Christmas —”Do Not Do It and Do Not Say You Are Doing it for Me!”
Christmas is considered one of the holiest if not the holiest day in the Christian calendar of the western Church. Many Christians around the world celebrated the birth of Christ on Christmas Day, the 25 of December. While Christmas is believed to be the day of the birth of Christ, there are strong arguments in the Scripture that this is not the case. Christmas Day is a public holiday in many nations that is celebrated religiously by many Christians and culturally by many non-Christians alike. The Christmas season is also the busiest commercial season for retailers in the western world.
However, the 25th of December is a day claimed not only by the Christians but historically by the pagans, as well, although they do not call it by the same name. The reason being is that indeed the 25th of December was and still has its roots in paganism. The 25th of December is known among the pagans as the day of “Conquering Sun”, in the season of the winter solstice. It is the object of this work to seek the truth of Christmas, as we will address it in due course and offer the conclusion for the reader’s consideration. We do not ask the reader to substitute our judgment for his/her own but to consider what we intend to say in the following.
The 22nd of December is the day of the winter solstice when the sun is at its southernmost point (for the northern hemisphere). For three days, from the 22nd to the 24th of December, the nights remain the shortest of the year, and the day is not increased. For three days it is as if the sun is standing still, hence “the standing sun”, or “winter solstice” in Latin. On the 25th of December, however, something remarkable happens in the eyes of the pagans. On the 25th of December, the day begins to increase, and the night begins to decrease. For the pagans that was a good reason to celebrate it and they still celebrate it as a festival dedicated to “the Conquering Sun”, because on that day the sun (worshiped as an idol) begins to conquer the darkness of the night.
The question that is almost forced upon us is: “How did “the Conquering Sun” celebration begin?
Stonehenge: the earliest pagan festival
For more than 4,000 years, Stonehenge has stood like a Neolithic sundial, marking the longest and the shortest day of the year taking aim at the sun. Every year, people flock to the ancient monument in Wiltshire, England, to watch the sunrise during the winter solstice, when the structure is directly aligned toward the sun. For thousands of years the pagans were building structures to serve as a sundial to track the sun’s positions. The solstices were the most notable days in their calendars. Stonehenge is one of the largest and most famous structure used to mark the summer and winter solstices by aligning toward sunrise on the summer solstice (22 June) and on the winter solstice (22 December).
When Rome created the Christianity religion, the Catholic Church due to its ignorance of the Scripture did not know when Christ was born and incorporated the day of “the Conquering Sun”, the holiday of the pagan Romans, as “Christmas” (Old English Crīstes mæsse) and thus 25th of December became an official holiday of the new church. Sadly, to say this origin of Christmas is unknown to many Christians today. For more information on how the pagan practices have entered the Christianity, the present author recommends the book “Two Babylons” by Reverend Alexander Hislop.
In his book, Reverend Alexander Hislop has clearly shown the pagan origin of Christmas disguised in a garment of Christianity. Concerning the Christmas festival Hislop writes:
The Christmas was originally a pagan festival is beyond all doubt. The time of the year, the ceremonies with which it is celebrated, prove its origin. In Egypt, the son of Isis, the Egyptian title for the queen of heaven, was born at this very time, about the time of the winter solstice. The very name by which Christmas is popularly known among us, Yule Day, proves at once its pagan and Babylonian origin. “Yule” is the Chaldee name for “infant,” or “little child”. And as the 25th of December was called by our pagan Anglo-Saxon ancestors “Yule-day” or “the child’s day”, and the night that preceded it, “Mother night”, long before they came in contact with Christianity, that sufficiently proves its real character. Far and wide in the realms of paganism was this birthday observed. (The Two Babylons, Alexander Hislop, p. 93)
The Christian “Church Father” Tertullian furthermore wrote:
“By us [Gentile Christians] who are strangers to [Jewish] Sabbaths, and new moons, and festivals, once acceptable to God, the Saturnalia, the feasts of January, the Brumalia, and Matronalia are now frequented, with gifts being carried to and fro.”
Since then, “Christmas” appears on the Christian calendar when (about 450 C.E.) Pope Julius decreed that all Catholics must celebrate the birthday of Christ at the same time when the heathen were celebrating the Saturnalia (the orgiastic festival in ancient Rome in honor of Saturn with wild gatherings involving excessive drinking and promiscuity).
Christmas is not a festival of the Creator
One thing is certain: Christmas as a holiday cannot be found among the appointed times of YHVH in Leviticus 23, nor is there any evidence that the early believers in Yeshua the Messiah had ever celebrated his birthday, or even worse, the 25th of December. Yet, we can recognize in the Tanach (the Hebrew Scripture) a pagan Christmas-like practice which, unfortunately, were adopted by the ancient Israelites. The Almighty was angry with them, as we read from the Book of Jeremiah. In the words of YHVH,
Do not learn the way of the nations and do not be awed by the signs of the heavens, for the nations are awed by them. For the customs of these peoples are vanity, for one cuts a tree from the forest, work for the hands of a craftsman with a cutting tool. They beautify it with silver and gold, they strengthen it with nails and hammers so that it does not topple. They are like an upright palm tree, and they do not speak. They have to be carried, because they do not walk. (Jer 10:2-5)
Does this sound familiar?
What do we see here? One goes in the woods and cuts a tree with an axe, or a chain saw. Then he drags it to his house and at a specially designated place in the room he places it firmly secured in a strong base so that it will not topple. After the tree is such secured upright to look like a pillar, he starts decorating with shiny ornaments resembling silver and gold, in vain customs he does it, so that it will look beautiful.
Or another story, this time in the Book of Isaiah,
The craftsman in iron with the tools works one in the coals, and fashions it with hammers, and works it with the strength of his arms, even so, he shall be hungry, and has no strength, he drinks no water and is weary. The carpenter stretches out his rule, he outlines it with chalk; he fashions it with a plane, and he outlines it with the compass, and makes it like the figure of a man, according to the comeliness of a man, to remain in the house. He cuts down cedars for himself, and takes cypress and oak, which he raised among the trees of the forest. He has planted a pine, and the rain nourishes it. And it shall be for a man to burn, for he takes some of it and warms himself. He also kindles it and shall bake bread. He also makes a god and bows himself to it – has made it a carved image and falls down before it. Half of it he shall burn in the fire; with this half he eats meat. He roasts a roast and is satisfied. He also warms himself and says, “Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire.” And the rest of it he makes into a mighty one, his carved image. He falls down before it and worships, prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god.” (Isa 44:12-17)
A smith has sharpened his chisel to cut the iron. He works with red-hot coals making the iron red-hot by blowing the fire and this he shapes with hammers. He works very hard with the strength of his arms and although he is hungry and thirsty, he is entirely devoted to the piece of iron which he has shaped as an idol. And of a carpenter. He cuts down a choice cedar, cypress, or oak for himself from the trees of the forest and brings it home. He stretches the line upon the block of wood to measure the length and breadth of the figure of man with planes and with the compasses in order that the different parts of the body may be in right proportion. He constructs it in such a manner that it gradually acquires the shape of a man. When he is finished, he sets it up like a human-god at a specially designated place, in either a house of worship or his private house to bow down and worship it. The rest of the tree, he burns to warm himself and cook his meal. And when he is satisfied, he feels good. Now, the questions present themselves:
– What is this tree and for what special occasion has the craftsman done it?
– What is the man-like idol of metal or wood the craftsman has made to fall down before it and worship it?
What the Highest is saying can be summarized in this: “Do not make your places of worship, do not make your idols placed by the side of Me to worship, and do not say you are doing it for Me”. For it has already been said,
You shall not make with Me gods of silver, neither shall you make to you gods of gold. (Exo 20:23)
Completely destroy all the places where the nations which you are dispossessing served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. And you shall break down their altars, and smash their pillars, and burn their groves with fire. And you shall cut down the carved images of their gods and shall destroy their name out of that place. Do not do so to Yehovah your Elohim, (Deu 12:2-4)
That is not to say, though, that the Scripture is silent on the matter of the birthday of the Messiah. For further knowledge on the matter, the reader may do well to read what we have written in our commentary on the birth of Yeshua Mashiach in Chapter Astronomical Evidence of Yeshua’s Birth from the book The Reckoning of Time of Time of Reckoning Ministry.
Knowledge known to only a few will die out. If you feel blessed by these teachings of Time of Reckoning Ministry, help spread the word!
May we merit seeing the coming of our Mashiach speedily in our days!
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