Christmas

When I was about 5 or 6 years old, I asked my grandma why we give each other presents on Jesus' birthday, but on my birthday I'm the only one who gets presents. She said that it was because Jesus is so special. I went about my way, but that answer never satisfied me. Of course I understand that Jesus is much more special than I am, but that didn't really answer the question.

Later, when I was in high school, my dad told me that Jesus couldn't have been born in December because there is no way the shepherds would be out in the fields at night with their sheep at that time of year. I guess it didn't really bother me too much. I figured it didn't really matter when we celebrated His birth as long as we did celebrate it.

But, if you think about that for a minute.... What if your spouse said to you, "I know your birthday is in September, but my last spouse's birthday was in December and we always had a big party. I am really used to having a big celebration in December, so we are going to just celebrate your birthday in December from now on. Don't worry. It will be all about you now. It won't be about my former spouse anymore. It's all you now." How would that go over? I know I wouldn't like it!! But that is in essence what we have done with Jesus and His birthday.

The following is an exert taken from a study that had a much bigger goal than to just talk about Christmas. If it seems choppy in places that is why. There are many more things that can be said about Christmas and the origins of all the traditions. This is talking mainly about the first mention of it in the Bible. Please read all of the scripture verses mentioned so that you can get the big picture.

This was written by Kevin Cornette. If you would like to use any of the following information, the only thing I ask is that you please give him credit for it.

Grace and peace,
Renee'

The Deception of Christmas



            As Israel is encamped in the plains of Moab, Balak attempts to hire Balaam the prophet to come and prophecy against the nation so he will be able to defeat them.  Balaam is unable to curse Israel and instead proclaims blessing on them. When he is unable to curse them, Balaam gives a plan to Balak to deceive (Numbers 31:16, Jude 11, Revelation 2:14 and 2 Peter 2:15) the children of Israel. He convinces Balak to entice Israel to worship the Sun God that the Moabites worship, and to celebrate in their drunken orgies. 

            To fully comprehend the activities and timing of these atrocities, one must understand who Baal-Peor is. While Baal-Peor could be rendered ‘the Dark Lord of the Gap’, this title figuratively points to Baal-Peor really being ‘the Dark Lord of the Evergreens’, for it is at these ‘gaps’ at the ridges of mountains (Jeremiah 17:2) where the groves of evergreens were found (when the KJV refers to ‘high places’, it is referring to these groves).  The evergreen is a pagan symbol of the sun god and reference to these places of worship is found throughout the Bible (look up ‘groves’).  Under these evergreens--Isaiah 57:5 talks about the orgies that were held under the evergreens.-- (which are actually a phallic symbol), pagans to this day celebrate the birth of the sun god during a week long celebration each winter from December 25th through 31st .  The more stringent pagans shift the celebration back 4 days to the winter solstice and include January 1 to have a 12 day celebration – from which we derive the 12 days of Christmas.  Much of our Christmas tradition is taken from these pagan rites (the evergreen, the lights, the yule log, father time, the baby new year, exchanging gifts, mistletoe, the party atmosphere, rising early in the morning, the hanging of the greens, decorating with shiny globes, lighting candles, ‘Father Christmas’, going door to door singing songs, the ringing of bells, ‘The Twelve days’, sending fruitcake, images of the Goddess of fertility with her holy child the sun god, etc).  While this may come as a disturbing revelation, it is a fact that the reason we celebrate the birth of Jesus during this time is because Constantine declared December 25th the birthday of Christ to appease the pagan priesthood and allow them to keep their holidays after he declared everyone who lived in Rome to be ‘Christian’.  Whenever Christians say “Let’s get back to the reason for the season”, the pagans laugh to scorn.  They love to point out the fact the original reason for the season was to participate in drunken lust filled orgies to satisfy every desire in celebration of the birth of the sun god.  For more information on the pagan origins of Christmas, study Saturnalia.  

            God has commanded Israel to keep their months according to a lunar cycle, and to ignore the pagan calendar that is based on the solar cycle.  Each month is to start with a new moon.  This was yet another way God’s people were distinguished from the other nations.  His people were to be peculiar treasure (Ex. 19:5, Deut. 14:2, 26:18, Ps. 135:4) and different from all the other people.  Balaam knew that the only way for Balak to be successful would be to have the Israelites abandon their unique place of separation to God and become like the nations that were surrounding them.  The quickest way to accomplish this was through deception and enticement to worship the god of the sun (who is the supreme diety in paganism). So what the Bible is portraying here is the fact that the people of God were deceived into submitting to this paganism and joining in their ‘New Year’ rites. 

            During this New Year celebration, many Israelites (about 23,000 ‘average’ people and about 1,000 leaders – compare Numbers 25:9 to I Corinthians 10:8) went up to the groves and joined in the new year orgies.  God was angry with this and commanded that the leaders be crucified to the rising of the sun on Christmas day. The others be executed by the Judges. Hebrew for ‘heads’ is ‘rosh’, which is the same word used in ‘Rosh Hashannah’ which is the Jewish New Year.  These ‘heads’ (or Rosh) of the nation were taken and crucified for their keeping of the pagan ‘head of the year’ (or Rosh).

Throughout the world, pagans celebrate this day as the day of the birth of the sun god.  It is New Year’s Day for pagans everywhere and is the time set aside to observe his ‘birth’.  The phrase “hang them up before the LORD against the sun” would be better translated ‘crucify them at sunrise before the face of the LORD’, showing God’s disdain for paganism in general and sun worship in specificity.  Here, God is actually mocking paganism by having the heads (literally “Roshim”) of the nation crucified on the false New Year’s Day (which is Rosh – “the head”) at the rising of the sun.

God hates this celebration so much that He later instructs Israel in this way:

               2Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed

            at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. 3For 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. 4They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it

            with nails and with hammers, that it move not. 5They are upright as the palm tree,

            but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of

            them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.

                                                                        Jeremiah 10:2-5


            The word translated “way” in verse 2 is ‘derek’, which means ‘lifestyle’.  The word translated “customs” in verse 3 is the Hebrew word ‘chaggah’, which means ‘festivals’ or ‘feast cycles’.  “Signs of heaven” literally means ‘astrological times’.  So what Jeremiah, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, was saying is this:  ‘Do learn the lifestyle of the people who have no covenant, and do not be amazed by their astrology. Because the festivals of these people are empty…”


There is a minor holy day in ancient Israel called “The Day of Implantation” when the High Priest would send out his representative to sow a virgin field with the seed of the First Fruits offering of the barley harvest on the Feast of First Fruits on the Sabbath that followed the Passover.  According to the Talmud (Mishnah, Menach. Viii. 1,2), exactly 70 days before the Passover, two priests would be sent forth to sow the seed for the harvest in a field that hasn’t been plowed or dunged (Mishnah, Menahot viii. 2), and one priest would do the actual sowing while the other priest stood as an observer and to announce to the field (and those who would follow the priests out) that it has been chosen as a holy field set apart to God.
            If Jesus were born on the first day of Tabernacles in 2 BC (the evidences for this will be covered later), and Mary had a perfect pregnancy, this would be the very day that Mary was impregnated with the seed of God.  One Priest, the Holy Spirit, came to sow the seed in a virgin field that had never been plowed.  Another priest, Gabriel, came to announce to Mary that she had been chosen as a holy vessel to bring forth the Messiah!  Then, 267 days later (which is the perfect time of human gestation), Mary gives birth to Jesus who is the First Fruits born from spiritual death (I Corinthians 15:20,23; Romans 8:29; Colossians 1:18) on the First day of Sukkot (Tabernacles).

 

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