In eight days time we will go through the festival of so-called “Christmas.” We are continually amazed at the uninformed comments by otherwise well educated people concerning this festival. Many people are not really aware that the festival has nothing to do with Jesus Christ. He was not born at that time of the year. The shepherds would not have been in the fields then and the times that his mother Mariam could have been pregnant calculated for the vision to Elisabeth and Zechariah, from the periods of duty of the Eighth Division of Abijah, make it impossible that Christ could have been born then.
We are often bemused to see people of the Church of England advocating the festival as though it was an article of the faith. The history of the festival is contained in the work Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235).
Christmas did not enter Christianity until the fifth century in Syria, from the mystery cults there, and not until the sixth century generally. It is of a totally heathen origin stemming from the birth of the invincible sun and the mother goddess cults in Egypt.
The festival was resisted by Bible literate people generally and was never kept wherever they had sway.
Christmas only came to Britain from 597 after the Roman Catholics entered with Augustine of Canterbury through the wife of the Angle king. The Angles were “baptised” (i. e. sprinkled with water) at the pagan midwinter fires. The Celtic Christian Church there was forced, from the synod at Hilda’s Abbey at Whitby in 664, to adopt the festivals of Easter and Sunday Worship; and the food laws and the Sabbatarian Quartodeciman faith was forced underground.
At the Reformation in England, one of the first actions of the Reformation both through the Crown and the ecclesiastical domain was to prohibit the so-called “Christmas” festival. It was only on the death of Henry VIII and the ascending of the Roman Catholic Mary Tudor that Christmas was reinstated. Edward probably would have proscribed it again but his early death prevented any such move and Elizabeth I did not do so. It was left to the Commonwealth under Cromwell to again prohibit the festival and again for religious reasons. When the Stuarts were appointed to the throne of England the festival was reinstated to appease the Roman Catholic minority in England. Since that time it has existed, becoming more commercialised each year, and more unbiblical tradition is added to it with the passing years.
What does God say about this festival? God says through the prophet Jeremiah:
1 Hear the word which the LORD speaks to you, O house of Israel. 2 Thus says the LORD: “Learn not the way of the nations, nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens because the nations are dismayed at them, 3 for the customs of the peoples are false. A tree from the forest is cut down, and worked with an axe by the hands of a craftsman. 4 Men deck it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so that it cannot move. 5 Their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field, and they cannot speak; they have to be carried, for they cannot walk. Be not afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, neither is it in them to do good.” 6 There is none like thee, O LORD; thou art great, and thy name is great in might. 7 Who would not fear thee, O King of the nations? For this is thy due; for among all the wise ones of the nations and in all their kingdoms there is none like thee. 8 They are both stupid and foolish; the instruction of idols is but wood! 9 Beaten silver is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz. They are the work of the craftsman and of the hands of the goldsmith; their clothing is violet and purple; they are all the work of skilled men. 10 But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God and the everlasting King. At his wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot endure his indignation. 11 Thus shall you say to them: “The gods who did not make the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under the heavens.” 12 It is he who made the earth by his power, who established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding stretched out the heavens. 13 When he utters his voice there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, and he makes the mist rise from the ends of the earth. He makes lightnings for the rain, and he brings forth the wind from his storehouses. 14 Every man is stupid and without knowledge; every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols; for his images are false, and there is no breath in them. 15 They are worthless, a work of delusion; at the time of their punishment they shall perish. 16 Not like these is he who is the portion of Jacob, for he is the one who formed all things, and Israel is the tribe of his inheritance; the LORD of hosts is his name (RSV)
This word of the Living God is so clear and so directed at this festival that only the wilfully ignorant are not impelled by it. This false custom of the people was being kept in Judah when they went into captivity, and God told them he was going to send them into captivity. They did not listen then and they do not listen now. Only in England during the Reformation were they able to prohibit this festival, and it was accounted to them as righteousness.
Hear the word of the Lord. These gods will perish from the face of the earth, at the time of their punishment they will perish and will be brought to mind no more. We will do it the easy way or we will do it the hard way. The choice is ours. However, we will do it and purge these idols from our midst, or we will be delivered into the hands of a nation of a strange tongue we do not understand and they will be given a heart of stone to deal with us. We will be purged with hyssop under captivity.
This heathen festival is entrenched in our midst. Even when confronted with the heathen origins of the festivals and the biblical and historical evidence, most then try to rationalise it on the grounds that it is allegedly good for the family or it is good for the kids. It is not good for the family, and it is not good for the children to weave lies and vanities, and the Living God has forbidden it. What is most fascinating is that people who are actually atheist cling to this ritual against those who are actually Bible believing Christians in a vain attempt to accuse the faith.
We were told recently that it is a “spiritual” event. Indeed it is and that is why we will not keep it. It is the active worship of false gods and is prohibited to all true Christians, to Jews and to Muslims alike.
Many Christian denominations ban this festival, even some of those that are Trinitarian and understand virtually nothing else. One of the larger denominations in the US wrote to us and asked us for permission to print the paper Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235) and to distribute it as far as possible. We agreed provided they left it as it was. A Methodist group in the US also reportedly banned the festival on study of the paper.
One of the characteristics of the pseudo-righteous is to adopt the false festivals that have adopted pseudo-Christian trappings and claim them as requirements of the faith and attack anything required in the Bible text as Jewish. These people are even supported by Rabbinical Jews who actually hate biblical Christianity. The Jewish groups promote the fallacy of the Noahide laws in an attempt to deny genuine Christianity the right to the Sabbaths and the festivals and New Moons of God.
Over this next few weeks please make an effort to get the message about Christmas as far and wide as possible.
Please have the message translated into as many languages as possible. We ask the East African churches to have the paper in KiSwahili distributed to all the brethren there who do not have access to the English versions due to language limitations.
We have sent some of the ministry from Kenya to the Lake Victoria regions in Tanzania to help in consolidating the churches there in northern Tanzania. Fortunately many of the brethren there are Sabbath-keepers by birth and have not kept this festival, but a number are new to the Sabbath and come from backgrounds that do not fully understand the unbiblical nature of this festival.
Please try to make sure that whoever wants to study these
aspects is able to do so by having the work available to them.
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