Printable tract now available: "Is the Savior Merry about Christmas?"
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Sometimes tradition is acceptable and perhaps even pleasing in the sight of Yahweh. But other times it is not acceptable and can even be hated by Him.
The issue of traditions transgressing the commandment of Yahweh was a key teaching of Yahushua the Messiah:
Matt 15:1 (NKJV) - Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Yahushua, saying, 2 "Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread."
I hear people ask me this, "Why do you not celebrate Christmas (transgress the traditions of our elders)?" Nowhere in the pages of scripture do we find a command to keep the celebration of Christmas. Nowhere in the pages of scripture do we find an example of any disciple keeping Christmas. It was never celebrated by believers in Messiah until sometime after 300AD. The reality is, the only time Christmas is even mentioned in the pages of scripture is to declare how wrong it is to practice something like this.
So likewise, my answer to this kind of question would be:
Matt 15:3 - He answered and said to them, "Why do you also transgress the commandment of Elohim because of your tradition?
He didn't like the traditions of the Scribes and Pharisees because they transgressed Yahweh's clear commandments. As I will share, Christmas is also transgressing the commandment of Yahweh in favor of tradition. But first, notice that He goes on to say:
Matt 15:7 - "Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: 8 `These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with [their] lips, But their heart is far from Me. 9 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.' "
So a tradition can honor him with the lips, but actually be a vain thing that displeases Him. Christmas is honoring with the lips but it is actually one of many vain traditions that have become a doctrine and commandment of men.
It is a tradition of men because there is no verse in the bible that tells us that we are to celebrate the birth nor the resurrection of Yahushua the Messiah---let alone in a way that imitates paganism and idolatry!
So yes, I do believe we must question these traditions that have been handed down to this generation even though few dare to. Many Christians speak against the Catholic traditions of Lent, Ash Wednesday, etc. but fail to recognize that the same types of pagan elements exist in the celebration of Christmas and Easter. So how did the Christmas observance get its start?
Origin of Christmas
The following is a quote from the 2000 Encyclopędia Britannica, Volume 11 ; page 390. "During the later periods of Roman history, sun worship gained in importance and ultimately led to what has been called a 'solar monotheism.' Nearly all the gods of the period were possessed of Solar qualities, and both Christ and Mithra acquired the traits of solar deities. The feast of Sol and Victus (open unconquered Sun) on December 25th was celebrated with great joy, and eventually this date was taken over by the Christians as Christmas, the birthday of Christ."
Notice how it says "both Christ and Mithra acquired the traits of solar deities?" Pardon me, but do any alarm bells go off here?
The Christians were apparently trying to get more converts so they tried to make the Messiah more like the idols found in sun worship---all under the guise of making Him more attractive to pagans.
They even brought various elements of the December 25th "feast of the unconquered sun" into their worship by saying that December 25th was actually the Messiah's birthday, which was simply not true. This is the origin of Christmas and this is why we have various pagan-rooted traditions accompanying this holiday.
When it comes to things like this, the real question for me is "who converted who?" Do we imitate the world to bring the world to the Messiah? Absolutely not. You don't win the world by imitating the world; you win the world by imitating Yahushua the Messiah!
It seems to me that true believers should be teaching the unbelievers the true way of Yahweh rather than the unbelievers teaching believers these pagan customs and practices. But these Christians not only learned these heathen ways, they also incorporated them into their worship.
When Paul was writing to the Ephesians, a group of believers who were surrounded by idol worship, he said:
Ephesians 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
So we shouldn't be trying to copy idolatrous feasts. Rather, we should be exposing them for the fraud and lie that they are. Creating a new lie by saying the the Messiah was born on Dec. 25th, the birthday of various sun gods, is preposterous. One of the last things our Savior would ever want is to "acquire the traits of solar deities."
So when was His birthday? We can learn by studying the timing of the priestly course of Zacharias (Luke 1:5), John the Baptist's father, and adding six months to that time period (Luke 1:24-26). This would place Yahushua the Messiah's birth in either the spring or fall. The scriptures do not supply us with an exact date of birth, but it certainly was not in the winter.
We know the date of His death (on Passover). Scripture does tell us the time of many other important events in biblical history such as the founding of the temple (first day of the biblical year), the timing of the Exodus from Egypt (also on Passover), the date that the flood began and many other events. But the date of the Messiah's birth? Scripture is silent.
To me this speaks volumes. Even though Yahushua could look into the future and know that there would be billions of people who wanted to celebrate His birthday, He never told us when it was. If He wanted us to celebrate His birthday, He surely would have told us when it was.
I realize that today, Christmas is a very popular holiday. However, as is often the case, what is popular is not always right and what is right is not always popular. We can't follow the masses if the masses are wrong. We should have no fellowship with those things, rather we should reprove them.
Christmas means 'mass for Christ,' but the name of the holiday is much newer than the holiday itself. The customs associated with Christmas, in one form or another, have been celebrated for literally thousands of years. 'Christmas' is just a new name for an old holiday.
So there is no doubt that the customs that are associated with Christmas, as well as the idea of a deity being born on December 25th are of pagan origin. One need only look to an encyclopedia or even many local newspapers in the 12th month of the year to find this truth so I don't need to spend much time establishing that. The real issue is whether or not we should walk in these customs.
You may wonder what is so bad about it. You may say, "Oh but what about the children? They would feel left out if I didn't celebrate Christmas." But what should we be teaching our children? Truth or lies? Conformity to the world when the world is wrong or a rejection of worldly things that are rooted in idolatry?
The truth is that the Messiah was not born on December 25th. December 25th is the birthday of numerous pagan idols. Why would we want to put the holy Son of Yahweh in with them? He is holy, which means "set apart." He is not like them at all! And He doesn't want to be associated with them or the customs of those who worship them.
In fact, the pagan customs associated with Christmas are clearly condemned in the scriptures. Here is one of them:
First of all, Yahweh is telling us in this verse "Do not learn the way of the Gentiles" Don't even learn it, let alone practice it and incorporate it into the worship of Yahweh! After all, shouldn't the roots of our worship be in the scriptures, rather than paganism?
Jeremiah 10:1-4 - Hear the word which Yahweh speaks to you, O house of Israel. 2 Thus says Yahweh: "Do not learn the way of the Gentiles; Do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven, For the Gentiles are dismayed at them. 3 For the customs of the peoples are futile; For one cuts a tree from the forest, The work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. 4 They decorate it with silver and gold; They fasten it with nails and hammers so that it will not topple.
Secondly, it says that the Gentiles were dismayed at the signs of heaven. History tells us that when the sun began to go further away from the earth and the days grew shorter in the winter, the sun worshipping Gentiles were "dismayed", and feared that the sun would not return. So they held certain festivals just after the time of the Winter Solstice when it did begin to return. This return of the sun is why December 25th is the birthday of so many solar deities/gods.
One of the customs the pagans had was to decorate a tree that they had cut down and fasten it so that would not topple. The evergreen tree seemed to not be bothered by the winter so it would have been a logical choice. We see this same copycat custom existing even today--called the Christmas tree.
Yahweh tells us not to learn the way of the heathen. And here He even goes so far as describe a custom that is a way of the heathen. Since He tells us that this is a heathen custom and He clearly condemned the practice of it, shouldn't we avoid it? How can we delight in something that He despises? The placing of gifts under the tree is much like the heathen who offered various gifts to their idols, and then kneeling before the tree to receive them back again.
Think about it though---if this had never been done before, have you ever wondered why in the world someone would do something as strange as cut down a tree and put it in their house and then decorate it with all different types of ornaments? Not only is it odd, it is a custom that is clearly condemned in the scriptures. We don't need a prophet to come and tell us today that this custom is wrong. Jeremiah said so a long time ago!
This is one of many other such customs, including the gift giving. Why on earth would we give each other gifts when it's supposed to be the Messiah's birthday? It isn't our birthday, is it?
All over the world, Santa Claus is God to the children of the world (move the n to the end of Santa). Others say 'Father Christmas'.
Parents purposely and deliberately lie to their children and tell them that they should fear Santa Claus because "he knows if you've been bad or good". These same parents also lie to their children about the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy. Then they wonder why their children become liars and don't believe the Messiah is real later on in life.
This is clearly a total abomination to Yahweh. You don't have to look very far in the word of Yahweh to find out how much he loathes idolatry and lies. Yahweh is the only true Mighty One!
Our children look to us and believe every word we say. Don't they deserve the truth? How abominable it is for a believer to teach their children to fear Santa Claus and in so doing creep an idol into the conscience of a child!
Lies, lies everything is lies
The very foundation of the Christmas holiday is a lie. The Messiah was not born December 25th. He did not ask us to celebrate his birthday. He did not say to set up a tree in our house and decorate it and our houses with anything. Santa Claus does not exist. He doesn't have reindeer that fly and he isn't going to come down anyone's chimney on December 25th and leave any gifts. Everything is a lie. Is Yahweh the originator of this holiday? Or is it the father of lies? Yahushua condemned the leaders of that generation for teaching lies:
John 8:44 - "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.
If satan is the father of lies, and this observance of Christmas is marked with all kinds of lies, who is the author of this 'holiday?' It seems to me that with all the lies and the pagan roots, satan's fingerprints are all over this observance.
It's high time that we forsake these lies and abide in the truth! Let's forsake this foolish practice of yoking the Messiah (who said "I am the TRUTH") together with lies, for He has nothing to do with lies.
Revelation 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 5 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.
If we want to practice a lie, we need only celebrate Christmas and we will be doing just that. But if we want to abide in the truth, we will avoid all lies.
The book of Revelation also predicts a future time when those who hate Yahweh rejoice at the death of His two witnesses, for they will make merry and have a gift exchange:
Revelation 11:9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.10 And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.
Sound familiar? I don't know for sure,
but it sounds a lot like one day the two witnesses will die and the whole world
will rejoice that they can keep Christmas again. I think it's time we make sure
we are on the side of truth and righteousness.
Mixed worship condemned in scripture
Not only is it wrong to practice these lying traditions, it is also a sin to take these traditions of pagans and try apply them to the worship of Yahweh. Proof of this is in how Yahweh dealt with the children of Israel when they were about to enter into the promised land:
Deut 12:29 - "When Yahweh your Elohim cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land,
30 "take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, `How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.'
Notice that it doesn't say, "Let us serve their elohim (gods)" but "HOW did these nations serve their elohim/gods"
"You shall not worship Yahweh your Elohim in that way." Do not worship Yahweh in that way, the way of the heathen! Don't take heathen customs and try to honor Him with it. He is not honored by them. Do not add to His commandments and do not take away from His commandments.
31 "You shall not worship Yahweh your Elohim in that way; for every abomination to Yahweh which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. 32 "Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.
Both Christmas and Easter take pagan festivals and traditions and apply them to the worship of Yahweh. This is clearly condemned here.
Think about it, would it be right to take a Satanic holiday that Satanists have invented and then incorporate that holiday along with its customs into the worship of Yahweh? Surely not. We need to realize that all paganism is Satanism. Satan is the one behind all pagan worship. And whatever god the idolaters worship, they are actually worshipping Satan.
1 Corinthians 10:20 - Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to Elohim, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons.
Now consider this next verse:
1Cor 10:21 - You cannot drink the cup of Yahweh and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of Yahweh's table and of the table of demons.
(Also see related study, "Should There Be Idolatry in Our Worship?")
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