lamenting the inconsistency of the disciples of [Messiah] in this respect, and contrasting it with the strict fidelity of the Pagans to their own superstition.”
Hislop quotes Tertullian, the most ancient of the Latin church fathers whose works are extant, as he decries the early church observances: “By us who are strangers to Sabbaths and new moons, and festivals, once acceptable to [Yahweh], the Saturnalia, the feasts of January, the Brumalia, and Matronalia are now frequented; gifts are carried to and fro, new year’s day presents are made with din, and sports and banquets are celebrated with uproar.”
Why a Death Celebration Honoring a Birth?
A mass is a celebration of the Eucharist or the emblems of the death of the Savior. Yet, “Christ-mass” is an observance supposedly in honor of His birth. Why? The answer is found with the secular ancients. Mithras was known as the Sun Deity. His birthday, Natalis solis invicti, means “birthday of the invincible sun.” It came on December 25, at the time of the winter solstice when the sun began its journey northward again. Pagan peoples were overly concerned with life and fertility. They saw life fading in the darkness of winter and so held festivals in honor of and to beckon back the sun to give life and light to the earth once more. The Dictionary of the Middle Ages explains how a funeral mass came to be celebrated as the supposed birthday of the Savior:
“In patristic thought [the Messiah] had traditionally been associated with light or the sun, and the cult of the Sol invictus, sanctioned as it was by the Roman emperors since the late third century, 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 …. Usually when Christians celebrated the natalis of a saint or martyr, it was his death or heavenly nativity, but in this case natalis was assigned to be [the Messiah’s]
earthly birth, in direct competition with the pagan natalis,” pp. 317-318. (That is, it was to compete with the birthday of Mithras.) So confused were some about what or whom they were worshiping that Pope Leo I (440-461) chastised Christians who on Christmas celebrated the birth of the sun deity!
The sun cult was particularly strong at Rome about the time Christmas enters the historical picture, according to the New Catholic Encyclopedia. “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,” vol. 3, p. 656.
Where did Mithraism come from, this Roman religion that venerated the sun deity and influenced Christianity so greatly? Kenneth Scott Latourette in A History of Christianity, traces Mithraism to the mystery religions of Egypt, Syria, and Persia. “Almost all the mystery cults eventually made their way to Rome,” he notes. “They were secret in many of their ceremonies and their members were under oath not to reveal their esoteric rites. Numbers of them centered about a savior-god who had died and had risen again. As the cults spread within the Empire they copied from one another in the easy-going syncretism which characterized much of the religious life of that realm and age,” pp. 24-25.
Nimrod: The Grandfather of Paganism
Clearly, Christmas as the observance of the Savior’s birth did not come into existence immediately. It was not observed for at least three centuries after His birth. But Christmas as a pagan holiday traces back thousands of years to a man named Nimrod, founder of ancient pagan Babylon. Forefather to Mithras, Nimrod began a counterfeit religion in the Book of Genesis that was to compete with the True Faith of the Bible in every conceivable way down through the centuries. The Bible refers to it as the religion of Mystery Babylon — the mother of false religion that will be destroyed when the Savior Yahshua comes to set up His throne on earth,Revelation 18. Babylon’s false worship is found today in some aspect in nearly all religions, including churchianity.
The Madonna and child theme, which is universal or evident in hundreds of religions down through the centuries, had its origin in Babylon. Nimrod was so full of evil, it is said he married his own mother, who’s name was Semiramis. Semiramis was the first deified queen of Babylon. She is also known variously as Diana, Aphrodite, Astarte, Rhea, and Venus. Her son was Tammuz, also called Bacchus, Adonis, and Osiris. He was the supposed reincarnated Nimrod. He came back to life when the dead yule log was cast into the fire and the evergreen tree appeared as the slain king-deity reborn at the winter solstice (The Two Babylons, p. 98). The similarities with Biblical elements found among pagan religions is not simply coincidence. It is the design of the Adversary to sidetrack seekers of truth into believing they are worshiping Scripturally.
According to legend when Nimrod died Semiramis, Nimrod’s mother-wife, made the proclamation that Nimrod was not just a carnal human being but was actually deity. The account states that she saw a full grown evergreen tree growing out of the roots of a dead stump. This supposedly symbolized Nimrod reborn. On the anniversary of his rebirth (the time of the winter solstice, December 25), Semiramis proclaimed that Nimrod would visit the evergreen tree and leave gifts under it. (More about the Christmas tree below under the heading: “They Worshiped Trees.”)
Saturnalia – Forerunner of Modern Christmas
Tammuz, the Babylonian sun deity, was the first counterfeit savior. Yahweh in Ezekiel 8:14-18 condemns ancient Israel for adopting worship of Tammuz, which included sun worship and the asherah (phallic symbol).
“Then he brought me to the door of the gate of Yahweh’s house which was toward the north; and behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz. Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these. And he brought me into the inner court of Yahweh’s house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of Yahweh, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of Yahweh, and their faces toward the east; and they worshiped the sun toward the east. Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch [asherah] to their nose. Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them.”
Elements of this worship are still found in today’s Christmas rites. The Romans worshiped Tammuz as the sun deity Mithras in a special observance called the Saturnalia. The Saturnalia was named for Saturn, otherwise known as Cronus. Cronus is an alias for Tammuz. His wife and mother was Rhea (Semiramis). The Saturnalia, therefore, was just another observance for Tammuz, the Babylonian, counterfeit redeemer. The Romans kept the Saturnalia in December, at the time of the winter solstice, in honor of the returning sun. The festival lasted seven days. “All classes exchanged gifts, the commonest being waxed tapers and clay dolls,” says the Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition.
Legend has it that the Saturnalia was instituted by Romulus under the name Brumalia (from bruma, rneaning winter solstice),Britannica, p. 232. “The pagan Saturnalia and Brumalia were too deeply entrenched in popular custom to be set aside by Christian influence,” notes the New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, p. 48.
And so the church established the birthday of the Savior to coincide with the heathen feast day. “…the Latin Church, supreme in power, and infallible in judgement, placed it 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).
This fact is supported by the New International Dictionary of the Christian Church, p. 223: “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 this pagan festival, spiritualized it as the Feast of the Nativity of the Sun of Righteousness.” Hislop observes, “That Christmas was originally a Pagan festival, is beyond all doubt. The time of the year, and the ceremonies with which it is still celebrated, prove its origin,” The Two Babylons, p. 93.
This blending of observances only served to confuse worshipers. By the middle of the fifth century, Pope Leo the Great rebuked his over-cautious flock for paying reverence to the Sun on the steps of St. Peter’s before turning their backs on it to worship inside the westward-facing basilica. Even some bishops, like Troy, continued to pray to the sun. He eventually went back to sun worship entirely (from The Early Church, by Henry Chadwick).
Protestants Object to Christmas
As the Roman Empire grew and as merchants traveled, the customs of Christmas spread also. Cultures in northern Europe contributed some of their own traditions, or twists on some unbiblical themes, nearly all of which had a basis in Babylonian paganism. The decorated tree, St. Nick, yule log, wreaths, cookies, berries, mistletoe, bonfires, roast goose, roast pig, wassailing, caroling, and other familiar fixtures were added or embellished for the Christmas-Saturnalia in various countries.
When the Protestant movement attempted to rid itself of the excesses and sins of Roman Catholicism, there also came an opposition to Christmas that almost obliterated it entirely in England. “In England, for example, the Puritans could not tolerate this celebrating for which there was no biblical sanction. Consequently, the Roundhead Parliament of 1643 outlawed the feasts of Christmas, Easter, Whit-suntide, along with the saints’ days,” Celebrations, p. 312.
In 1644 the English Parliament outlawed the holiday, compelling shops to be open that day and condemning plum puddings and mince pies as “heathen.” It was condemned for its pagan roots by the Baptists, the Puritans, the Quakers, the Amish, the Methodists and the Presbyterians.
The fact that Christmas was not looked upon with any kind of legitimacy in early America is evident by the fact that Congress sat in session on December 25, 1789, the country’s first Christmas under the new constitution. Christmas wasn’t declared a federal holiday until June 26, 1870.
In 1659 under Puritan influence a law was passed in Massachusetts to punish anyone who “…is found observing, by abstinence from labor, feasting, or any other way, any such days as Christmas day, shall pay for every such offense five shillings.”
For a period of 12 years the staunch Puritans kept the shackles on Christmas, making it an ordinary day of business and even a day of fasting. Yet “with the Restoration in 1660 the citizens reclaimed Christmas, but it was a different festival from what it had been. The religious aspects were often neglected, with the result that the secularization of the holiday was well under way,” ibid.
In America, strong religious antagonism to the feast of Christmas lasted from 1620 to 1750 – 130 years! In 1776 General George Washington surprise-attacked the German Hessians on December 25, winning a critical Revolutionary War battle by defeating the Christmas-celebrating, drunken German mercenaries. Obviously, Christmas was not an important celebration for the father of our country!
Henry Ward Beecher, clergyman and lecturer, wrote in 1874 of his boyhood in New England, “To me Christmas is a foreign day, and I shall die so. When I was a boy I wondered what Christmas was. I knew there was such a time, because we had an Episcopal church in our town, and I saw them dressing it 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.” Eventually the major Protestant denominations accepted Christmas, “although they reacted violently against the corruption of the Christkindl, the Christ Child, into ’Kriss Kringle,’ ” Celebrations, pp. 315-316.
Thanks for the Memories?
Can anyone who sincerely seeks to worship in purity and truth continue practicing a legacy from rank Mystery worship?
“But Christmas gives so many memories,” some may argue. “What’s so wrong with giving the children happiness and joy at this time of the year?” From a purely human standpoint, probably nothing. If Christmas existed apart from a Creator who has very clear expectations for worship, then no harm would be done to celebrate it.
Christmas, however, is a religious holiday as well as a secular observance. Its pagan rites Almighty Yahweh outright and forcefully condemns in the Scriptures. Because of that fact alone we must heed when He thunders, “Learn not the way of the heathen!”Jeremiah 10:2. Nor is it acceptable to the Father in heaven to take only what seems to be properly religious about Christmas and downplay the pagan attributes.
Those seeking True Worship cannot mix the holy with the profane. Paul writes, 14: “Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?2Corinthians 6:14. We simply cannot pretend to be worshiping in truth while partaking in pagan worship rites that the Bible condemns.
What About Ol’ Saint Nick?
Where did the jolly fat man known variously as Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle or Saint Nicholas come from? Santa as children affectionately call him derived from the Dutch figure Sinterklaas.
Sinterklaas is a traditional winter holiday figure in Aruba, Belgium, and the Netherlands. The Sinterklaas feast celebrates the birth of Saint Nicholas on December 6. He was an early Christian Bishop of Myra in Asia Minor (now Demre) who lived from 280 to 342 CE. In the 11th century, Nicholas’ bones were moved to southern Italy, an area then controlled by Spain. His fame spread throughout Europe. In the north of France he became the patron saint of school children, then mostly in church schools.
The folk feast arose during the Middle Ages. In early traditions students elected one of them as “bishop” on St. Nicholas Day, who would rule until December 28 (Innocents Day). They sometimes acted out events from the bishop’s life. As the festival moved to city streets, it became more lively.
Sinterklaas was assisted by many mischievous helpers with dark faces and colorful Moorish dresses, dating back two centuries. These helpers are called ‘Zwarte Pieten’ (Black Petes). During the Middle Ages Zwarte Piet was a name for the devil. Having triumphed over evil, it was said that on Saint Nicholas eve the devil was shackled and made his slave.
Interestingly the term “Old Nick” that was commonly used for Santa Claus has the meaning of Lucifer or Satan in old English. The World English Dictionary says: “Old Nick—a jocular name for Satan.” The Cambridge Dictionary entry says: “Old Nick—the Devil—the main evil spirit in the Christian religion.”
Numerous parallels have been drawn between Santa Claus and the figure of Odin, a major god among the Germanic peoples. Odin was sometimes recorded at the native Germanic holiday of Yule as leading a great hunting party through the sky.
Two books from Iceland—the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier sources, and the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, describe Odin as riding an eight-legged horse named Sleipnir that could leap great distances, giving rise to comparisons to Santa Claus’ reindeer. Further, Odin was referred to by many names in Skaldic poetry, some of which describe his appearance or functions. These include Síðgrani, Síðskeggr, Langbarðr (all meaning “long beard”) and Jólnir (“Yule figure”).
According to Phyllis Siefker the author of Santa Claus, Last of the Wild Men, children would place their boots filled with sugar, carrots or straw, near the chimney for Odin’s flying horse, Sleipnir, to eat. Odin would then reward those children for their kindness by replacing Sleipnir’s food with gifts or candy. This practice survived in Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands after the adoption of Christianity and became associated with Saint Nicholas as a result of the process of Christianization and can be still seen in the modern practice of the hanging of stockings at the chimney in some homes.
During the Protestant Reformation, the St. Nicholas image was nearly banished permanently to the North Pole. Taking his place was a more secular figure known as Christmas Man, Father Christmas, or Pope Noel. The Dutch clung tenaciously to St. Nick, however, and although his religious attributes died, the profane ones brought by the new Santa live on in the confused minds of youngsters everywhere.
When the Pennsylvania Dutch came to America in the eighteenth century they brought with them the custom of the Christkindl. This “Christ Child” supposedly brought gifts for children on Christmas eve, riding a mule loaded with presents. His name was changed by the English settlers to Kriss Kringle. The notion of his North Pole home was contrived through Scandinavian or Russian tales about north-dwelling wizards.
While Saint Nicholas was originally portrayed wearing bishop’s robes, the modern Santa Claus is depicted as a plump, jolly, bushy, white-bearded man wearing a red coat with white collar and cuffs, white-cuffed red trousers, and black leather belt and boots. This image became popular in the United States and Canada in the 19th century partly because of the significant influence of caricaturist and political cartoonist Thomas Nast.
When we tell our children lies about the existence of fantasies like Santa Claus, we introduce them at an early, impressionable age to the sin of deception. That is inexcusable. Not only do we mislead them into believing myths, but by doing so we also shut out the true Giver of blessings, Almighty Yahweh. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child into the way he should go,” not in the way of traditions that replace the truth. Santa is an insidious, captivating counterfeit (See Rev. 1:13-16; Dan. 7:9).
They Worshiped Trees
Space prohibits us from detailing all of the customs of Christmas and their origins in the mystery religions of ancient peoples, but the Christmas tree deserves special note because of its prominent role.
In Old Testament times an indispensable part of Baal worship involved the asherah, a sacred tree stem or pole (from which we get the May pole and totem pole). The asherah was a carryover of even more ancient tree worship. These asherah were used by the Canaanites in what the King James Version calls “groves.” Typically asherah sites included an altar and a stone pillar (a survivor of even older stone-worship).
Some historians believe asherahs were connected with phallic worship. “At first [asherah] may have been living trees (Deut. 16:21), but in later usage were wooden poles, perhaps erected to represent a tree,” Eerdman’s Bible Dictionury, p. 93. Rather than condemn and destroy this rite of Canaanite Baal worship that they found in the Promised Land, the Israelites, as was their custom, chose instead to indulge in it. And because of that Almighty Yahweh allowed Israel to be taken into captivity and nearly destroyed. Read2Kings 17:9-11.
The “green tree” is mentioned 13 times in Scripture and in every instance it is linked with idolatry! Can we find much difference between idolizing trees anciently and adoration of Christmas trees today? Notice what the prophet Jeremiah wrote in connection with tree-idol worship: “Thus says Yahweh, learn not the way of the heathen … 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 …” Jeremiah 10:2-5.
Although based in mystery worship, the modern Christmas tree traces to Europe. “…Tree worship is well attested for all the great European families of the Aryan stock. Amongst the Celts the oak-worship of the Druids is familiar to everyone. Sacred groves were common among the ancient Germans, and tree-worship is hardly extinct among their descendants at the present day” (The Golden Bough, p. 58).
The ancients were very concerned about the dead vegetation in December and the waning of the sun. Fir trees were always green, symbolic of life, and to the ancients represented immortality in a dead world. They were often set on fire to portray and beckon back the sun, hence the modern practice of stringing trees with Christmas lights and round bulbs and balls. Ultimately, the Christmas evergreen springs from that old Babylonian, Nimrod. It represents the resurrected and reincarnated man-deity. “Now the Yule Log is the dead stock of Nimrod, deified as the sun-god, but cut down by his enemies; the Christmas tree is Nimrod redivivus – the slain god come to life again,” The Two Babylons. p. 98. He was reborn as his son Tammuz.
Yule (from huel meaning wheel) was a Germanic and Celtic sunfeast in the period December-January which became absorbed into Christmas. It commemorated the turn of the sun and the lengthening of the day. The Christmas tree wasn’t found in America until 1821, brought by the Pennsylvania Germans. Christmas itself wasn’t recognized until 1836, when Alabama became the first state to make it a legal holiday.
Virtually every Christmas custom is connected with some man-made rite or heathen tradition with little to do with the Bible.
The Right Alternative: True Bible Holy Days
In the final analysis, how could Almighty Yahweh expect His people to observe Christmas, which is so thoroughly steeped in heathen ritual? He kept the month as well as the day of the Savior’s birth hidden. The answer is obvious and clear – He never wanted it to be observed! If He did, He would have told us when and how it was to be kept, just as He did for those days He commanded in His Word.
Clearly, if Christmas were commanded in the Bible, few would be observing it – as opposed to the vast millions around the world who indulge in this ritual today. That should be proof enough that Christmas is not Scriptural. What Yahweh commands, man ignores; what He prohibits, man indulges in.
Once we are enlightened to the truth of Christmas, we find the holiday not only distasteful but totally unacceptable to Yahweh. Israel was condemned for sun worship in Ezekiel 8. Similar rites based in sun and fertility worship come alive each December 25.
Now that you know the truth, you must make a decision. Do I continue keeping a nonBiblical observance that Yahweh condemns? Or do I start honoring the very days He commands in His Word for all True Worshipers?
His seven annual Feasts are found in Leviticus 23, the only “holidays” sanctioned in the Scriptures. These Feasts were kept by Israel, the patriarchs, the Messiah and His apostles, and will be kept worldwide in the coming Kingdom (see Isa. 66:2-3, Ezek. 45,Zech. 14:16-18). The choice is yours, and so is the promise of salvation for all who obey and follow the Truth.
Did you know….
Christmas tree sales in the U.S. make a huge business. Acording to the National Christmas Tree Association consumers purchased 28.2 million farm grown Christmas trees in 2009 with an average cost of $40.92 dollars a tree. The total revenue was 1.15 billion dollars. NCTA estimated that Christmas tree farms in North America planted about 41 million new tree seedlings in the winter/spring of 2010 to replace harvested crops and meet future increased demand. As a side note, it is estimated that in 2007 Americans spent $66 billion on gifts during Christmas.
Watch “Holidays or Hollow Days?” Below.
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