Sabbath 6/10/30/120

Dear Friends,

It is the time of year again when the nations snub their noses at the word of God and run to follow the ways of the god of this world.

Every year the churches of this world encourage the festival which is wrongly termed ‘Christmas’. The festival was practised centuries before Christ and has nothing to do with his birth. The origins of the pagan festival that it is, and the other pagan festival of the goddess Ishtar or Easter are covered in the paper The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235). The nations possessing the birthright promises given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are particularly responsible in their obligations towards God.

Christmas came from the pagan festivals and involved the Heavenly Virgin as Mother Goddess in Egypt centuries before Christ. In No. 235 above we read:
“The process … entered Christianity by means of the earlier December festival, which was originally derived from the worship of Saturn and Opis in the Saturnalia, and its association with the Heavenly Virgin or Mother goddess and her infant child.

The Gospels say nothing as to the day of Christ’s birth and the early Church did not celebrate it.

The custom of celebrating Christ’s birth began in Egypt, being derived from the Mother goddess cult there, and the Christians there celebrated it on 6 January. By the fourth century it had become generally established in the East (Frazer, v, p. 304). The Western Church had never recognised 6 January as the true date and, in time, its decision was accepted by the Eastern Church. At Antioch, this change was not introduced until about 375 CE (Frazer, ibid.).

The origin of the practice is plainly recorded by the Syrian Christians, as we see from Frazer quoting, also Credner and Momsen and Usener (v, pp. 304-305).

The reason why the fathers transferred the celebration of the sixth of January to the twenty-fifth of December was this: It was a custom of the heathen to celebrate the birthday of the Sun on the same twenty-fifth of December, at which they kindled lights in token of festivity. In these solemnities and festivities the Christians also took part. Accordingly, when the doctors of the Church perceived that the Christians had a leaning to this festival, they took counsel and resolved that the true Nativity should be solemnized on that day, and the festival of the Epiphany on the sixth of January. Accordingly, along with this custom, the practice of kindling fires till the sixth has prevailed.

Thus, the Saturnalia led up to the solstice when presents were given to children from 23 December or now Christmas Eve, on 24 December in the Gregorian calendar. The rites of the solstice then took over from the original Saturnalia, but the period then became lengthened from three to seven days to which was added the twelve days.

When we count five days from 25 December we come to 31 December from which some of the Celts and Germans begin the count. The addition of St Stephen’s Day (or Boxing Day) brings the five-day period from 27 December in line to 1 January.

The pagan origin of Christmas is also evident in Augustine, when he exhorts his brethren not to celebrate this solemn day like the heathen on account of the Sun but on account of him who made the Sun (Augustine Serm., cxc, 1; in Migne Patriologia Latina, xxxviii, 1007). Leo, called the Great, likewise rebuked the pestilent belief that Christmas was solemnised because of the birth of the new Sun, and not because of the nativity of Christ (Frazer, ibid.; cf. Leo the Great Serm., xxii (al xxi) 6 and Migne, liv, 198).

However, by then, it was a hopeless cause. The entire system was endemic to Christianity and the Mother goddess cult was entrenched.

Frazer says:

Thus it appears that the Christian Church chose to celebrate the birthday of its Founder on the twenty-fifth of December in order to transfer the devotion of the heathen from the Sun to him who was called the Sun of Righteousness (p. 305).

There was a theory put forward by one Mgr Duchesne that 25 December arose from the conformity with the equinox on 25 Marc, and this was the day on which Christ was killed, and also on which his mother conceived. This digs an even deeper pit because 25 March was indeed initially adopted in Africa and elsewhere as the date of the crucifixion. However, it was on a Sunday in the only year that 14 Nisan could have fallen on 25 March. It is thus destructive to the theory. Moreover, 25 March is associated with the festival of the god Attis, as Frazer notes in his footnote to page 305.”

So who cares? We attribute Christian themes to the festival now and it is so good for the children. It would be cruel for them to miss out on the festival, wouldn’t it?

That is not what God says. God spoke though the prophet Jeremiah to the House of Israel. He commanded the House of Israel – and that covers every person who claims to be a Christian, as they are members of Spiritual Israel – not to engage in that activity. Jeremiah lived many centuries before Christ and they were practicing this festival then and God forbade it.

Jeremiah 10: [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. [17] Gather up your bundle from the ground, O you who dwell under siege! [18] For thus says the LORD: "Behold, I am slinging out the inhabitants of the land at this time, and I will bring distress on them, that they may feel it." [19] Woe is me because of my hurt! My wound is grievous. But I said, "Truly this is an affliction, and I must bear it." [20] My tent is destroyed, and all my cords are broken; my children have gone from me, and they are not; there is no one to spread my tent again, and to set up my curtains. [21] For the shepherds are stupid, and do not inquire of the LORD; therefore they have not prospered, and all their flock is scattered. [22] Hark, a rumour! Behold, it comes! -- a great commotion out of the north country to make the cities of Judah a desolation, a lair of jackals. [23] I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps. [24] Correct me, O LORD, but in just measure; not in thy anger, lest thou bring me to nothing. [25] Pour out thy wrath upon the nations that know thee not, and upon the peoples that call not on thy name; for they have devoured Jacob; they have devoured him and consumed him, and have laid waste his habitation (emphasis added).

Fairly simple and straightforward one would have thought. God said not to do it and the priests are directly charged with ensuring it is not done. Judah was sent into captivity because of it and the nations were punished also for what they had done.

The time of the god of this world is nearing its end. Soon his systems of worship and his priests will be removed. By 2027 there will be none of his system on the planet and the priests will be all dead or earning a living doing other things, after repentance.

In a very short time there will be two men who will stand in Jerusalem and restore the nexus of the Law. Those who ignore the word of God and keep these festivals of Christmas and Easter will be punished – and it will be obvious they are being punished. People and nations will try to kill the Witnesses of God but will not succeed for the 1260 days they prophesy clothed in sackcloth (Rev. 11:3).

As they try to hurt the Witnesses so they themselves will be hurt (Rev. 11:4-5; see the paper The Witnesses (No. 135)).

These men will have power to shut the heavens so that there is no rain over the period of their mission, and they have the power to smite the Earth will every sort of plague as often as they desire to enforce the Laws of God (Rev. 11:6).

Each person keeping the pagan festivals of Christmas and Easter will receive no rain in due season and suffer the plagues of Egypt. The nations that permit it will suffer generally. Those who do not keep the festivals of God as laid down in the Law of God will suffer.

The Witnesses will finally be overcome by the Beast. The two Witnesses will lie in the streets for three-and-one-half days and they will not be allowed to be buried as they are prophesied to rise again from the dead at the end of the period. That is the final proof of their witness. Thus their bodies will be left on public display where they fell. When this happens the nations will exchange gifts as a sign of the things they were punished for. They will be again able to receive rain from the god of this world. They will think they have been successful.

At the end of the three-and-a-half days (Rev. 11:9-13), the Witnesses will be resurrected and rise into the air, and the conversion of Judah and many of the nations will be effected. From that time onward any person celebrating Christmas and Easter and not keeping the Feasts of God will starve and die, as a consequence of their idolatry.

The Church will be resurrected and they will enforce the Feasts of the Lord, namely the Sabbaths, New Moons, Passover and Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, Trumpets, Atonement and Tabernacles with the Last Great Day. The resurrected saints of the Church will all have these powers of Elijah from then on and will enforce the Feasts of God. They will do what the Witnesses did in enforcing no rain in due season and inflicting the plagues of Egypt on the disobedient (Zech. 14:16-21). The nations then will all send their representatives to Jerusalem each year after they have been broken at Megiddo.

The message will be simple. Repent or die! The Church will enforce God’s Laws and the saints will explain it to all men plainly and simply and there will be no excuse. The troubles in drought and pestilence and disease will increase now until the Witnesses arrive and enforce the nexus of the Laws of God.

Wade Cox
Coordinator General