Research and study By: Timothy M. Youngblood
Copyright © The Master's Table
Many Christians look away when they see such a title as "Is
If you would like to make an informed decision for your children, you might want to read a bit more before you say no. What could be one of the reasons people don't really believe that Jesus was a real person that healed the sick, made the blind see, the deaf to hear, raised the dead, and walked on water? When a child is taught that Santa comes down the chimney to bring gifts to hundreds of thousands of people in one night, and the Easter bunny hides colored chicken eggs in the grass, and all this is tied in with Jesus the Christ; what do you suppose will happen when the child grows up to find out that Santa is a myth? They surly must conclude that Jesus is a myth also because how could anyone do the things the Bible claims He did. Satan is very successful with his grand deception of pagan holidays and if people continue to teach children this great lie then they become responsible for their child's lack of real faith in the true Messiah. We must never forget that God gives us the guidelines for worship and prayer; and if we want to have a real relationship with the true creator God, and if we want our children to truly know Him, we must do it His way. The question to all true Christians today is do you want to worship the false gods of old, or do you want to worship the true God of heaven and follow the true Messiah thus receiving the true salvation He offers?
Christmas customs - many origins:
Is Christmas truly a Christian holy day? Did anyone in the early Church keep Christmas, and if not, where did it come from? Why is it kept on December 25th. and who is Santa? What does a tree decked with all kinds of ornaments and placed in the home have to do with Jesus, and where did the Christmas tree come from? A big question is would Jesus the Christ keep Christmas, and should those that want to follow the true Messiah observe this holiday? What is the truth? Many would be astonished to know that the Catholic Encyclopedia states, "Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church...the first evidence of the feast is from Egypt." "Pagan customs centering around the January calendars gravitated to Christmas." The word for Christmas in late Old English is Cristes Maesse, the Mass of Christ, first found in 1038, and Cristes-messe, in 1131." In the Scriptures, no one is recorded to have kept a feast or held a great banquet on his [Jesus] birthday. It is only sinners who make great rejoicings over the day in which they were born into this world" -Catholic Encyclopedia, 1911 Edition.
We also find in the (World Popular Encyclopedia, Volume 3) this statement, "The Catholic Church, in an effort to gain more people to the Roman Catholic Church, adopted the Mithraic festival of the birth of the sun" In fact many of the Christmas customs kept today have their origins thousands of years before Jesus the Christ was even born when people worshipped the sun as their god. One of these customs is "Easter" and in fact we find in June 1647, England Parliament , headed by Puritans passed legislation abolishing Christmas and other holidays: "Forasmuch as the feast of the nativity of Christ, Easter, Whitsuntide, and other festivals, commonly called holy-days, have been heretofore superstitiously used and observed; be it ordained, that the said feasts, and all other festivals, commonly called holy-days, be no longer observed as festivals; any law, statute, custom, constitution, or canon, to the contrary in anywise not withstanding." - Daniel Neal, The History of the Puritans (London, 1837; rpt. Minneapolis: Klock & Klock, 1979), Vol. 2, p. 458.
As for the first Christian church our research shows that during the lives of the apostles there was never a celebration of Christ' birth and although there is no record of Jesus' "Date" of birth, we know from documentation that He was born sometime in the fall of the year, and we know Tishrei usually occurs in September-October on the Gregorian calendar, but was at that time the seventh month of the Hebrew month named Tishrei. Another reason we know this is because the shepherds were still in the fields at the time of Jesus' birth and that would not be the case if it had been winter. The fact that Jesus' family was going to the feast of Tabernacles when He was born is another indication that Jesus was born in September (Tishrei) and that is also why they could not find an inn but had to rent a stable for the night as there were thousands of Israelites there for this feast.
Long after the death of the apostles the birth of Jesus was commemorated in the East on the Feast of Epiphany (January 6) but by 354 AD, the Christmas Feast had taken hold in the West and was observed on December 25 (Nimrod's Birthday.) Since the fifth century, most Eastern Orthodox Churches have celebrated the Nativity on December 25; however, some Eastern congregations, called "Old Calendarists," still use the Julian calendar and honor the birth of Christ thirteen days later, on January 7. The Armenian Church continues to celebrate "Old Christmas" on January 6 however. As you will see from our source information in this study big celebrations corresponded with the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, and the day when the sun would begin to bring back the warmth that had been waning. In northern Europe great bonfires would be built to give the winter sun god strength and to bring it back to life. It was the time of year that the ancient Romans celebrated the "Saturnalia" which honored their god Saturn, or "Brumalia" the birthday of the unconquered sun, which the Roman calendar to this day has as Saturday, or "Saturn's-day.
Also long before Christianity, (which is the New Covenant Jesus brought to all mankind.) The Swedish people celebrated "Midvinterblot" ("Mid-vinter-blot") at the time of the winter solstice. It simply means "mid-winter-blood", and featured both animal and human sacrifice. This tradition took place at certain cult places, and basically every old Swedish church is built on such a place. The pagan tradition was finally abandoned around 1200 AD, due to the missionaries persistence. (Of course they were sacrificed too, by the Vikings, in the beginning.) Midvinterblot paid tribute to the local gods, appealing to them to let go of the winter's grip. The winters in Scandinavia are dark and grim, and these were the days before central heating. And the Gods were powerful. Until this day Thursday is named after the war god Thor. Friday after Freja (fertility) It is interesting to note that to this day the Swedish name for Christmas is Jul (Yule), and the Jul gnome has a more important role than Christmas father or the Christchild. You don't kill those pagan tradition easily. The old Viking religion with Thor and his friends is still practiced by some people, somewhat less bloody.
Also called Yule, this tradition still lives today in the Wiccan traditions (witchcraft) and in many cultures around the world. A huge log -- the Yule Log -- is brought into an outdoor clearing and becomes part of a great bonfire. Everyone dances and sings around the fire. All the noise and great excitement is said to awaken the sun from its long winter sleep, hurrying spring on its way as the cycle begins once again and the days grow longer than the nights. Tibetan Celebration of the Dying Year Lasting five days, this festival centers around a magical pole covered with stars, crosses, and pentagrams made of string. Dancers dress up in hideous masks to frighten away the evil spirits for the coming year. Feasting and prayers fill the days and the finale is when the pole is torn down by the townsfolk. December 25th. was also celebrated as the birth date of the Persian god of the sun, "Mithras". In Northern Europe the pagan Teutonic tribes worshipped their "All father", or holy papa, Woden during this same time of year, and stated that Woden, like the modern "Santa" would go forth with his reindeer to bring people the gift of spring. The very day December 25th. was called "Mothers night" in England because the lengthening of the days were associated with, again the rebirth of the old pagan sun god.
Could the Christmas tree be a false god, and can we find it being worshipped
long before the birth of Christ?
Many Christians state they go by the bible for their beliefs however many don’t truly do this and never make sure they are worshipping God the way He wants us to. The scriptures command that we should never get involved in idolatry, and we are told that God hates false gods, and will destroy them at His coming. Idolatry is by definition an image of a deity, or things that are used in the worship of other gods.
God states that anything that is worshipped or used in worship service is a false god. Can we find the Christmas tree being worshipped as a false god, and condemned by the true God of heaven in the holy bible? Let's read it for ourselves; "Hear the word which the LORD speaks to you, O house of Israel. Thus says the LORD: "Do not learn the way of the Gentiles; do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven, (Winter solstice.) for the Gentiles are dismayed at them. For the customs of the peoples are futile; for one cuts a tree from the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. They decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with nails and hammers so that it will not topple. They are upright, like a palm tree, and they cannot speak; they must be carried, because they cannot go by themselves. Do not be afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, nor can they do any good." Jer 10:1-5.
Here we find in the bible that there were those that cut a tree out of the forest with an ax and fastened it with nails and hammers so it would not fall, and they would decorate it. We see that God condemned this practice even in the Old Testament, and called it futile. God also stated in Deut 6:14-15 "You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are all around you, for the LORD your God is a jealous God among you), lest the anger of the LORD your God be aroused against you and destroy you from the face of the earth." And in Deut. 12:2-4, we find a command to destroy the false gods from among us and never to worship God with any such things.
In Deut 12:32, God commands this..."Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it." So we see from the very commands of the God of heaven in His holy word that we should ONLY do and keep those things He commands. When God states that a thing is idolatry then it is idolatry regardless of what some priest, or preacher in some church states we can do as a matter of worship. We are commanded to obey God rather than man; we are to fear God rather than man! If we continue to do these things we then choose to obey man and worship the gods set up by men. We then stir the jealousy of the true God, and that could cause Him to send His wrath on those that do so. We want to believe that the true God that created this earth is our savior, but if we are worshipping false gods that He hates, then how can we be sure of our prayer going to Him?
Who is Santa?
The American version of the Santa Claus figure received its inspiration and its name from the Dutch legend of Sinter Klaas, brought by settlers to New York in the 17th century. As early as 1773 the name appeared in the American press as "St. A Claus," but it was the popular author Washington Irving who gave Americans their first detailed information about the Dutch version of Saint Nicholas. In his History of New York, published in 1809 under the pseudonym Diedrich Knickerbocker, Irving described the arrival of the saint on horseback (unaccompanied by Black Peter) each Eve of Saint Nicholas. This Dutch-American Saint Nick achieved his fully Americanized form in 1823 in the poem A Visit From Saint Nicholas more commonly known as The Night Before Christmas by writer Clement Clarke Moore. Moore included such details as the names of the reindeer; Santa Claus's laughs, winks, and nods; and the method by which Saint Nicholas, referred to as an elf, returns up the chimney. (Moore's phrase "lays his finger aside of his nose" was drawn directly from Irving's 1809 description.)
The American image of Santa Claus was further elaborated by illustrator Thomas Nast, who depicted a rotund Santa for Christmas issues of Harper's magazine from the 1860s to the 1880s. Nast added such details as Santa's workshop at the North Pole and Santa's list of the good and bad children of the world. A human-sized version of Santa Claus, rather than the elf of Moore's poem, was depicted in a series of illustrations for Coca-Cola advertisements introduced in 1931. In modern versions of the Santa Claus legend, only his toy-shop workers are elves. Rudolph, the ninth reindeer, with a red and shiny nose, was invented in 1939 by an advertising writer for the Montgomery Ward Company. In looking for the historical roots of Santa Claus, one must go very deep in the past. One discovers that Santa Claus as we know him is a combination of many different legends and mythical creatures. The basis for the Christian-era Santa Claus is Bishop Nicholas of Smyrna (Izmir), in what is now Turkey. Nicholas lived in the 4th century A.D. and was very rich, generous, and loving toward children. It is told that he gave joy to poor children by throwing gifts in through their windows.
The Orthodox Church later raised Nicholas, miracle worker, to a position of great esteem. It was in his honor that Russia's oldest church, for example, was built. For its part, the Roman Catholic Church honored Nicholas as one who helped children and the poor. St. Nicholas became the patron saint of children and seafarers. His true birthday is December 6th. In the Protestant areas of central and northern Germany, St. Nicholas later became known as der Weinachtsmann. In England he came to be called Father Christmas. St. Nicholas made his way to the United States with Dutch immigrants, and began to be referred to as Santa Claus. In North American poetry and illustrations, Santa Claus, in his white beard, red jacket and pompom-topped cap, would sally forth on the night before Christmas in his sleigh, pulled by eight reindeer, and climb down chimneys to leave his gifts in stockings children set out on the fireplace's mantelpiece. Children naturally wanted to know where Santa Claus actually came from. Where did he live when he wasn't delivering presents? Those questions gave rise to the legend that Santa Claus lived at the North Pole, where his Christmas-gift workshop was also located. In 1925, since grazing reindeer would not be possible at the North Pole, newspapers revealed that Santa Claus in fact lived in Finnish Lapland.
Green was the traditional color of the British Father Christ-mass which means the mass for Christ. Also, green, as in "evergreens," was traditionally associated with the winter solstice season. Red and green were the colors used in the pagan holiday Yule, when the christians were trying to convert the pagans they adopted certain holidays to make the transition easier. Coca-cola, did not ''originate'' the red suit. They just made it popular for the purpose of advertising their product with the popular Santa. The paintings of Haddon Sundblom made the red suit popular; he was the artist who painted Santa Claus for Coca-cola, and it was his image of Santa Claus that gained so much popularity.
"Uncle Markus", Markus Rautio, revealed the great secret for the first time in 1927: Santa Claus lives on Lapland's Korvatunturi - "Ear Fell". The fell, which is situated directly on Finland's eastern frontier, somewhat resembles a hare's ears - which are in fact Santa Claus's ears, with which he listens to hear if the world's children are being nice. Santa has the assistance of a busy group of elves, that have quite their own history in Scandinanvian legend. Over the centuries, customs from different parts of the Northern Hemisphere thus came together and created the whole world's Santa Claus - the ageless, timeless, deathless white-bearded man who gives out gifts on Christmas and always returns to Korvatunturi in Finnish Lapland.
Paganism On The Rise
The Boston Globe recently reported that Paganism is increasingly popular on college campuses and these modern 'witches' are starting to come out of what pagans call "the broom closet." The Globe said that more than 100 groups have formed on campuses in nearly every state and at schools from Australia to the United Kingdom. Scholars say there are as many as a million pagans in the United States. The points below are quotes about the truth of Christ-mass from a wide-variety of sources, including major encyclopedias, the Catholic church, various Protestant sects, John Calvin, John Knox, Charles Spurgeon, colonial lawbooks, and more! Some of the quotes you may read include these: "Upright men strove to stem the tide, but in spite of all their efforts, the apostasy went on till the Church, with the exception of a small remnant was submerged under pagan superstition. That Christmas is a pagan festival is beyond all doubt. The time of the year, and the ceremonies with which it in celebrated, prove its origin". ... "Those who follow the custom of observing Christmas, follow not the Bible, but pagan ceremonies". ~ C. H. Spurgeon and "During the first three centuries (of the church) we find no trace of any feast for the birth of Christ." (Frederick Neilsen, Ecclesiastical History, p.224)
Any valid resource will tell us the same truth ... someone dipped their paganism into a jar of Christianity. The Sun-god became confused with the Son of God. "The transition from festivals commemorating the birth of a sun god to a celebration outwardly appearing as the Son of God occurred sometime in the fourth century. Unable to eradicate the heathen celebration of Saturnalia, the Church of Rome, sometime before 336 A.D., designated a Feast of the Nativity to be observed." -(James Taylor, "Christmas," in The New International Dictionary of the Christian Church, p. 223.; J. D. Douglas, ed.; Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1974)
The celebration, although it has some names and elements changed over time, has existed for more than 4,000 years. "Christmas is a very old holiday. It clearly started as a celebration of the passing of the winter solstice, and the start of the sun's return journey from the north to the South. The ancient Romans observed this time with a festival dedicated to Saturn, the god of agriculture, and it was called Saturnalia. When Emperor Constantine decreed Christianity as the new faith of the Roman Empire, early in the fourth century, the Christians gave the holiday an entirely new name and an entirely new meaning." [Joseph Gaer, Holidays Around the World. Boston: Little Brown, 1953.p133.]
"The practice of decorating houses and churches is pagan in its very origin, and the mistletoe so widely used for that purpose was the sacred plant of the Druids." [Everymans Encyclopedia.Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1967.] "That God's word damns your ceremonies, it is evident; for the plain and straight commandment of God is, "Not that thing which appears good in Your eyes, shall You do to the Lord your God, but what the Lord your God has commanded you, that do you: add nothing to it; diminish nothing from it" Now unless that you are able to prove that God has commanded your ceremonies, this his former commandment will damn both you and them."~John Knox's History of the Reformation in Scotland
The position of the Scottish Church was reaffirmed in 1566. Theodore Beza wrote to Knox, requesting Scottish approval for the Second Helvetic Confession (1566). The General Assembly in Scotland replied with a letter of general approval. Nevertheless, the Assembly could scarcely refrain from mentioning, with regard to what is written in the 24th chapter of the aforesaid Confession concerning the "festival of our Lord's nativity, ... passion, resurrection, ascension, ...that these festivals at the present time obtain no place among us; for we dare not religiously celebrate any other feast-day than what the divine oracles prescribed."- In Knox, Works, Vol. vi, pp. 547-48. The same position is expressed in the Second Scotch Confession (1580), which rejects the "dedicating of kirks, altars, days."
George Gillespie (1613-49) rests his case on the second commandment. "The second commandment is moral and perpetual, and forbids to us as well as to them the additions and inventions of men in the worship of God." Therefore, "sacred significant ceremonies devised by man are to be reckoned among those images forbidden in the second commandment." - Gillespie, Part 2, pp. 118, 84; cf. 86.
"In New England, for the first two centuries of white settlement most people did not celebrate Christmas. In fact, the holiday was systematically suppressed by Puritans during the colonial period and largely ignored by their descendants. It was actually illegal to celebrate Christmas in Massachusetts between 1659 and 1681 (the fine was five shillings). Only in the middle of the nineteenth century did Christmas gain legal recognition as an official public holiday in New England." ~ "The Battle for Christmas," University of Massachusetts historian Stephen Nissenbaum. "It was only in the fourth century that the Church officially decided to observe Christmas on Dec. 25. And this date was not chosen for religious reasons but simply because it happened to mark the approximate arrival of the winter solstice, an event that was celebrated long before the advent of Christianity. The Puritans were correct when they pointed out and they pointed it out often that Christmas was nothing but a pagan festival covered with a Christian veneer." ~ "The Battle for Christmas," University of Massachusetts historian Stephen Nissenbaum.
"Christian preachers of the West and the Near East protested against the unseemly frivolity with which Christ's birthday was celebrated, while Christians of Mespoptamia accused their Western brethren of idolatry and sun worship for adopting as Christian this pagan festival." (New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, article "Christmas")
Do You Believe Jesus?
Many people profess to believe on Jesus. They speak His name in their Churches. They proclaim His Name when they lay hands on the sick. Many use His name in prayers, and ministers teach that all we must do is believe on Jesus and we shall be saved. Is this true? Is that all Jesus requires for salvation? If we call ourselves Christian and proclaim Jesus' Name does that make us Christians? If we "keep" what has become known as Christmas, does that make us Christians? If we pray in his name does that insure He will hear us? What does it mean to believe into Jesus? The Greek word for "Believe" is pisteuo (pist-yoo'-o); It means to have faith i.e. credit; by implication, to entrust (especially one's spiritual well-being to Christ) to commit to Jesus or to put our trust in Him. The word to believe used in connection with believing into Jesus means we first must believe He came from the Holy Father with a message. We then MUST believe the message. If we must believe the message then we must know what the message is.
Their are many people that may not know they are worshipping a pagan god in the name of Jesus but one day they will know the truth, but their are those that I have proven the truth of the origins of this pagan worship and they tell me it does not matter because they are doing it for Jesus. They want to continue in their sin and make the excuse that as long as they are doing it in Jesus' name it is acceptable to God without ever truly seeking God's answer on the subject. God's answer is: "You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations which you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. And you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and burn their wooden images with fire; you shall cut down the carved images of their gods and destroy their names from that place. "You shall not worship the LORD your God with such things. Deut 12:2-4 2.
Remember what we covered above in the subtitle "Is the Christmas tree a false god?" Doing this is taking a pagan worship such as the tree and using it to worship Him. The fact is Satan not only wants to get people to worship pagan gods which is truly the worship of Satan himself, but he wants to later take away the deception by revealing the truth to see if they will continue. If they do then Satan knows he has their heart as well as their soul. Satan has successfully brought so many false gods into the Christian religion that people don't even know what Jesus was all about, or what was the true message He brought from the Holy Father in heaven and as a result people have been given a false Jesus with a false salvation. Question is, do you want to just believe you have salvation, or do you what to KNOW you have salvation? If you are a teacher do you want to teach truth or what is popular? Do you fear God or man? Your answer may very well determine your relationship with the true creator God in heaven.
How did the Catholic Church come to believe they could change doctrine and go against what Jesus Himself taught? Read their explanation below.
The doctrine of "Tradition", as taught by the Roman Catholic Church:
(A quote from MF Blume.) "The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the doctrines that are not found explicitly taught by the apostles but taught later by other men, after the Bible was written, are nevertheless truths from God. Therefore these "other" doctrines are as important as clear biblical teachings. It teaches that the apostles simply chose not to explicitly write such beliefs to the churches as New Testament Scripture. Although there is no explicit proof that the apostles believed these doctrines, the Roman Catholic Church proposes that the apostles indeed did believe them, otherwise, they feel, God would not have led the Roman Catholic Church to later teach these doctrines. Rather than be founded upon clear, explicit teachings in the Bible as taught by the apostles and Jesus Christ, the Roman Catholic Church believes that their foundation is the belief that God would not have the Roman Church teach such doctrines if they were not true doctrines."
Brethren the above statements titled "The doctrine of "Tradition", as taught by the Roman Catholic Church:" Does not give them the right to teach doctrine that is contrary to the teachings of Jesus as He also gave to His disciples. The majority of Protestant denominations do not accept this Catholic Church doctrine, which also gives credence to the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, the doctrine of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and of the literal flesh and blood in the communion Eucharist, but they have nevertheless accepted the customs of Christ-Mass and the Trinity doctrine even though this Trinity doctrine is no more explicitly taught in scripture than the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. They have accepted the doctrine of Easter and even worship towards the sun as it rises on the very day the sun god was worshipped. To accept one doctrine and then throw out the other, when both are from the same foundation of "Tradition", as opposed to explicit scriptural teaching, is to act most contradictorily. As stated above the Roman Catholic Church teaches that they have as much authority to hear a new doctrine from God, (That was never formerly and explicitly taught by the original apostles), as did the original apostles since as the Catholic Church believes apostles have continued to exist in the Roman Catholic Church. This doctrine of "Apostolic Succession" is said to give the Roman Catholic Church the right to add new doctrines to the faith. And the Doctrine of Christ-mass, the Trinity and Easter are such doctrines that came along in the church long after the death of the apostles, and is not in the original teachings! Question is...Who do you believe and follow?
If a person caught their mate with another in the act and then was told that they had not committed adultery because they were thinking of them during the act what would you say about that?
Question is how does God feel when His people worship other gods such as X-mass, Easter and have a pagan symbol in front of them as they bow and then say it is not idolatry because we were thinking of Jesus?
It is the nature of mankind to digress from the creator God. It is the nature of mankind to follow and worship the creation they can see rather than the creator they can not see and that is the reason they will not give up the pagan worship of the cross, Christ-mass and Easter ~ In Jesus' Service; Timothy M. Youngblood
If you would like to read more truth about the pagan holiday of Easter click here... Is Easter Christian?
See mini-study Trinity doctrine
See mini study to Preach the Kingdom
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