THE ORIGIN OF CHRISTMAS

Christmas is a holiday shared and celebrated by many religions.

It is a day that has an effect on the entire world.

To many people, it is a favorite time of the year involving gift giving, parties and feasting. Christmas is a holiday that unifies almost all of professing Christendom.

The spirit of Christmas causes people to decorate their homes and churches, cut down trees and bring them into their homes, decking them with silver and gold.

In the light of that tree, families make merry and give gifts one to another.

When the sun goes down on December 24th, and darkness covers the land, families and churches prepare for participation in customs such as burning the yule log, singing around the decorated tree, kissing under the mistletoe and holly, and attending a late night service or midnight mass.

What is the meaning of Christmas? Where did the customs and traditions originate?

You, as a Christian, would want to worship the Lord in Spirit and in truth, discerning good from evil.

The truth is that all of the customs of Christmas pre-date the birth of Jesus Christ, and a study of this would reveal that Christmas in our day is a collection of traditions and practices taken from many cultures and nations.

The date of December 25th comes from Rome and was a celebration of the Italic god, Saturn, and the rebirth of the sun god.

This was done long before the birth of Jesus.

It was noted by the pre-Christian Romans and other pagans, that daylight began to increase after December 22nd, when they assumed that the sun god died.

These ancients believed that the sun god rose from the dead three days later as the new-born and venerable sun.

Thus, they figured that to be the reason for increasing daylight.

This was a cause for much wild excitement and celebration. Gift giving and merriment filled the temples of ancient Rome, as sacred priests of Saturn, called dendrophori, carried wreaths of evergreen boughs in procession.

In Germany, the evergreen tree was used in worship and celebration of the yule god, also in observance of the resurrected sun god.

The evergreen tree was a symbol of the essence of life and was regarded as a phallic symbol in fertility worship.

Witches and other pagans regarded the red holly as a symbol of the menstrual blood of the queen of heaven, also known as Diana.

The holly wood was used by witches to make wands.

The white berries of mistletoe were believed by pagans to represent droplets of the semen of the sun god.

Both holly and mistletoe were hung in doorways of temples and homes to invoke powers of fertility in those who stood beneath and kissed, causing the spirits of the god and goddess to enter them.

These customs transcended the borders of Rome and Germany to the far reaches of the known world.

The question now arises: How did all of these customs find their way into contemporary Christianity, ranging from Catholicism to Protestantism to fundamentalist churches?

The word “Christmas”itself reveals who married paganism to Christianity.

The word “Christmas” is a combination of the words “Christ” and “Mass.

The word “Mass” means death and was coined originally by the Roman Catholic Church, and belongs exclusively to the church of Rome.

The ritual of the Mass involves the death of Christ, and the distribution of the “Host”, a word taken from the Latin word “hostiall” meaning victim!

In short, Christmas is strictly a Roman Catholic word.

A simple study of the tactics of the Romish Church reveals that in every case, the church absorbed the customs, traditions and general paganism of every tribe, culture and nation in their efforts to increase the number of people under their control.

In short, the Romish church told all of these pagan cultures, “Bring your gods, goddesses, rituals and rites, and we will assign Christian sounding titles and names to them.

When Martin Luther started the reformation on October 31st, 1517, and other reformers followed his lead, all of them took with them the paganism that was so firmly imbedded in Rome.

These reformers left Christmas intact.

In England, as the authorized Bible became available to the common people by the decree of King James the II in 1611, people began to discover the pagan roots of Christmas, which are clearly revealed in Scripture.

The Puritans in England, and later in Massachusetts Colony, outlawed this holiday as witchcraft.

Near the end of the nineteenth century, when other Bible versions began to appear, there was a revival of the celebration of Christmas.

We are now seeing ever-increasing celebrating of Christmas or Yule, its true name, as we draw closer to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ!

In both witchcraft circles and contemporary Christian churches, the same things are going on.

As the Bible clearly states in Jeremiah 10:2-4, “Thus 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. 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 with hammers that it move not.”

So, what is wrong with Christmas?

1. To say that Jesus was born on December 25th is a lie! The true date is sometime in September according to the Scriptures.

2. Trees, wreaths, holly, mistletoe and the like are strictly forbidden as pagan and heathen! To say that these are Christian or that they can be made Christian is a lie!

3. The Lord never spoke of commemorating his birth but rather commanded us to remember the sacrifice of His suffering and death, which purchased our salvation.

Think about it! Can we worship and honor God by involving ourselves with customs and traditions, which God Himself forbade as idolatry? Can we convince God to somehow “Christianize” these customs and the whole pretense and lie of Christmas, so we can enjoy ourselves? Can we obey through disobedience?

So what is right about Christmas? 1. Nothing!
For more information and documentation contact:

Last Trumpet Ministries International
PO Box 806
Beaver Dam, WI 53916

http://www.lasttrumpetministries.org/tracts/tract3.html

IS CREMATION BIBLICAL?

Cremation
Is It Christian Or Pagan?

In recent months, a number of people have asked me if cremation is Scriptural and acceptable to God. It is a subject that most people would rather avoid, but in recent years it has become quite an issue. More and more people are electing to have themselves or their loved ones cremated due to the reduced cost compared to customary burial. The purpose of this tract is to take a brief and concise, but in-depth, look at this subject. We will see what the Bible has to say about it, and then, as a Christian, you can decide what to do regarding this sensitive matter.

The first point I would like to make is that cremation does not affect salvation as many people are cremated without the knowledge of it happening to their remains. I do emphatically state, however, that no properly informed Christian would choose cremation. We do know that some people are accidentally burned to death in fires of various types and causes. We also know that the Church of Rome burned many Christian martyrs at the stake. Certainly, being a victim of an earthly fire does not necessarily determine where you will spend eternity.

We must ask the question, why would a Christian choose to have his or her body burned to ashes after death? In I Corinthians 6:19-20, we read as follows: “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” Why would a Christian want to burn to ashes the temple that God lived in?

We also understand that God refers to the body at the time of death as a seed to be planted. In I Corinthians 15:35-38, 42-44, we read, “But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come? Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die. And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain. But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body…So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.” Thus, the body is to be sown, or planted, in the ground and not burned to ashes.

We also know that our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, was buried, and He is our great example in all things. When Jesus blessed the woman who had anointed Him shortly before He was crucified, He said the following words, which are found in Mark 14:8-9: “She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. Verily I say unto you, wheresoever this Gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.” Thus, the burial of Jesus was a part of the Gospel itself. The Gospel, or good news, is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Gospel cannot be represented by choosing to have your body burned!

We also know that when Moses died, God himself buried him. In Deuteronomy 34:5-6 we read the following words: “So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord. And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulcher unto this day.” In this case, God himself did the burying, and He did not cremate Moses! We also know that Satan, to whom is reserved everlasting fire, wanted the body of Moses but could not have it. Verse 9 of Jude tells us, “Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.”

Yet another example tells us of Joseph, the son of Jacob, in Hebrews 11:22. “By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel, and gave commandment concerning his bones.” Please note that it was a commandment and not a suggestion concerning his bones!

Fire has always been a sign of the judgment of Almighty God! We know that God rained fire on the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of the pervasive homosexuality in those cities. We read of this in Genesis, chapters 18 and 19. These cities and their inhabitants were incinerated, or cremated, by the wrath of Almighty God.

We also read of God’s anger and consternation against Moab because of their cremation activity. In Amos 2:1 we read, “Thus saith the Lord, for three transgressions of Moab, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he burned the bones of the king of Edom into lime.”

After reading all of the above, we can certainly conclude that voluntary cremation is wrong in the eyes of God. We also know that it is pagan! Idolatry often included human sacrifice in the fires of pagan gods like Chemosh and Molech. That is why God commanded the following in Deuteronomy 18:10: “There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch.” Here we see the connection of the burning of bodies with witchcraft itself. We know that both witches, who do not believe in Satan, and Satanists, who do believe in Satan, use the power of fire in their forbidden crafts. We also know that Hinduism and Buddhism use cremation in their false religions. This brings out another point which should tie this whole subject together.

In these last days before the return of our Saviour, the Lord Jesus, we know that many false religions would arise and deceive many. We read of this in Matthew, chapter 24; Luke, chapter 21; and Mark, chapter 13. We also see from Luke, chapter 17, that the spirits of homosexuality would fill the world before Jesus Christ’s return and turn the entire earth into a latter day Sodom. We now see this coming to pass. The United States, for example, is filled with Eastern religions, Buddhism, Hinduism and others of that ilk. Homosexuality, lesbianism, and bisexuality are also everywhere in America. Do you see the connection of all of this with fire? It is no wonder that the spirit of cremation and burning is becoming so popular. It is compatible with the other spirits who have used it for centuries. Cremation and burning is also the spirit of Sodom, and it was fiery wrath that turned Sodom to ashes.

The spirit of cremation is in defiance to the plan of the Almighty God, the Creator. After Adam and Eve sinned and death became a part of existence, God told them in Genesis 3:19, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” Ecclesiastes 12:7 states likewise, “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.”

Christians should know better than to purposely select to have their bodies burned! If you didn’t know it before, now you do! If we walk in obedience, we will have the joy of the Lord; and death is nothing more than a step into the glorious presence of God forever. We must dedicate our bodies, souls, and minds unto our Saviour. Glory to his Name!

Pastor David J. Meyer

http://lasttrumpetministries.org

 

SCRIPTURAL SUPPORT AGAINST CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS

II. Scriptural Support Against Celebrating Christmas — Unacceptable Worship

A. 2 Chron. 33:15-17 — The Israelites had kept the old pagan form (the high places of Baal), but had merely introduced the worship of God into that form — a refusal to let go of pagan worship forms (i.e., God was to be worshiped in the Temple, not on the high places). This was unacceptable worship because the right object of worship was mixed with wrong forms of worship; i.e., the mixing of godly worship with ungodly form. Likewise, is not the celebration of Christmas the taking of a celebration established by pagans and for pagans, and then introducing the worship of Christ into that pagan form?

B. Deut. 12:29-32 — God warned His people Israel to destroy all vestiges of pagan worship that they found in the “Promised Land.” Not only did God want to prevent His people from being enticed to worship false gods, but He also specifically revealed that He did not want His people to worship Him in the same manner in which the heathen worshiped their gods. We know, therefore, that our Lord is displeased by practices which profess to honor Him, but which are copied from the tradition of false religions. The command here was to worship God only in His way, i.e., do only what God commands — not adding to God’s commands nor taking away from them. Therefore, is not “putting Christ back into Christmas,” worshiping “the Lord your God their way”? Is there any command in the Bible to give special reverence to the Scriptural account of Christ’s birth more so than to any other Scripture, let alone even a suggestion to celebrate or commemorate His birth in any way whatsoever? God never intended for His people to be imitators of the pagan customs of the world, but has called us to be separate and set apart.

C. Lev. 10:1,2 — Nadab and Abihu offered strange fire to the Lord. Is not the celebration of Christmas, with all its pagan symbols and forms, a “strange fire” unto the Lord, and is not this form of worship contrary to what God commands?

D. 1 Sam. 15:1-3, 7-9, 21-23 — Saul disobeyed God’s prophet in order to worship God in his way. Is not the celebration of Christmas one of man’s ways of worshiping Christ? There is certainly no Biblical command to offer worship in this manner.

E. 2 Sam. 6:2-7 — David attempts to transport the ark on a “new cart” instead of using the rings and poles as the Law required (Exo. 25:12-15). Additionally, the “transporters” of the ark were not even authorized to carry it (1 Chron. 15:2, 13-15); i.e., the ark was not only transported in the wrong way, but was transported by the wrong people! Is not the celebration of Christmas the wrong way (pagan forms and tradition) with the wrong people (the heathen of the world join right in with the professing Christians)?

F. 1 Ki. 12:26-33 — In order to unify the northern ten tribes of Israel, ungodly King Jeroboam set up pagan idols, not in place of God, but as new focal points for directing worship to God. He even instituted a new festival on a new day; i.e., a new religious holiday of his own choosing. Even though the true God of Israel was still to be the object of worship in the new religious holiday, both the holiday and the worship were not authorized by God nor accepted by Him (1 Ki. 13:1-3; 15:29,30). Why? Because the concocted mixture of error with truth constituted false religion! Likewise, is not the celebration of Christmas a religious holiday of man’s own choosing, replete with pagan symbols and forms, all under the guise (by sincere Christians at least) of worshiping the one true God and Savior? But does not this worship form and system still constitute false religion, and thereby, make it unacceptable to God? And besides, where in the Bible do Christians have the right to add a new holy day to the so-called Christian calendar, any more than King Jeroboam had the right to add a new holy day to God’s theocratic calendar?

G. 1 Cor. 8:4-13; Rom. 14:1-13; 1 Cor. 10:14, 18-21 — These passages concerning Christian liberty are discussed in more detail under Roman numeral IV. [Christian liberty can best be defined Biblically as “the freedom to engage in practices not prohibited by the Scriptures or denying oneself what is permitted (i.e., a moral choice of self-discipline) in order to be a more effective witness for God.” So the question must first be answered, “Is Christmas permitted?”] Briefly, some claim that Paul is teaching that the participation in pagan forms condemns no one, and therefore, participation in Christmas and its forms, even though arising out of pagan idolatry, is inconsequential. However, Paul nowhere approves participation in acts of idolatry, of which the participation in the pagan forms of Christmas comes dangerously close to doing. Instead, Paul is speaking of the liberty to continue in Jewish days of worship/festival that had been previously ordained under the Jewish law. There is certainly no liberty to bring outside pagan forms into the church’s worship services. Likewise, there is no liberty to Christianize Babylonian/Roman pagan holy days as special days.

Christians in the first century churches had the liberty to observe Old Testament holy days and feasts (days that had previously been revealed by God) if they were so immature as to do so. The weaker brother, Paul wrote, was at that time not to be censured for continuing to attach some importance to the Old Testament holy days, as a clear knowledge of their abolition in Christ was not yet given to him (the weaker brother). But to observe a pagan holy day is something this passage does not sanction. They certainly did not have the liberty to regard Babylonian/Roman pagan holy days (days that were invented by the devil) as special days. Again, that would have been idolatry, worldliness, and perhaps even a form of Satan worship on their part. Therefore, how can the observance of Christmas Day, or any other Babylonian/Roman Catholic holy day, be a matter of Christian liberty?

Yet when some of us refuse to regard the pagan holy days as special days, we are the ones often referred to as the “weaker brother” in this matter! Are we opposed to such days because we are “weak in faith”? Faith would be defined as believing what the Word of God says about a matter and acting upon it. It was by faith that we stopped regarding pagan holy days as special days. Would we be more mature Christians if we would start regarding such days again? It would certainly be much easier on our families and us.

Read more here http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Psychology/xmas/celeb.htm

SANTA

“One of the things that has become most synonymous with Christmas is Santa Claus. This image is such a part of Christmas that it really cannot be separated from it. Santa is a false god that is sustained by “lies” and is a god of lusts – selfish want and desire. Take the name Santa and rearrange the letters and form Satan (mixing up things as witchcraft often does, intentional confusion). This is no coincidence because Satan is the father of all lies (Jn 8:44), including “The Lie” in Eden which persuaded (appealed to) man to seek the flesh (his lusts and desires) over God’s command. Isn’t it interesting that man’s relationship with Santa Claus is built upon and sustained by a lie? Man’s relationship with Satan was also founded upon a lie. God is truth! Anything opposed to the truth is a lie (1 Jn 2:21 ). Satan continually tempts man’s lusts in order to keep him opposed to God, blinded to the Lord’s truth, and in his rebellion against the Lord (2 Cor 4:4). The nature of Santa Claus is the exact same nature of Satan (Santa = Satan). Parents, relatives, friends, religious people, and total strangers will blatantly and unabashedly (shamefully) “lie” to children to sustain this god (Pv 12:22 , Jer 9:3, 5, Amos 2:4) – they are teachers of lies (Hab 2:18 , Eph 4:25 ). Do you suppose these parents and relatives will be happy (accepting) if someone were to tell their children the truth about Santa Claus? Most likely they would be extremely irate (very angry, incensed, furious, enraged) and would defend the “lie” while rejecting the truth (casting it away) – they would reinforce the lie (this is what Satan does). The flesh defends its god! Psalms 101:7, “He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.” – woe to you! The “lie” is to seek your lusts through him (trust in Santa = trust in Satan). Parents teach their children that Santa is a wonderful man that will fulfill all their fleshly desires with toys and candies – a free gift (without cost). They are taught that Santa is there to serve their needs, which also translates into love being the fulfillment (receiving) of fleshly desires – benefit of self. No wonder so many view God as their servant who is there to bless them or get them out of difficult situations. God said to teach your children to love Him with all their hearts, with all their souls and with all their might (Deut 6:4-9) – do not give place to Satan (Santa, Eph 4:27 ). This is a real conflict on a day that is presumed to be Christ’s birthday. To whom is a child’s heart to be given? Santa is given attributes that belong to God alone (specifically Christ) such as immortality (does not die), omnipresent (can be everywhere, hears your prayers to him, sees your actions), omniscient (all knowing), omnipotent (can do fantastical things/feats), merciful, giving, forgiving, and loving. This is not surprising because Satan thinks of himself as a god (god of this world) and wants to be worshipped. Satan is receiving worship via Santa – by proxy (surrogate, stand-in, substitute, alternate). God says over and over in His Word that we are to have no other gods. Children are encouraged to make list of their desires (lusts, toys) and petition Santa through prayer, letters or even at his very throne (in a mall or department store). The children should be encouraged to fear the Lord and observe do to all His Words (Deut 31:12). Santa also has mythical elves to serve him (principalities, angelic beings). Men even dress up as the “god of the lie” to further instill (teach) this fraud into the minds of the youth. It is as if a child is sitting on Satan’s knee and he says, “tell me all your heart’s desire (the imaginations and lusts). The children develop a real love for this “god of lusts” because he gives them things (appeals to the flesh), even if by proxy through their parents – but make no mistake, he is the “god of the flesh.” Parents consider this all to be fun make-believe, but there is a very real and evil spirit behind all this and the parents have certainly been manipulated (deceived, beguiled, tricked) by it. This subtle and cunning “god of tricks” is the same one that is behind Halloween. We discussed confusion (the mixture of several things promiscuously; mingled and without order; indistinct combination; confusion of ideas; things that do not go together), confounding (confused, mixed or blended in disorder, perplexed, abashed; i.e. mixing God and the world, flesh – shameful blending of natures) and doublemindedness (simultaneous belief in two opposing or contradictory things) in Chapter One. Most will say that Santa is about love and giving. Satan comes as an angel of light (2 Cor 11:14). This means that the devil convinces man to do that which is opposed to God by that which seems to be of God (i.e. love, giving). In other words, Satan makes his cause seem noble. However, just a cursory review of God’s Word reveals that we are to have no other gods (and certainly not teach our children of them); we are not to lie nor walk in deception; and we are not to seek the lusts of the flesh or things of the world. Therefore, Santa is not about love and giving, but rather idolatry, lusts, greed (covetousness), deception, and lies. Parents who “profess Christ” and teach their children of Him (i.e. go to church) go about hanging a millstone about their necks by also teaching (and instilling) Santa Claus. Mark 9:42, “And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.” This is confusion and doublemindedness. Christ is sustained by faith, and Santa is sustained by a lie. The Bible says “all liars go to hell (Rev 21:8),” but who takes God’s Word seriously in a fantastical world of make-believe – or is it really make-believe? Perhaps these things are far more real and serious than you could possibly imagine. Eventually children outgrow the reality of Santa (or do they?), but the lessons have been learned. The lessons are to seek the things YOU want and please SELF. Any concept of God will always be tainted with the notion that God is there to serve YOU (bless me, help me, heal me, get me out of difficult situations, save me). Things become a bit skewed (twisted, distorted, off center, miss the mark, partial, biased) toward the “ME” side of things. A nice way to say it would be “spoiled,” but the truth is these are corrupted, full of iniquity, transgressing and rebellious toward the reality of God. The symbology that God authorized in His Word is designed to lead you to Him. The symbology of man (as highly influenced by Satan) leads you away from God and keeps you in transgression and rebellion. Now we are told that Santa Clause flies around in a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer. The lead reindeer has a glowing red nose. Throw in a few talking snowmen and the birth of Jesus Christ, and you have total and complete confusion. God is not the author of such confusion (1 Cor 14:33). Some will say this is why its all fun and imagination. Well, justify your wickedness and rebellion, but the message that is being taught is that of Satan and his nature (his way, path, bondage). Satan comes as an angel of light (2 Cor 11:14); meaning fun and imaginative and always centered on lies and the flesh. Please consider the following point very strongly with all seriousness and sincerity: At Christmas time, side by side, Jesus and Santa Claus are reverenced (respected, given honor, worshipped), taught and celebrated. Jesus came in truth and totally surrendered to and obeyed the Father and died to self always directing others to God’s will. Santa Claus is sustained by lies and invites all to live for self (lusts, desires) and takes away from God by placing attention on the things of the flesh. They are both taught in the same celebration and this is total confusion and doublemindedness. Which God will a child eventually choose? The one of self or the one of self denial? The author once ignorantly celebrated Christmas; however, he sanitized it to some degree (as many will say they now do). The author never lied to his children about Santa Claus and always told them the truth. Herein is an interesting thing: although he did not believe or teach Santa Claus, his house was full of images of Santa Claus. The Lord God says you shall have no such images, but the devil would fill the world with them. Images are there to solicit worship and condition one’s heart. When the Lord convicted the author’s heart about Christmas and he yielded in obedience (to forsake and follow, Mk 10:21, Lk 18:22), there was a great clean-up in his home. There were Santa Claus images on ornaments, wrapping paper, cards, dish towels, jars, cereal boxes (food packages), ornaments, in photos, in paintings, on toys, tins, boxes, cloth covers, plates, cook books, reading books, music covers, candles, place mats, magnets, serving platters, children’s artwork, coloring books, stickers, craft items, soft drink bottles, etc. How could one who seemingly knew the truth be so blinded or complacent as to be inundated with such images? The reason is that evil is very seductive! It took a long time with searches through drawers and attics to finally clean it all out (perhaps there is still some undiscovered items). Evil seduces marvelously and these things will certainly develop a sentimental hold on one – which is the purpose (point) of all the symbolism and tradition. The author challenges you – try and eliminate all the articles with images of Santa or things Christmas related and see what a task it is. You must truly come completely out of the world to do it. You will find that most anything you bring into your home will have these on them such as magazines, books and catalogs (year round). To say that you do not believe in Santa (what it represents) yet have images in your home is to be a hypocrite and self-deceived. There was much repenting to do over all this evil. But, we are not through…”

—David Neal