Christmas


Jesus could not have been born December 25th

To prove this………………………………..


To prove by the word of God the actual birth date of Jesus. Look at the following scriptures (Luke 1:5-57, 1 Chr 24:1-19) In Luke 1:5- we see Zacharias Father of John the Baptist a priest of the course of Abia (Abjiah). In verse Verse 8 he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course (8th course). Verse 9- according to the custom of the priest’s office his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. [See Chronology birth of Jesus]


A course is a service limited to a stated series of days and a lot is the duty (job) performed during your course. In 1 Chr 24:1-19- the priesthood was divided into 24 courses or orders. There were 24 governors and 24 courses. 4 governors served each month, 1 week each, twice a year. Common misunderstanding is that the priest served 2 weeks back to back because there were 24 courses and 24 governors with 12 months in a year. But they served a week at a time.


Course (G2183-Greek Lexicon)-a service limited to a stated series of days so used of the priests and levities. The class or course itself of priests who for 1 week at a time performed the duties of the priestly office. For David divided the priests into 24 classes each of which in its turn discharged the duties of the office for an entire week from Sabbath to Sabbath.


Peloube’s bible dictionary- Pg 531 under the duties of priests/courses-the priesthood was divided by David into 24 courses or orders each of which was to serve in rotation for one week.


The priestly courses began with Solomon’s dedication of the temple during the Feast of Tabernacles [Tishri-7th month of sacred calendar for feast days] 2 Chr 5:11, 2 Chr 7:8-10, 8:14, Lev 23:39-41 [Feast of Tabernacles]. David gave Solomon the pattern of all that he had by the spirit to build the house and also for the course of the priests and levities Verse 21- the courses of the priests and levities even they shall be with thee for all the service of the house of God… *Solomon built the house for God to dwell in- tabernacle in] [See Calendar showing the feasts]


The first course starting at the dedication of the temple (Tishri-Sept/Oct). This started the order of the rotation for the priests. Tishri-Sept/Oct--course 1,2,3,4 Bul-Oct/Nov-- course 5,6,7,8 8th is Abia (Zecharias course). This would be his First ministration. The time of his Second ministration was at the end of the month Zif (Apr/May) his last service for the year. In Luke 1:23-24 Elizabeth conceived after Zacharias’ ministration ended (Sivan May/Jun) she hid herself 5 months [ Tammuz, Ab,Elul,Tishri, and Bul ] Luke 1:26-38- Holy Ghost overshadows Mary in Elizabeth’s 6th month (Chislev-Nov/Dec). Calculating from Chislev 40 weeks (average gestation period would put Jesus’s birth in Tishri (Sept/Oct) Feast of Tabernacles. [Refer to Chronology birth of Jesus]


At the time of Tabernacles, shepherds would still have been abiding in the fields; however by Dec 25 the live stock would have been moved to shelter and the shepherds would not have been living in open fields (See comments –Two Babylon by Hislop pg 91-94) It would seem more probable that the Roman government would impose taxation on the people of Israel when travel would be possible. Also Autumn would also have been a time when Mary could have undertaken the journey form Nazareth to Bethlehem. Such a journey in her condition would have been virtually impossible during the winter. Nov/Dec begins winter with snow on the mountains and lots of rain. Dec/Jan is midwinter, coldest month with rain, hail, snow on the hills, flocks leave the chill highlands for the Jordan valley. [See Calendar showing feasts and seasons]


Heb 10:1- The law is a shadow of good things to come… Just as Jesus came and died on Passover (Abib/Nisan) as the sacrificial Lamb fulfilling the type and shadow of the Lamb in Exodus. He also was born in the fullness of time [Gal 4:4-but when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth his son, made of a woman, made under the law]. Born in the Feast of Tabernacles (Tishri/Ethanim) Heb 10:4-5- ..a body thou hast prepared for me, a body prepared for Jesus to dwell in. They dwelt in booths during the Feast of Tabernacles. John 1:14- and the word was made flesh and dwelt among us….*the literal translation is “ and the word was made flesh and tabernacled among us”]. Isaiah 9: 2,3,6,7- speaking of the birth of Jesus Verse 3 –thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. [God does nothing by accident, it all has a purpose and a meaning and all in his timing]


1 Corinthians 11:24-26-we are told in these verses to remember his death, we eat the bread and drink the cup to shew forth his death till he comes. We see nothing in scripture commanding us to do anything to remember his birth.



Sources: Bible, Peloube’s bible dictionary (under the topic of duties of priests pg 531) Thayer’s Greek/English lexicon, The Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop pg 91-94, Strong’s concordance.



Tracing the Roots of Christmas


Sun Worship





No such festival as Christmas was ever heard of till the third century. Long before a festival was celebrated among the heathen at that precise time of the year during the winter solstice [the point when the sun has reached its southern most trek below the equator, where it appears to stand still for three days. After that time it begins to move back toward the northern hemisphere, gaining strength with each passing day “sun is born” or the light comes into the world or “the light of the world is at hand”] to celebrate the birth-day of the unconquerable sun. Far and wide in the realms of paganism was this birth-day observed. Since this event is seen as the reversal of the sun’s ebbing presence in the sky, concepts of the birth and rebirth of sun gods have been common and in cultures using the winter solstice. Celebrated with regard to life-death-rebirth of deities. In greek mythology the gods and goddesses met on the winter and summer solstice.


Each culture had a name for the sun god they worshipped.


Romans-Sol Invictus [unconquerable sun] Assyrians-Baal

Egyptians- Ra Greeks- Helios

Cannanites- Moloch Babylon- Shamash


Also Utu, Tammuz, Adonis, Hercules, Theseus, Altis, etc, all of whom claims were made that they were born of the union of a virgin mother and divine father.


All paganism is basically a worship of nature in some form or other. The sun being a universal deity that was worshipped. The pagan belief system encompassed every part of the follower’s daily life. Holidays were not celebrations of faith but were rituals to be performed either to appease the gods and/or to assure success for the upcoming year. The prevailing theme in all of the celebrations was the welcome of the sun and the joy in the rebirth of the world. The pagans viewed these celebrations of the return of the sun as the fact that good will prevail over evil and the sun will return to the earth.



Nimrod


Historians have traced sun worship all the way back to Babylon. Which was founded by a mighty hunter named Nimrod [Gen 10:8-9….the beginning of his kingdom was babel- confusion, Babylon, gates of god’s, 894 hebrew lexicon, 894/895 strong’s] The people exalted Nimrod as a hero and begin to worship him. When Nimrod died his wife said his spirit had gone to live in the sun. His wife Semiramis was pregnant. When the child was born, he was the son of the sun-god. He was named Tammuz. Semiramis claimed a full grown evergreen tree sprang up overnight from a dead tree stump which symbolized the springing forth unto new life of the dead Nimrod. A Yule log was burned in the fire place which represented the sun-god Nimrod and the tree represented himself resurrected as his own son Tammuz. The Yule log is the dead Nimrod, deified as the sun incarnate and hence a god, the tree is mystical Tammuz, the slain god come to life again. Almost all the pagan gods, who are nothing more than “Nimrod” reincarnated, all claim Dec 25th as their birth-day (winter solstice). The list is exhaustive.



Mitheraism


Before the time of Constantine the ancient world was a virtual melting pot of different religions and cults that existed all over the Roman empire. Christianity was only one of the several dozen foreign eastern religions struggling for recognition in Rome. But the last of the great pagan faiths that held sway before the ascendancy of Christianity was Mithraism.

The religious dualism and dogmatic moral teaching of Mithraism set it apart creating a stability previously unknown in Roman paganism. The parallels to Christianity in Mithraism have long been pointed out. Mithras was said to have been born of a virgin birth, had 12 disciples, was killed and resurrected, performed miracles, was known as a savior, called the light of the world and his birth occurred on Dec 25th. When Mithraism became the chief religion in the late Roman empire, he ( Mithras) was called sol invictus or the invincible sun.



Influence of Constantine


In the year 274 AD Aurelia declared Deus Sol Invictus the official deity of the Roman empire and set the sun’s birth-day celebration on Dec 25th. The ground work is now complete for Constantine to come on the scene.


Constantine is known as the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity. Constantine was preparing to battle Maxentius for control of the western portion of the Roman empire. Constantine was warned in a dream to make the celestial sign of God upon his soldiers shields and so to join battle. He did as he was bid and with the transverse letter X he marks Christ on their shields. The letter X was just the initial of the name of Christ, being equivalent in greek to CH. “ In this sign thou shalt be a conqueror” said to have been addressed from heaven to the emperor. The letter X not the shape of the cross was the heavenly sign. The X was not intended as the sign of the cross but as the initial of Christ’s name.


Constantine now embraced the god of the Christians, essentially legalizing Christianity. He sought to reconcile, blend, and mesh pagan practices with Christian beliefs and merge paganism with the Roman church. He issued the Edict of Milan in 313 which proclaimed religious tolerance of all religions throughout the empire and to stop the persecution of Christians. In 321 he instructed that Christians and non Christians should be united in observing the vernerable day of the sun. All evidence suggests that Constantine viewed Christ as one of the many gods and that this new Christian god could be used as a tool to solidify his power and prestige as well as bringing a total homogeneity of culture to Rome as witnessed by his calling of the council of nicea in 325. The first ecumenical council of the catholic church, which resulted in the first uniform Christian doctrine called the creed of nicea.


Pope Julius I in the fourth century commanded a committee of bishops to establish the date of the nativity of Jesus. Dec 25th was decided upon. Thus the ancient festival of the winter solstice, the pagan festival of the birth of the sun, came to be adopted by the Christian church as the nativity of Jesus and was called Christmas [Christ-mass]. By the end of the fourth century the whole Christian world was celebrating Christmas on that day.


Conclusion


All evil starts at Babylon-Mother of it all. Rev 17:5- and upon her forehead was a name written mystery Babylon the great, The mother of harlots and abominations of the earth. God warned Israel not to follow after the ways of the heathen 2 kings 17:9-12 ..and the children of Israel did secretly these things that were not right against the Lord their God and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city And they set them up images and groves in every high hill and under every green tree…burnt incense as did the heathen…served idols whereof the Lord had said unto them ye shall not do this thing. V15-16- they rejected his statues and his covenant ..they followed vanity and became vain and went after the heathen that were round about them concerning whom the Lord had charged them that they should not do like them. 2 Chr 36:14- all the chief of the priests and the people transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen and polluted the house of the lord which he had hallowed in Jerusalem. Jer 10:1-4,8- ..learn not he ways of the heathen and be not dismayed at the signs of the heaven, for the heathen are dismayed at them. 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 then fasten it with nails and with hammers that it move not. V8-but they are altogether brutish and foolish, the stock is a doctrine of vanities. Deut 12:29-30…take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them(heathen) after that they be destroyed from before thee and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying how did these nations serve their gods? Even so will I do likewise. Ezek 8:16-18- he brought me into the inner court of the Lord’s house and behold at the door of the temple of the lord between the porch and the altar were about 5 and twenty men with their backs toward the temple of the lord and their faces toward the east and they worshipped the sun toward the east. 17- 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 fill the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger and Lo they put the branch to their nose[ Hebrew lexicon-2156- vine,branch,twig,shoot, referring to the Persian custom of worshipping the rising sun holding in their left hand a bundle of twigs of the plant barsom] Abomination and paganism crept into Israel and Constantine brought it into the church. Paganism invaded the church, infiltrated it and seduced it from within. Paul warned that after his death grievous wolves would enter in among them not sparing the flock [Acts 20:28-29]. Isa 1:10-17,21-22- ..to what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? ..bring no more vain oblations..my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me, I am weary to bear them…how is the faithful city become a harlot it was full of judgement, righteousness lodged there but now murderers v22-thy silver is become dross, they wine mixed with water (doctrine no longer pure). The apostate church fornicated spiritually with the heathen pagan religions of the world. 1Cor 6:13-15-..now the body is not for fornication but for the lord, and the lord for the body..know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. When the early church departed from God and imbibed pagan errors, she became Babylon. Jer 51:6- flee out of the midst of Babylon and deliver every man his soul…Babylon hath been a golden cup in the Lord’s hand. In 1 Cor 10 Paul talks of Israel and that those are examples to us. “neither be ye idolaters as were some of them, as it is written the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication as some of them committed and fell in one day three and twenty thousand…flee from idolatry. Ye cannot drink the cup of the lord and the cup of devils, ye cannot be partakers of the lord’s table and the table of devils.


2 Cor 6:14-17… what concord hath Christ with Belial?.. what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?..wherefore come out from among them and be ye separate saith the Lord and touch not the unclean thing and I will receive you.


Works cited/Resources


Constantine I “Encyclopedia of world Biography. 2004. Encyclopedia.com 2feb 2012 http://www.encyclopedia.com

W.K.F. Browning “Mithraism” a dictionary of the bible 1997. Encyclopedia.com 2feb 2012 http://www.encyclopedia.com

Mithraic Mysteries http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/mithraism

Http://www.the mystica.com/mystica/articles/c/Christ_constantine_Sol_invictus.html 2feb2012

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/nimrod feb2 2012

Winter solstice-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/winter_ solstice 2 feb 2012

Jones A.T. ancient sun worship and its impact on Christianity. Http://temcat.com/L-1-adv-pioneer-lib/usmith/ancient sun worship.pdf

Laing, Gordon J. Sun worship, in early Christian period. Http://www.crcbermuda.com/ref/holidays-and observances/493-sunworship

The two Babylons by Alexander Hislop

Gesenius Hebrew/chaldee lexicon


Looking Further Into The Rituals of Christmas


Christmas is the most culturally pervasive and successful feast of all time. At Christmas time, the middle class living room becomes the setting for shamanic {term used for a range of beliefs and practices relating to communication with the spirit world} rituals with deep roots in ancient traditions. The Christmas feast might be the most successful example of a mass ritual that has overstepped every international, ethnic, religious, cultural, and political border. Each culture has interpreted, incorporated and applied the elements of Christmas in its own way into its own rituals and celebrations. Fir trees, mistletoes, holly, Yule log, evergreens, apples, nuts, spices. Christmas is part of the cultural heritage of the world. [6,11]


Let’s look further into the customs and traditions that are observed at Christmas time. In this section we will examine the many rituals and celebrations that go along with the Christmas season.1


1 See appendices for all numbered quotations




Christmas Tree


The Christmas tree is now a nearly universal symbol of the Christmas holiday. The tree’s roots go back to pagan times when evergreens were first used to decorate houses in midwinter and in Christian symbolism the tree, an evergreen, symbolizes immortality, since it was adorned with apples, which represented Adam’s fall in the garden of Eden. Germany can claim credit for the first Christmas tree. The earliest mention of a Christmas tree in the U.S. is found in a diary entry on Dec 20, 1821 by Pennsylvanian Matthew Zahn.[5]

Whenever we decorate the evergreen tree and make it the center of the Christmas feast we are engaging unconsciously with very ancient ideas. After all the darkness spring comes again every year. We engage with the cyclical events in which we are bound, which are reinforced in our minds each year by the recurrent Christmas ritual. We engage with times long past, when natural events that we now take for granted were holy to human beings. In the shamanic world, not only every tree, but every being was and is holy because they are all embued with the wonderful power of life. The great evergreen trees have always been considered holy. [6]

The felling of the mythical Germanic donar oak, a tree considered sacred to the pagan gods, did not merely eliminate a physical , material being, but also a spiritual culture. It was the center of life and the focal point of the chattan, the pagan Germanic ancestors of the Hessians, because it was holy to them, they fought with all their strength against the sacrilege and were convinced that the bringing down of their sacred tree meant the end of the world. When this tree was torn from their consciousness their culture broke down, no longer having roots or a trunk. Aureluis Augustinus (354-430 CE) also known as Neoplatonic church father Augustine, came to a new conclusion about the cutting of the holy tree of the heathen. He declared “do not kill the heathens- just convert them, do not cut their holy trees just consecrate them to Jesus Christ”. So it came to pass that the Christmas tree was cut down but it was also brought into the home as a christian shrine. When the church could not drive the tree cult out of the people, it dedicated the trees to the Christ child.[6]


2


2 See appendices # 5,6-these are direct quotations from the sources 4



Yule Log



Among the pagan traditions that have become part of Christmas is burning the Yule log. This custom springs from many different cultures, but in all of them its significance seems to lie in the lul or wheel of the year. The Druids would bless the log and keep it burning for 12 days during the winter solstice; part of the log was kept for the following year, when it would be used to light the new Yule log. For the Vikings, the Yule log was an integral part of their celebration of the solstice, the julfest.[10]

The Christmas tree now so common among us, was equally common in pagan Rome and pagan Egypt. In Egypt it was the palm tree, Rome the fir. The palm tree denoting the pagan messiah as Baal-tamar. The fir as Baal-berith. The mother of Adonis the sun god was said to have been changed into a tree and brought forth her divine son, recognized as the “man the branch”. This accounts for the putting of the Yule log into the fire on Christmas eve and the appearance of the Christmas tree the next morning. He has to enter the fire on “mother night” that he may be born the next day, out of it as the “branch of God” or the tree that brings divine gifts to men. The 25th of Dec the day observed at Rome, the day when the victorious god reappeared on earth, birth-day of the unconquered sun-god. But now the Yule log is the dead stock of nimrod deified as the as the son-god, but cut down by his enemies, the Christmas tree is nimrod the slain god come to life again.[7] [see previous paper on tracing the roots of xmas]




Holly




In the Roman Bacchus cult, holly was the female counterpart to the male Ivy. Doors were decorated with both during Saturnalia. The doctor of the church Quintus Tertullian forbade this practice as a heathen custom in the second century. Church authorities were helpless in the face of the ongoing popularity of the holly rituals, however and eventually reinterpreted the practice in Christian terms “in the legend every palm that greeted the savior Jesus during his entry in Jerusalem received thorns as a reminder of the ordeal that Christ was put through” thus the spiky leaves of the holly became a Christian symbol of the thorny crown and its red berries the blood of Christ. The popular holly tree tradition continues today with the holly wreaths that we hang on doors, mantles and walls at Christmas time.[6] The meaning of holly as a symbol of eternal life and wise foresight is mirrored in its English name, holly, related to the word holy. In the celtic holly day ritual, performed the night before the winter solstice, holly branches were collected and put up in the house as a protection against sorcery, lightning, and death. From this comes the term “holy day” later demoted to holiday.[6] The meaning of holly as a symbol of eternal life and wise foresight is mirrored in its English name, holly, related to the word holy. In the celtic holly day ritual, performed the night before the winter solstice, holly branches were collected and put up in the house as a protection against sorcery, lightning, and death. From this comes the term “holy day” later demoted to holiday.[6]


3

3 See appendices #10,6,7- direct quotations from sources





Mistletoe




Mistletoe is a popular Christmas decoration with a longer tradition even than the Christmas tree. It does not grow on the earth but spouts in the crown of trees. Keeps its green leaves all year long and the white berries emerge in Nov/Dec. Mistletoe was the most important magical plant of the Celtic Druids and served as a symbol for the winter solstice. The symbolism of the evergreen mistletoe which bears its fruit in winter is related to the importance of fertility in folk tradition. The familiar tradition that allows a boy to kiss a girl standing beneath the mistletoe further demonstrates the long standing association of mistletoe with fertility.[6] That romantic association was later expanded by the Norse myth about Baldur and his mother, Frigga, the goddess of love and marriage. According to legend, Frigga got all the plants and animals of the earth to promise not to harm her son-except mistletoe. Loki, the god of mischief, took that opportunity to kill Baldur with a spear made of mistletoe. In some versions of the tale, Frigga’s tears then turned into mistletoe berries, which brought Baldur back to life, prompting Frigga to declare mistletoe a symbol of love.[8] Kissing under the mistletoe is first found associated with the Greek festival of Saturnalia and later with primitive marriage rites. They probably originated from two beliefs. One belief was that it has power to bestow fertility. It was also believed it possessed life giving power.[9] The Greeks also thought it had mystical powers and down through the centuries it became associated with many folklore customs. It was gathered at both mid-summer and winter solstices, and the custom of using mistletoe to decorate houses is a survival of the Druid and other pre-christian traditions. From the earliest times mistletoe has been one of the most magical, mysterious, and sacred plants of European Folklore. [9]

4

4


See appendices # 6,8,9- direct quotations from sources




Santa Claus, St Nicolaas, Sinterklaas,

Father Christmas



Santa Claus: also known as St. Nicholas, Father Christmas and simply “Santa” is a figure with legendary, mythical, historical, and folkloric origins. The modern figure was derived from the Dutch figure of Sinterklaas, which in turn may have part of its basis in tales concerning the historical figure of gift giver Saint Nisholas.

With the influence of Germanic paganism and folklore, numerous parallels have been drawn between Santa claus and the figure of Odin, a major god amongst the Germanic peoples prior to their Christianization, there are theories regarding the pagan origin of various customs surviving in various forms into modern depiction of Santa Claus. Odin was sometimes recorded, at the native Germanic holiday of Yule, which was celebrated at the same time of year as Christmas now is, as leading a great hunting party in the sky riding his flying horse Sleipner.

Pre-modern representations of the gift-giver from church history and folklore, notably St Nicholas and Sinterklaas, merged with the British character Father Christmas to create the character known to Britons and Americans as Santa Claus.

Sinterklaas also know as De Goedheiligman (the good holy man), Sint Nicolaas or simply De Sint. He is celebrated annually on Saint Nicholas’ eve. The feast celebrates the name day of Saint Nicholas –patron saint of children, sailors, and city of Amsterdam, among others. Sint Nicholas being a bishop and this geographical spread make clear that the feast in this form has a Roman Catholic background.

A number of mid-winter or Christmas traditions in European folklore involve gift-bringers. The origin of Christian gift –bringer figures are clearly pre-christian, more specifically connected with the Yule (midwinter) festival and are associated with the figure of Odin. After Christianization the benign mid-winter gift bringer was associated with the 4th century Saint Nicholas of Myra.

Saint Nicholas also called Nikoloas of Myra, was a historic 4th century saint and Greek bishop of Myra in Lycia. Because of the many miracles attributed to his intercession, he is also called Nikolaos the wonder worker. He had a reputation for secret gift giving and became the model for Santa Claus.[1,2,3,4]

5



In the reformation in 16th-17th century Europe many protestants and others changed the gift bringer from Sinterklaas to the Christ Child or Christ Kindl (Kris Kringle) and the date for giving gifts changed from Dec 6 (Saint Nicholas’ feast day) to Christmas eve.

In the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg, Saint Nicholas is aided by helpers known as Zwarte Piet. Tradition holds that Zwarte Piet carries the book that contains notes on all children that indicate whether the child has been gook or naughty all year. In contrast Sinterklaas is an elderly, stately, serious man with white hair and long beard, wears a long red cape over a white bishop’s alb, dons a red mitre, holds a gold crosier and a long shepherd’s staff. He carries a big book that tells whether each child has been good or naughty. He traditionally rides a white gray horse.

Santa Claus lives at the north pole with eleven elves and nine flying reindeer. He makes a list of children throughout the world, categorizing them according to their behavior and delivers presents ( quick as lightning) to all the well behaved children on the night of Christmas eve.[1,2,3,4]

6


5 See appendices #1,2,3,4- all direct quotations from sources

6 See appendices # 1,2,3,4- direct quotations from sources






As we can clearly see all the rituals and customs of Christmas are purely pagan. Let’s take a look at several scriptures to finalize everything.

Jeremiah 10:2- Learn not the ways of the heathen and be not dismayed at the signs of the heaven, for the heathen are dismayed. 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 hammers that it move 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. V8- …the stock is a doctrine of vanities.

It is obvious God is speaking of what we call the Christmas tree. If God told them not to learn the way of the heathen or to observe their customs. It still applies today. God, His word, doesn’t change.

The practice of giving gifts at Christmas in the Christian culture comes from the story of the wise men that gave gifts to Jesus. It is based upon the belief that the wise men came when Jesus was born therefore bestowing birthday gifts to him. We would like to point out that the wise men were not there at the time of birth. It was two years later when they came bearing gifts.

Matthew 2:1-13- Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem (they saw the star in the east and followed it to Jerusalem). V7- Then Herod when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. V8- sent them to Bethlehem (6 miles away) and said go and search diligently for the young child and when ye have found him, bring me word again….v9- ..they departed and lo the star, which they saw in the east went before them till it came and stood over where the young child was. V11- and when they were come into the house [note it is not a stable or inn or manger- Luke 2:7..laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn] they saw the young child [calls him a young child but in Luke 2:12 called a babe- and this shall be a sign unto you, ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger] with Mary his mother and fell down and worshipped him and when they had opened their treasures they presented unto him gifts, gold, frankincense and myrrh.


V16- Herod when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth and sent forth and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem and in all the coasts thereof from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men [v7-he had enquired of them what time the star appeared-had been 2 years from that time]

So it is evident that the wise men came at a different time than the shepherds. They were not presenting gifts because it was his birthday since this was 2 years later.

We would also like to note the parallels that pagan customs have in relation to scriptures. How that Satan always tries to copy God. He has nothing originally on his own, he has to copy what God already has.

In the research of Santa Claus, notice that he comes late at night [Matt 25;6- at midnite there was a cry made, behold the bridegroom cometh..) He has a white horse [Rev 19:11- saw heaven opened and behold a white horse and he that sat upon him was called faithful and true and in righteousness he doth judge and make war] He has a staff (rod). *throughout God’s word his staff/rod is used to give authority –Ex 4:2-20- God gave Moses a rod, Num 17:5,9,10- chose Aaron’s rod+ *Ps 23:4-thy rod and thy staff they comfort me]

Santa has a book that has the deeds of the children recorded “he knows when you’ve been good or bad” * Rev 20:12- I saw the dead small and great stand before God and the books were opened and another book was opened which is the book of life and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books according to their works]

Santa appears in the weeks before Christmas at the department stores and malls. He sits on his throne to hear all the wishes (prayers) of the children.

All of the customs and rituals have been intertwined with Christianity [see our previous paper tracing the roots of Christmas]. The practice of gift giving has been easily adapted for modern consumers and welcomed by merchants and advertisers alike [they could not survive without the buying and selling that takes place during the Christmas season].

Rev 18:2- …Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen….v3- for all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. V10-11- Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city, for in one hour is thy judgement come. And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her, for no man buyeth her merchandise anymore. V15-19- The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment…… Jer 51:13—O thou that dwellest upon many waters [Rev 17:1..the judgement of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters] abundant in treasures, thine end is come and the measure of thy covetousness.

The Roman catholic church is the shell of the early church (see previous paper tracing the roots of Christmas) she was the faithful city that became a harlot. In Jer51:6- we are warned to flee out of the midst of Babylon and deliver every man his soul. As we grow in grace and in the knowledge of truth let us come out from among them and be separate, walking in the light of his word, that we may be received of the Lord.

Jude3..Earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints.



Appendices


1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/santa_claus

2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/sinterklaas

3) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/st_nicholas

4) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/gift_bringers

5) Greg Tobin-Holy Holidays, The Catholic Origins of Celebration-ISBN-978-0-230-10487-7

6) Christian Ratsch and Claudia Muller-Ebeling, Pagan Christmas 2003-ISBN-13-978-1-59477-092-0, ISBN-1-59477-092-1

7) Rev. Alexander Hislop- The two Babylon’s-ISBN- 9781456548759

8) www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2010/12/whats_t he _deal_with_mistletoe.html [by Christopher Beam Dec 14 2011]

9) www.theholidayspot.com/christmas/history/mistletoe.com


10)http://historymedren.about.com/od/dailylifesociety/a/xmas_tradition s.htm [Melissa Snell-medieval history guide and historical researcher]

11) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/shamanism