517 Comments
  1. The first one is close, Debbie! Remember, it pertains to the specific subject matter of this forum section.

    Keep trying, and I’ll post the answer in a couple more hours.

  2. I just checked in Tom, and I don’t have time to think about this. My daughter just dropped by for a visit. On College break which ends very soon.

    I am looking forward for the complete answer. I knew my answer had holes in it.

    I do know where this is going though. My 2ND guess would of benefited those who are on the other side of the Christmas spectrum. 🙂

  3. Older brother didn’t want to partake of the leavening – similar to OT Daniel. Younger brother partook of the leavening – similar to NT Judas – and didn’t mind if worldliness was mixed into that with which he involved himself. My only question is why is the defiled younger brother praised?
    This has been a parody of the parable’s meaning.

  4. Oh, no worries Debbie, I didn’t mean that you specifically should try again – just looking for others to chime in like Juan here. I’ll give it another hour or two to see if anyone else catches my drift.

  5. Let’s see:

    Tom, Pamela, Bo, Sheila, Jabez, Juan G., Debbie Fraser, me…

    And occasionally Dr. Brown

    There’s no mystery left here, folks — we all know how we all feel/think about this topic by now….

    Just a thought….!

  6. OK! Time for my explanation. I know there are many who will not agree with the parable/interpretation, but such is the way of things. If it helps you, I’m glad; if not, move on to something that does.

    a) The two brothers are two Christians

    b) The father is the Father

    c) The concentration camp is the world, fraught with danger and threatening to tear us from God by spiritual death and disease

    d) The vaccination is our Baptism, by which God imparts His grace and Divine protection – gifts won by Christ on the cross, for you, for me

    e) The food is every good thing we are blessed with in this life: family, friends, vocation, materials, foods, etc

    f) The warden is the devil, who cannot stop God from imparting His Divine blessings on us His children, and instead seeks to make us reject these gifts ourselves

    Here’s what happens:

    We are all of us trapped in this evil place for the time being, nothing to be done about that. However, in our Baptism we are marked as Christ’s – and therefore NOT Satan’s. God our Father gives us many good things, which are created to be received with thanksgiving and used for the edification of one another and of ourselves. Things such as trees, which we Christians have used to point to Christ and His sacrifice on a tree for us, among other good gifts.

    Then Satan comes along and perverts the good things (he “spits” on them), making trees to be used as idols instead of witnesses to Christ, etc. He turns these good things to pagan purposes, contaminating them with his “diseases”. Because of this, some well-meaning Christians will not even touch these things (that God created to be received with thanksgiving) because they are “contaminated” and these well-meaning Christians believe that to interact with them would be to themselves become “unclean” or “defiled” – and they also insist that if their brother Christians do not also abstain from these things they do not love their Father. As a result, they become increasingly cloistered, and increasingly bound to only the Old Covenant rituals and practices. They become emaciated as they attempt to interact with and witness to the world (see Jabez’s 443 and 444 where he unpacks this).

    The other Christians who believe that good things from God are to be received with thanksgiving – even if the devil has spit on them at some point – because they are vaccinated against the idol worship and false practices of this world. Trees are created by God and can be used to point to Him regardless of supposed pagan roots (Satan spit) because there is nothing inherently wrong with this. The result is that these Christians are built up by a diversity of good gifts, which they refuse to toss in the waste bin just because they have been “contaminated” with paganism at one point or another. They can do this by their faith in God and His redeeming work for them, which is imputed to them at their Baptism.

    I could go on unpacking the analogy, but hopefully you see enough to do the rest yourselves.

    Bottom line: I’m a big fan of the song that says “why should the devil have all the good music?” Why do we Christians blanch so at every supposed pagan connection as if it will infect us with some incurable illness? In Christ, these things are cleansed and are to be received with thanksgiving and used FOR THE BUILDING UP OF THE BODY. Not to do so results, at best, in spiritual emaciation.

    Some verses to consider:

    Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer. – 1st Timothy 4.1-5

    As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. … The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. – Romans 14.1-3, 6

    If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? – Colossians 2.20-22

    Don’t let Satan’s spit keep you from enjoying the good things. Do not become so bound up and fearful that you throw away perfectly good food – gifts from the Father. Rather, give thanks to God in all things, and may He bless you and keep you in the baptism by which He vaccinated you against the contamination of this world – by giving you His grace in Christ, who is His greatest gift, and whom we celebrate in the Christmas season!

  7. I sent my Son, Jesus. He is that bread of life and whatsoever you eat give thanks to God in Jesus name and to you it is clean.

  8. This is the very first time I was ever called on to defend Christmas. I was prepared to defend it against atheists, but, I never dreamed I’d be defending it against other Christians. I find it helpful to hear all the various interpretations, pro and con, but, I won’t be swayed from celebrating it. I feel better about it and more confident about my choice now that I’ve heard so many voices squared off in the discussion.

    Do I think it’s too materialistic? Yes. But, I’m not in it for the gifts. I already have mine.

  9. Very, very good Tom. Thanks for posting this. Good insight.
    My very 1st post on this thread #88. I posted this….”I see the devil is trying to take away Christmas too.”

    What Satan intended as evil, The Lord turned it around to make it good. That makes the devil very, very angry.

    Be blessed everyone! With that all said…

    GO PATS!!!!! 🙂

  10. “Why do we Christians blanch so at every supposed pagan connection as if it will infect us with some incurable illness?”

    Because we’ve read the Old Testament and we know how God feels about paganism?

    “In Christ, these things are cleansed” —

    Really? You mean I can break with what God said through His prophets because Jesus cleansed all the pagan traditions? That can’t be what you mean, is it??

    “…and are to be received with thanksgiving and used FOR THE BUILDING UP OF THE BODY.”

    Oh, paganism (neopaganism today) is to be used for building us up? That which forefathers were chastened is now for building us up? What??

    “Not to do so results, at best, in spiritual emaciation.” Since the only Spirit we need is the Holy Spirit — I don’t think He can be “emaciated” — I think God spent centuries tutoring the Israelites in how to tell the good from the bad. I think you are experiencing something called “wishful thinking.”

    I can’t buy that fluffy, cotton-candy philosophy; nothing personal about you!

  11. Matthew 7:13-15 (NIV)

    Jesus said,

    “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.

    But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

    The “broad path” may seem pleasant and it is definitely popular, but it is still not the right way.

  12. Jhn 10:1 “I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.

    Jhn 10:2 The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep.

    Jhn 10:3 The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

    Jhn 10:4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.

    Jhn 10:5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”

    Jhn 10:6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but they did not understand what he was telling them.

    Jhn 10:7 Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep.

  13. Debbie,

    Glad you liked it.

    Ruth,

    Recognize that there is a vast difference between meat and potatoes that have been spat on by Satan and hemlock. I am not saying that Christians should willingly consume spiritual poison (hemlock). A huge part of the Christian walk is learning to be discerning – to know the difference between some good (or at least non-bad) thing that has merely been tainted and something that is by its very nature toxic.

    Here’s my system:

    FOOD
    Things which there is no law against, which are not harmful in-and-of-themselves to my brother or myself. These things can be taken and used to worship God and build the body up even if there is no specific prescription in scripture to do so.

    Pertinent examples:
    a) Computers: we are right now using computers to worship God and build up the body by speaking God’s Word to one another – where in Scripture does God say computers are OK?

    b) Radio: would you take the stance that Dr. Brown should not preach the good news and build the body through the medium of radio? Where in the Scriptures is this prescribed? Radio is never mentioned.

    FOOD THAT HAS BEEN SPIT ON
    This is something that meets the previously given definition of food, yet has been put to poor uses or otherwise corrupted in some way (by association with paganism or otherwise).

    Examples:
    a) Computers: computers are mediums for all kinds of unGodly things. You posted a link for neo-paganism, there is rampant internet pornography, including child pornography. Does this mean that computers should be shunned by Christians and never used for preaching the Gospel or building the body? If so, I would suggest that you throw yours away, or at the very least cease typing Scripture references on it since it has been “contaminated” by paganism. In fact, I daresay that you have been to the pagan referenced site above, which means that your computer monitor has had pagan messages beam out from it. Ergo – it has been contaminated. To be consistent you need to not use the same screen to read Bible passages, or else you are using something that has been put to use by pagans to worship God and nourish yourself with His Word.

    Radio: Did you know Howard Stern and Dr. Brown are broadcasted from the same satellites? Satellites and radio are the necessary medium of both, but do you stop listening to the preaching and teaching of God’s Word you receive from Dr. Brown because the radio and the satellites are the same medium for both? Surely not, this would be ludicrous. The radio isn’t bad (the food isn’t bad), the use it’s put to is what makes it bad or not. But you don’t stop eating all food because some food has spit on it.

    POISON
    This category is of things which are just bad in and of themselves. Not because anything or anyone “made” them bad or put them to bad uses – that’s just the nature of what they are.

    Examples:
    a) Abortion: I don’t have to tell you that this is just plain bad.

    b) Prostitution: Likewise, this is simply poison.

    In the end, I’m afraid the mistake you, Bo, and Juan are making is that you are confusing spat-on food with actual poison. This causes confusion and binds the conscience of the believer where it need not be bound. You do not stop using your computer because some pagans and perverts use them, you do not turn off the radio because Howard Stern blasphemes with it as his medium. Why? Because it’s not the computer or the radio – these are good things created to be received with thanksgiving because of the numerous blessings and benefits they offer (would you agree?). In the same way, I will not get rid of Christmas because of any supposed pagan connections (which, again/i> [and I grow tired of stressing this], there is virtually no evidence for anyway!).

    That all said, if you still personally consider Christmas to fall into the poison category and not the “food that has been spat on” category, I have one simple suggestion: don’t celebrate it! No one is forcing you to! In fact, Christ – through Paul – commands us not to force one another in matters of conscience, but to always consider the weaker brother!

    Bottom line: do not mix or confuse spat-on-food and poison categories. This will lead to much confusion and dismay, and it is my view that if you learn to discern between the two you will be much more at peace with these matters.

  14. Tom,

    How long have you been a Christian? Are you sure that you know the difference between spat on food and poison? Are you now answering me even though I did not go on Dr. Brown’s radio show?

    I agree with you about radio and computers…they are neither good or bad in and of themselves. They are tools. A knife can be used to prepare a meal to sustain life or to kill someone. There is a difference between a tool that can be used for either good or evil and an evil thing. As you said before, the idea of an alter is neither good or bad. You can make one for sacrifice to YHWH or a false deity. Only one problem…one that is made for a false deity can never be used to sacrifice to YHWH. One that was made for YHWH that has been defiled by offerings to false deities must be cleansed before it can again be used to sacrifice to YHWH. One more thing. An alter that has been made to worship YHWH that is not according to His specifications is unacceptable to be used to worship Him.

    Concerning the last kind of alter, it is judicious to note that YHWH required the stones to be untainted by human tooling. This speaks to us about inventions, traditions and commandments of men. This is the issue in which Messiah confronted the religious leaders of His day. They were making their worship of YHWH vain through man made ideas, traditions and commandments. They had added their “tooled stones” to the perfect alter of YHWH. There is no difference between the Pharisee’s additions and the Christian additions. There is no difference between either group’s supposed improvements to the perfect way…”spirit and truth.”

    No apostle or prophet of Messiah specified Xmas in name or deed. Yes the Pope did, but there is no divine authority to the keeping of this day. You are servants to whom you yield your members servant to obey. If you obey YHWH’s directions about what days to keep as feasts you are His servants. If you adopt the Pope’s or any other man’s religious festivals you are bowing to them instead of YHWH.

    You wrote,
    “Why should the devil have all the good music?”

    Why do you think the devil’s music is good? Whose measuring stick are you using to call it good? Man’s? YHWH’s? Satan’s? If your conscience has been formed in a less than perfect culture, which it has, how do you know that you are picking only the good music of the devil’s to play and sing? How do you know that it is not strange fire? There is only one sure method to offering a sacrifice of a sweet smelling savor to YHWH…OBEDIENCE. It must be on His terms. No man made or quarried stones. No man made incense recipes. No contamination of idolatrous practices. No copying the way the pagans worship their deities. No pride and rebellion.

    It is pride and rebellion to ignore the commandments and principles of scripture. Once you were ignorant and YHWH winked. Now you are called to repent.

    Maybe the older brother in your parable should have explained to the younger that the food had also been poisoned. Neither brother saw the poison being put on the food because the man doing the spitting had hid that very important aspect of His plot. (Satan does not do his deception by announcing his lies as lies.) The older brother could detect the poison because the Father had provided a test kit (the scriptures), which the younger brother had discarded 2/3rds of in his quest to lighten his traveling pack. The younger failed to listen to the older because he only went by what he could see…he judged by his own reasoning and experience. The poison was invisible. It caused blindness at first and very long and agonizing death in the end.

    And so, the younger brother smugly thought that he was so much smarter and had much more faith than his brother, but he was loosing his eyesight so slowly that he did not know that he was going blind until very shortly before it was complete. His lamp had gone out and he had no extra oil with which to fill it. There is hope for the younger brother, though. The poison is not permanent, if one stops eating it in time. Will the younger brother listen to the words of the older? Will he find out that real faith produces obedience? Or, will he continue to gorge himself on poison food that only looks like it has been spat on? Will he continue to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (deciding for himself) or will he exercise true faith by keeping YHWH’s commandments?

    Revelation 3
    14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
    15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
    16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
    17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
    18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
    19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
    20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
    21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
    22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

    Xmas is lukewarm. It is the mixture of hot and cold, darkness and light, paganism and truth. It is an unequal yoke between infidels and believers. Look how many unbelievers celebrate it. Look how many of those that are Christian in name only do the same. LOOK…do not continue to eat the poison that is blinding you.

    John 9
    39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.
    40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?
    41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

    Shalom

  15. Debbie Fraser wrote:
    “My very 1st post on this thread #88. I posted this….”I see the devil is trying to take away Christmas too.”

    What Satan intended as evil, The Lord turned it around to make it good. That makes the devil very, very angry.”

    I think that the devil just might like Xmas, because it is truth and lie mixed together.

    Here is a link to a Keith Green song that is done from the point of view of the devil. It makes a good point.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryYqfdKTQII

    Here are the lyrics to “No one believes in me anymore (Satan’s Boast)”:

    Oh, my job keeps getting easier
    As time keeps slipping away
    I can imitate your brightest light
    And make your night look just like day
    I put some truth in every lie
    To tickle itching ears
    You know I’m drawing people just like flies
    ‘Cause they like what they hear

    I’m gaining power by the hour
    they’re falling by the score
    You know, it’s getting very simple now
    ‘Cause no one believes in me anymore

    Oh, heaven’s just a state of mind
    My books read on your shelf
    And have you heard that God is dead
    I made that one up myself
    They dabble in magic spells
    They get their fortunes read
    You know they heard the truth
    But turned away and followed me instead

    I used to have to sneak around
    But now they just open their doors
    You know, no one’s watching for my tricks
    Because no one believes in me anymore

    Everyone likes a winner
    With my help, you’re guaranteed to win
    And hey man, you ain’t no sinner
    You’ve got the truth within
    And as your life slips by
    You believe the lie that you did it on your own
    But don’t worry
    I’ll be there to help you share our dark eternal home

    Oh, my job keeps getting easier
    As day slips into day
    The magazines, the newspapers
    Print every word I say
    This world is just my spinning top
    It’s all like childs-play
    You know, I dream that it will never stop
    But I know it’s not that way

    Still my work goes on and on
    Always stronger than before
    I’m gonna make it dark before the dawn
    Since no one believes in me anymore
    Well now I used to have to sneak around
    But now they just open their doors
    You know, no one watches for my tricks
    Since no one believes in me anymore

    Well I’m gaining power by the hour
    They’re falling by the score
    You know, it’s getting very easy now
    Since no one believes in me anymore
    No one believes in me anymore
    No one believes in me anymore

    Shalom

  16. You are certainly entitled to your opinion, Bo, and I respect that and as Paul advises I will not push you on it any further. I recognize you are trying to love God (as was the older brother as he starved himself), and I will not force the issue – but nor should you.

    In the end, you remind me of David’s wife Michal, the way you carry on against those who love the Lord in a way you think unbecoming.

    And David danced before the LORD with all his might. And David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting and with the sound of the horn. As the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, and she despised him in her heart.
    2 Samuel 6.14-16

    And I say to you with David:

    “I will make merry before the LORD. I will make myself yet more contemptible than this, and I will be abased in your eyes.”
    2 Samuel 6.21b-22

    (And I encourage everyone to read that account for yourselves to see the context.)

    That said, I spoke out because I could not in good conscience let what you said pass by. Now that I’ve spoken my piece, I will again await your time on the show.

  17. Tom,

    It is one thing to get exited and rejoice as the ark is brought into town, and quite another to participate in man made and pagan rituals to supposedly commemorate Messiah’s birthday according to a pagan calendar with man made and pagan symbols. Talk about applying a scripture in an out of context way…as you would say, “sheesh.”

    And it is quite convenient for you to not comment on adopting the devil’s music in supposed praise to YHWH, or explaining why tooled stones and strange fire are somehow appropriate now.

    Not to mention, ignoring the problem of the sin of mixture and lukewarmness that is involved in Xmas.

    And I recognize that the younger brother is free to continue to eat the blinding poison of the enemy, but I will continue to encourage you to fast from this sort of food, even if we both starve to death by obeying YHWH’s whole truth. I just have not found any lack of nourishment in obedience.

    John 4
    31 In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat.
    32 But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of.
    33 Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat?
    34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

    Check this short parable/dream out:

    http://www.godfire.net/harness_of_the_lord.htm

    Here is a good parable:

    Matthew 13
    24 He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field,
    25 but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away.
    26 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also.
    27 And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’
    28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’
    29 But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them.
    30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’

    36 Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.”
    37 He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man.
    38 The field is the world, and the good seed is the children of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one,
    39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the close of the age, and the reapers are angels.
    40 Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age.
    41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers,
    42 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
    43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

    The enemy sows anti-Torah seed. All causes of transgression of the law (sin) and the law-breakers themselves will be thrown into the fiery furnace at the end.

    I didn’t say it…Y’Shua did.

    Shalom…O that you would find the real shalom that only comes from obedient love.

  18. Oh, and you can skip the first three paragraphs of the article I linked you to above. I do not hold the sonship message that is related in this article, but the dream/parable is a good thought provoking read.

    Shalom

  19. Oh well, here is the shortened version…it is too good to pass by:

    “The Harness of the Lord”
    This was the vision given to Bill Britton:

    I SAW THE KING’S CARRIAGE

    On a dirt road in the middle of a wide field stood a beautiful carriage, something on the order of a stagecoach but all edged in gold and with beautiful carvings. It was pulled by six large chestnut horses: two in the lead, two in the middle and two in the rear. But they were not moving, they were not pulling the carriage, and I wondered why.

    Then I saw the driver underneath the carriage on the ground on his back just behind the last two horses’ heels working on something between the front wheels on the carriage. I thought, “My, he is in a dangerous place; for if one of those horses kicked or stepped back, they could kill him, or if they decided to go forward, or got frightened somehow, they would pull the carriage right over him.” But he didn’t seem afraid for he knew that those horses were disciplined and would not move till he told them to move. The horses were not stamping their feet nor acting restless, and though there were bells on their feet, the bells were not tinkling. There were pom-poms on their harness over their heads but the pom-poms were not moving. They were simply standing still and quiet waiting for the voice of the Master.

    THERE WERE TWO YOUNG COLTS IN THE FIELD

    As I watched the harnessed horses I noticed two young colts coming out of the open field and they approached the carriage and seemed to say to the horses: “Come and play with us, we have many fine games, we will race with you, come catch us.” And with that the colts kicked up their heels flicked their tails and raced across the open field. But when they looked back and saw the horses were not following they were puzzled. They knew nothing of the harnesses and could not understand why the horses did not want to play. So they called to them: “Why do you not race with us? Are you tired? Are you too weak? Do you not have strength to run? You are much too solemn, you need more joy in life.” But the horses answered not a word nor did they stamp their feet or toss their heads. But they stood, quiet and still, waiting for the voice of the Master.

    Again the colts called to them: “Why do you stand so in the hot sun? Come over here in the shade of this nice tree. See how green the grass is? You must be hungry, come and feed with us, it is so green and so good. You look thirsty, come drink of one of our many streams of cool clear water.” But the horses answered them not so much as a glance but stood still waiting for the command to go forward with the King.

    COLTS IN THE MASTER’S CORRAL

    And then the scene changed and I saw lariat nooses fall around the necks of the two colts and they were led off to the Master’s corral for training and discipline. How sad they were as the lovely green fields disappeared and they were put into the confinement of the corral with its brown dirt and high fence. The colts ran from fence to fence seeking freedom but found that they were confined to this place of training. And then the Trainer began to work on them with His whip and His bridle. What a death for those who had been all their lives accustomed to such a freedom! They could not understand the reason for this torture, this terrible discipline. What crime had they done to deserve this? Little did they know of the responsibility that was to be theirs when they had submitted to the discipline, learned to perfectly obey the Master and finished their training. All they knew was that this processing was the most horrible thing they had ever known.

    SUBMISSION AND REBELLION

    One of the colts rebelled under the training and said, “This is not for me. I like my freedom, my green hills, my flowing streams of fresh water. I will not take any more of this confinement, this terrible training.” So he found a way out jumped the fence and ran happily back to the meadows of grass. I was astonished that the Master let him go and went not after him. But He devoted His attention to the remaining colt. This colt though he had the same opportunity to escape decided to submit his own will and learn the ways of the Master. The training got harder than ever but he was rapidly learning more and more how to obey the slightest wish of the Master and to respond to even the quietness of His voice.

    And I saw that had there been no training, no testing, there would have been neither submission nor rebellion from either of the colts. For in the field they did not have the choice to rebel or submit, they were sinless in their innocence. But when brought to the place of testing and training and discipline, then was made manifest the obedience of one and the rebellion of the other. And though it seemed safer not to come to the place of discipline because of the risk of being found rebellious, yet I saw that without this there could be no sharing of His glory, no Sonship.

    INTO THE HARNESS

    Finally this period of training was over. Was he now rewarded with his freedom and sent back to the fields? Oh no. But a greater confinement than ever now took place as a harness dropped about his shoulders. Now he found there was not even the freedom to run about the small corral for in the harness he could only move where and when his Master spoke. And unless the Master spoke he stood still.

    The scene changed and I saw the other colt standing on the side of a hill nibbling at some grass. Then across the fields, down the road came the King’s carriage drawn by six horses. With amazement he saw that in the lead, on the right side, was his brother colt now made strong and mature on the good corn in the Master’s stable. He saw the lovely pom-poms shaking in the wind, noticed the glittering gold bordered harness about his brother, heard the beautiful tinkling of the bells on his feet — and envy came into his heart.

    Thus he complained to himself: “Why has my brother been so honored, and I am neglected? They have not put bells on MY feet nor pom-poms on MY head. The Master has not given ME the wonderful responsibility of pulling His carriage, has not put about ME the gold harness. Why have they chosen my brother instead of me?” And by the Spirit the answer came back to me as I watched: “Because one submitted to the will and discipline of the Master and one rebelled, thus has one been chosen and the other set aside.”

    A FAMINE IN THE LAND

    Then I saw a great drought sweep across the countryside and the green grass became dead, dry, brown and brittle. The little streams of water dried up, stopped flowing, and there was only a small muddy puddle here and there. I saw the little colt (I was amazed that it never seemed to grow or mature) as he ran here and there across the fields looking for fresh streams and green pastures finding none. Still he ran, seemingly in circles, always looking for something to feed his famished spirit. But there was a famine in the land and the rich green pastures and flowing streams of yesterday were not to be had. And one day the colt stood on the hillside on weak and wobbly legs wondering where to go next to find food and how to get strength to go. It seemed like there was no use, for good food and flowing streams were a thing of the past and all the efforts to find more only taxed his waning strength.

    Suddenly he saw the King’s carriage coming down the road pulled by six great horses. And he saw his brother, fat and strong, muscles rippling, sleek and beautiful with much grooming. His heart was amazed and perplexed, and he cried out: “My brother where do you find the food to keep you strong and fat in these days of famine? I have run everywhere in my freedom, searching for food, and I find none. Where do you in your awful confinement find food in this time of drought? Tell me, please, for I must know!” And then the answer came back from a voice filled with victory and praise: “In my Master’s House there is a secret place in the confining limitations of His stables where He feeds me by His own hand and His granaries never run empty and His well never runs dry.”

    And with this the Lord made me to know that in the day when people are weak and famished in their spirits in the time of spiritual famine that those who have lost their own wills and have come into the secret place of the most High into the utter confinement of His perfect will shall have plenty of the corn of Heaven and a never ending flow of fresh streams of revelation by His Spirit. Thus the vision ended.

  20. One more note:

    Bo,

    It is one thing to get exited and rejoice as the ark is brought into town, and quite another to participate in man made and pagan rituals to supposedly commemorate Messiah’s birthday according to a pagan calendar with man made and pagan symbols. Talk about applying a scripture in an out of context way…as you would say, “sheesh.”

    Bo, I say this in love and hope that you will open your eyes: do you not realize that you are completely off here?

    1) Jesus Christ is God with us – much more a true Ark of the Covenant than any build by human hands. David rejoiced with exceeding joy, doing things that were not prescribed by the law of Moses, with the coming of the old ark. How much more should we celebrate the True Ark that comes into the world?

    2) These “man made and pagan rituals” you say we are participating in – that’s essentially what Michal thought of David’s dancing! And she thought it was unbecoming to boot.

    3) The “pagan calendar” is a red herring; others besides me have well pointed out that it’s not about the calendar – it’s about Jesus

    4) The “man made and pagan symbols” you refer to: where’s the proof they are pagan? I tell you again, IT DOES NOT EXIST!

    My application of the scripture was in no way, shape, or form out of context. We celebrate the coming of the True Ark into our midst – as David celebrated the coming of the old ark into Jerusalem’s midst. You criticize, snipe, and condemn the way we do that (which has NO VERIFIABLE PAGAN CONNECTIONS) – as Michal condemned and criticized David for the way he chose to celebrate (and please note that the way he chose to do it was not prescribed by the Torah).

    If someone else besides Bo would like to call me out as having pulled these verses out of context and misapplying them, I am most open to correction (and given how I tore into Bo for ripping verses from the context and misapplying them, I would certainly deserve it). However, if I have been true to the scripture in this instance, consider letting Bo know so that “every matter may be established by two or three witnesses”.

  21. Bo, Im curious to know if you attend a local church that supports your view. If so, what is the name, location and/or web site?

  22. Christmas as we generally know it today can contain Pagan elements — that’s obvious, that’s historical fact. Don’t believe me, though — google the various aspects of the Holiday and you will find many Pagan roots to many of them.

    It can also be a time of commemorating the advent of the Lord, if stripped of all Pagan elements. That’s pretty simple, and has historical precedent as well.

    But when people combine the Pagan traditions and then claim that it’s okay because they’re using it to glorify the Lord – I believe, anyway – that this is pure rationalization, because not only the prophets who spoke for the Lord, but the apostles of the New Covenant also cautioned against Pagan practices. If we can’t square it with Scripture, then we’re back to inventing our own religion. It must meet that test, or else it’s a grab bag of beliefs that can be thrown together to suit ourselves.

    So to summarize, if it’s Pagan, it should not be a part of Christmas for any Christian. Many Church leaders of the past have argued that. But the general popularity of customs won out, as well as the desire to not be too different from the “world.” It’s probably common today to find elves in Christmas plays at churches.

    So…people will find a way to do what they want to anyway and claim it’s OK. Not merely OK, but used in the service of the Lord for “building up the Body.”

    Everyone should certainly be clear in their own conscience. Obviously, I can’t, in good conscience, participate in the season with all of those Pagan elements. I do believe in rejoicing that the Lord was born, and witnessing about that, and I like the view of reaffirming that Yeshua/Jesus is the “Light of the World” at Hannukah.

    I was married to a male witch, and I know how the Pagans revel in Yule and claim it all for their pantheon, including Goddess worship, so I am not naive as to that holiday in the Pagan world. I would not want to send my grandchildren a mixed message: that Grandma is winking at Grandpa’s “Old Religion” (we’re divorced and yes, I believe in Jesus’ words, so I’ll never remarry).

    Knowing how the Lord felt about Pagan practices when He was training the children of Israel, I think it would be a colossal slap (as it were) in His face for believers in Jesus to try to marry those traditions to the worship of God today.

    I also believe it’s important how we discuss Paganism and that while we’re upfront about it, that we express LOVE to those in that darkness. Throwing the book at someone — even if it is a Bible — tends to alienate them, but with gentleness and patience, they can come to understand WHY we can’t swallow certain aspects, and even learn to respect the integrity of our viewpoint.

  23. Here is a little taste Tom,

    Tertullian, a Catholic writer in the late second or third century, lamented: “By us [Christians] . . . the Saturnalia, the feasts of January, the Brumalia, and Matronalia are now frequented; the gifts are carried to and fro, new year’s day presents are made with din (??), and the banquets are celebrated with uproar; oh, how much more faithful are the heathen to their religion, who take special care to adopt no solemnity from the Christians.” (Tertullian in De Idolatria, quoted by Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, 1959. p. 91). As early as A.D. 245 the Church father Origen was proclaiming that it was ‘heathenish’ to celebrate Christ’s birthday as if He were merely a temporal ruler when His spiritual nature should be the main concern. The Encyclopedia Britannica adds: “The [Church] Fathers of the second and third centuries, such as Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and Epiphanius, contended that ‘Christmas’ was a copy of a pagan celebration.” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 15th edition, Micropaedia, Vol. 4. p. 499, “Christianity”) The Christians of Armenia and Syria accused the Christians in Rome of sun worship for celebrating Christmas on December 25. . .Pope Leo the Great in the fifth century tried to remove certain practices at Christmas which he considered in no way different from sun worship (Robert Myers, Celebrations: The Complete Book of American Holidays, 1972, p. 310).

    Read more: http://www.bukisa.com/articles/423296_should-a-christian-celebrate-and-attribute-religious-significance-to-the-christmas-holiday#ixzz1BJVfqOIi

    Shalom

  24. Oops, you will have to copy and paste the link above into your address bar, as clicking on it takes you to the list of videos instead of directly to the one about Xmas.

  25. Ruth,

    We need to be wary – I couldn’t agree more! For me, Christmas has not a hint of paganism, for you it does. Let us each be fully convinced in our own minds.

    Bo,

    Wow, you even take Turtullian out of context. I’d love to see what proof the Encyclopedia Britannica offers to back up that assersion. It’s funny that the website you link us to offers wikipedia citations as hard evidence of their claims, very funny indeed. Where is the actual scholarship in anything you’ve given us? I find it lacking.

    Might I suggest: http://www.orlutheran.com/html/chrmas_pagan1.html
    for some actual scholarship.

    or

    http://www.bib-arch.org/e-features/christmas.asp#location1

    For some very good elaborations on what I have been trying to tell you:

    http://toddpruitt.blogspot.com/2009/12/christmas-is-not-pagan-holiday.html

    http://www.str.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5172

  26. Tom,

    Did you notice that there is no record of David, or YHWH, proclaiming an annual feast to YHWH on the date of the ark coming into town? Did you notice that the angels sang on the day of Messiah’s birth but did not proclaim a new feast to YHWH on that date?(Of course, I think that His birth happened on a Biblical holiday.) Did you notice that Michal was David’s wife and that her dishonoring of him brought ramifications to their one flesh relationship? Did you notice that those that decry the falseness of Xmas are not married to the people to whom they try to convince to stop doing Xmass…usually? Did you notice that many prophets rebuked kings and peoples for false worship and the people evidently didn’t think that they were in the wrong? (King Saul thought that he had obeyed YHWH but he was deceived into thinking that he could do it his own way and that it would be acceptable worship to YHWH…it wasn’t.)1 Samuel 15:1-29

    I appreciate the concept that Y’shua came in the flesh being proclaimed…but that is an everyday thing, or likely a feast of tabernacles thing. I do not appreciate using pagan alters to offer sacrifices to YHWH. Why do we not do as Elijah did…rebuild the alter of YHWH to proclaim to the pagan priests who Y’shua is. Let’s offer our worship on the rebuilt alter of YHWH, with His Holy days, instead of using man made stones to build an alter and thus defile the sacrifices of praise. If you want to use the pagan alter to the unknown god (Christmas) to make a spiritual point to the heathen, great. If you want to offer an offering on that alter, even if it is supposedly to YHWH, it is pride, rebellion and abomination.

    I am not speaking to the ignorant. If you are ignorant of the feasts of YHWH and principles of worshiping in spirit and truth, YHWH overlooks your misunderstandings. If you should be teachers by now, but still have need of milk, then you need to repent.

    Shalom

  27. Sheila wrote:
    “If we were to follow your logic we would assume that you are saying that Jesus is a “false” God. How can you hold to your argument when it is against Christ?

    Are we, in fact, bowing our knee to Baal at Christmas?—No

    Are we making an image representing another God to worship?—No

    Are we singing hymns and worshipping with our hearts and mouths another God?—No

    Are we praising the Father and the Son at Christmas?—Yes

    Is Christ worthy of our praise and adoration—Yes

    Where is the “other” God in this celebration?”

    You misunderstand my logic.

    It is not a matter of where is the “other” god. It is a matter of using the practices, customs, and symbols of the worshipers of “other” gods. It is strange fire. It is using a pagan altar to attempt to sacrifice to YHWH. Good intentions are not good enough for the mature believer. Spirit and truth is the goal…not just spirit…TRUTH!

    Going with the flow desensitizes us to the lies of the devil and blinds us to all the idolatrous practices in our holidays. The fact that believes continue to participate in Xmas is sufficient evidence to prove this. Xmas is an invention of man that borrows heavily from pagan/idolatrous religious rites. There is no scriptural or apostolic commandment, precedent or even hint that Xmas is of YHWH.

    YHWH very specifically told us about His Holy days. He definitely told us not to add to or detract from His statutes. The apostles and early assemblies continued to keep these true Holy days for at least 100 years, probably 200. Only after the Roman apostasy had begun did Xmas, with its pagan roots, begin to be sanctioned. (Have you checked out the links above?)

    Strange fire:

    Leviticus 10
    1 And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not.
    2 And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.
    3 Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the LORD spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace.

    Pagan altars:

    Deuteronomy 7
    5 But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.
    6 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.
    7 The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:
    8 But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
    9 Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;
    10 And repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face.
    11 Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day, to do them.

    Pagan statutes:

    Deuteronomy 12
    2 Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every GREEN TREE:
    3 And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place.
    4 Ye shall not do so unto the LORD your God…
    30 Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, 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.
    31 Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.
    32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.

    Leviticus 18
    3 After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances.
    4 Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the LORD your God.
    5 Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the LORD.

    Real sanctification (being holy to YHWH):

    Leviticus 20
    7 Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God.
    8 And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the LORD which sanctify you.

    Exodus 31
    13 Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.

    Leviticus 11
    44 For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
    45 For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.
    46 This is the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moveth in the waters, and of every creature that creepeth upon the earth:
    47 To make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten.

    Numbers 15
    38 Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue:
    39 And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring:
    40 That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God.

    1 Thessalonians 4
    7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.
    8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.

    Romans 3
    31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

    Romans 6
    1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
    2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
    Romans 6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

    Romans 7
    7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

    Romans 7
    13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.

    Galatians 3
    21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.

    1 John 3
    4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

    Hebrews 10
    26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
    27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
    28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
    29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

    Hebrews 12
    14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

    Ephesians 5
    5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
    6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
    7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
    8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
    9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
    10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
    11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
    12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.
    13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
    14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
    15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
    16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
    17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

    2 Corinthians 6
    14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
    15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
    16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
    17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
    18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
    1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

    Revelation 18
    1 And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.
    2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
    3 For all 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.
    4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
    5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.

    Isaiah 35
    8 And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.

    Shalom

  28. Something my Pastor once told me. He said that some Christians look for other Christians for their approval on what they do.

    Man’s approval is not what counts or matters. It is the Lords approval.

    There are 2 ways folks celebrate Christmas, the world’s way. Which they do not acknowledge Jesus, they are way into materialism, Santa etc.

    Then you have the children of God’s way to celebrate CHRISTmas. Who show Jesus their unfailing thankfulness and love.

    I believe the Lord does frown upon the world’s way of celebrating Christmas. But He delights and inhabits the praises of His children when they acknowledge Him on Christmas or any other day of the year.

    I know some Christians who mix Santa in the mix of Christmas. But I do not judge them because that is between them and the Lord.

    Besides I do not worship Baal because I do not even know Him. I know Yeshua HaMashiach
    and His Father.

    Why do I have a feeling that in the month of July this thread will still be going. LOL

  29. To be completely honest here. I do see Bo’s point in some ways.

    Also I see the Christmas celebrators point and their hearts in a lot of ways.

  30. I could write a book in answer to the false dichotomy set forth here, but, I desist.

    Hebrews 12
    14 Follow peace with all men,

  31. Bo,

    Your usage of trying to tie Christmas with strange fire is taking things out of context from Scripture. Tom and others in the past has addressed how you have shown to isolate passages, misinterpret and apply it incorrectly against culture todays.

    You have been here for a long time on your soap box trying to argue your man made views by twisting Scripture and trying to lead others into bondage. Its time for you to step it up and call Dr. Browns radio show.

  32. I agree that every one who is posting here is totally sincere, and that we can’t judge their hearts nor can they judge ours, but that what we do is between ourselves alone and the Lord, who in fact sees so much, He can even reveal our own hearts to us. May all be blessed by Him.

  33. Hey everyone,

    I just found this by searching “strange fire Christmas”. This article is from source that would take issue with many, if not most, of my ideas.

    Tom will like it because it is by an amillennialist and has an extensive quantity of historical quotes at the end.

    Jabez and Sheila will like it because it is very long 🙂

    Ruth will like it…no becauses.

    Ben KC will like it because it calls Sunday the sabbath.

    Debbie will like it because she likes everybody.

    Here is the link:

    http://www.reformedonline.com/view/reformedonline/xmas.htm

    Here are some excerpts from the article titled, “The Regulative Principle of Worship and Christmas” by Brian Schwertley

    “Introduction

    The Puritan/Presbyterian wing of the Reformation accomplished a purity in worship not seen since the apostolic church. This purity was attained by making the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments the only infallible standard and authority in determining worship ordinances. Any ordinances solely based on church tradition or man’s authority were discarded. However, this purity attained by our spiritual forefathers has, with the passage of time, been cast aside. Pragmatism, tradition and human opinion are exalted in determining how God’s people are to worship Him. The attitude among many in church leadership positions is to give the people what they want, rather than to submit to God’s divine revelation.

    The purpose of this booklet is to show that God does not leave it up to man to make up his own rules regarding worship. Christians are to learn and submit to what God says in this area. The first part of this booklet discusses the “regulative principle” of Scripture and worship. God has set down in Scripture how He is to be worshipped. Man is not to add to or detract from what God says. The second part of the booklet examines the keeping of Christmas. Christmas is a good example of how many people violate this regulative principle of worship. It is celebrated almost universally, even by those who claim to adhere to the regulative principle.”

    “The Regulative Principle

    The Regulative Principle of Scripture – Sola Scriptura
    Because of man’s sinful nature, God’s covenant people often stray from the truth. Men often pervert true religion by eliminating elements in it they find unpleasant. They also pervert it by adding their own ideas to it. This very tendency to corrupt true religion, by addition or subtraction, is why God warned Israel not to add to or subtract from His Word. “Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you” (Deut. 4:1-2).

    This passage of Scripture, and others like it, forms the basis for the Protestant reformers’ doctrine of sola Scriptura. That is to say, the Bible alone is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice. “The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men . . . and that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and government of the Church, common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature, and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the Word, which are always to be observed.”1 Therefore, everything that man does is to be based on either the explicit commands of Scripture, deduced by good and necessary consequence (e.g., historical example,2 implication, etc.) or, if circumstantial, to be ordered by the light of nature and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the Word (e.g., time or place to meet, etc.). Moses’ command in Deuteronomy 4:2 is God’s regulative principle, in a broad sense. Man’s ultimate authority and blueprint for life is revealed in the Bible.”

    “The Regulative Principle of Worship

    The Bible is our only infallible rule for faith and practice. There is no area of life where this truth is more applicable than in the area of worship. Before entering the promised land, God told the Israelites how to avoid idolatry and syncretism (i.e., blending or mixing) with pagan worship. “Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou inquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so I will do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God. . . . What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it” (Deut. 12:30-32).

    Whatever is not commanded by Scripture in the worship of God is forbidden. Anything that the church does in worship must have warrant from an explicit command of God, be deduced by good and necessary consequence, or be derived from approved historical example (e.g., the change of day from seventh to first for Lord’s day corporate worship). “As under the Old Dispensation nothing connected with the worship or discipline of the Church of God was left to the wisdom or discretion of man, but everything was accurately prescribed by the authority of God, so, under the New, no voice is to be heard in the household of faith but the voice of the Son of God. The power of the church is purely ministerial and declarative. She is only to hold forth the doctrine, enforce the laws, and execute the government which Christ has given her. She is to add nothing of her own to, and to subtract nothing from, what her Lord has established. Discretionary power she does not possess.”3

    The view commonly held among Protestant churches today is that anything is permitted in worship, provided it is not explicitly forbidden in the Bible. This was, and is, the accepted view among Episcopalian and Lutheran churches. The early Reformed and Presbyterian churches rejected this view as unscriptural. The Westminster Confession of Faith says, “the acceptable way of worshipping the true God is instituted by Himself, and so limited by His own revealed will, that He may not be worshipped according to the imaginations and devices of men. . . or any other way not prescribed in the holy Scripture.”4”

    “The Unacceptable Offering

    “And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: but unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell” (Gen. 4:3-5).

    What was it regarding Cain’s offering that made it unacceptable before God? The preference for Abel’s offering and the rejection of Cain’s was not arbitrary, but based upon past revelation given to Adam and his family. Evidently, God revealed this information to Adam when He killed animals to make coverings for Adam and his wife (Gen. 3:21). Generations later, Noah knew that God would only accept clean animals and birds as burnt offerings to the Lord (Gen. 8:20). Cain, unlike his brother Abel, decided, apart from God’s Word, that an offering of the fruit of the ground would be acceptable before the Lord. But God rejected Cain’s offering, because it was a creation of his mind. God did not command it; therefore, even if Cain was sincere in his desire to please God, God still would have rejected his offering.

    God expects faith and obedience to His Word. If God’s people can worship the Lord according to their own will, as long as the man-made ordinances are not expressly forbidden, then could not Cain, Noah or the Levites offer God a fruit salad or a bucket of turnips, for it is nowhere forbidden? And if God wanted a strict regulation of His worship apart from the regulative principle, would it not require hundreds (or perhaps thousands) of volumes telling us what is forbidden? But God, in His infinite wisdom, says, “What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it” (Deut. 12:32).”

    “Strange Fire

    “And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord” (Lev. 10:1,2).

    “What was their sin? Their sin was offering of strange fire, so the text saith that they offered strange fire, which God commanded them not. . . . But had God ever forbidden it? Where do we find that ever God had forbidden them to offer strange fire, or appointed that they should offer only one kind of fire? There is no text of Scripture that you can find from the beginning of Genesis to this place, where God hath said in terminus, in so many words expressly, You shall offer no fire but one kind of fire. And yet here they are consumed by fire from God, for offering ‘strange fire.’ ” 7

    Those who reject God’s regulative principle of worship have a real problem explaining this text. Some argue that Nadab and Abihu were condemned because they offered strange incense, for offering strange incense is expressly condemned in Exodus 30:9. But the text does not say “strange incense”, it says “strange fire”. Others argue that they must have been insincere or drunk. But what does the Holy Spirit give us as the reason for their judgment? They offered strange fire “which he commanded them not.” When it comes to worshipping God, there must be a warrant out of God’s Word. “All things in God’s worship must have a warrant out of God’s word, [and] must be commanded. It’s not enough that it is not forbidden. . . . Now when man shall put a Religious respect upon a thing, by vertue [sic] of his own Institution when he hath not a warrant from God; Here’s superstition! we must all be willing worshipers, but not Wil-worshipers [sic].”8”

    “Autonomous Worship Condemned

    “And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart” (Jer. 7:31; see also, Jer. 19:5).

    The Lord condemns the children of Judah’s idolatry and pagan worship with the statement, “which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart.” Idolatry, murder and child sacrifice are explicitly condemned in the law and the prophets. Yet, Jeremiah cuts to the essence of idolatrous worship. Judah was worshipping in a manner that did not originate from God’s heart. Judah’s worship was not founded upon God’s command. Rather than worshipping God according to His command, they “walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward” (Jer. 7:24). If the people of Judah had consulted the Word of God and obeyed it, they would have been spared God’s fury. “We have to do with a God who is very jealous; who will be worshipped as He wills, or not at all. Nor can we complain. If God be such a Being as we are taught in the Holy Scripture, it must be His inalienable right to determine and prescribe how He will be served.”10”

    “Vain Worship

    “Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?” (Matt. 15:1-3).

    The Pharisees were the respected religious leaders of the Jewish people. They believed that they had the liberty to add to the commandments of God. The law of God did contain various ceremonial washings to signify the unclean becoming clean. The Pharisees simply added other washings to emphasize and “perfect” the law of Moses. There is no express commandment forbidding these ceremonial additions, except the regulative principle (e.g., Deut. 4:2; 12:31). These additions have no warrant from the Word of God.

    Jesus Christ is the champion of the regulative principle. He strongly rebuked the scribes and Pharisees for adding to God’s law. What happens when sinful men add rules and regulations to God’s law? Eventually man-made tradition replaces or sets aside God’s law. “Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition” (Matt. 15:6). The ancient Christian church added its own rules and ceremonies to the worship of God and degenerated into the pagan and idolatrous Roman Catholic Church. If we do not draw the line regarding worship where God draws the line, then, as history proves, the church will eventually degenerate into little better than a bizarre pagan cult. Christ’s rebuke to the scribes and Pharisees applies today to practically every (so called) branch of the Christian church. “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matt. 15:8-9).”

    “Christmas

    The regulative principle of worship has clear implications for those who want to promote the celebration of Christmas. The Regulative Principle forces those who celebrate Christmas to prove from Scripture that God has authorized the celebrating of such a day. This, in fact, is impossible. Additionally, celebrating Christmas violates other scriptural principles.”

    Other subtitles are:

    “Christmas is a Monument to Past and Present Idolatry”
    “Christmas is a Lie”
    “The World Loves Christmas”
    “Common Reasons Given by Christians for Celebrating Christmas”
    “Historical Appendix”…in which there are very many quotes from past Christian leaders and writers about Xmas and such…Tom will love this part as he is a historian. Here is a good one:

    “We have always accounted as an unspeakable abomination before God, all those inventions of men, viz. the feasts and the vigils of saints, the water they call holy, the abstaining from flesh upon certain days, and similar things; but especially the mass. –Waldenses, First Confession (1120).”

    “Don’t Be Fooled

    Paul warns that “Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14). That is why pagan festivals throughout the world are fun days. They are days of fine food, parties, parades, family reunions and gift giving. Satan’s goal is not merely to enslave individuals but also to control institutions, cultures and nations. The heathen calendar of “holy days,” where pagan festivals are celebrated each year at certain times, is a Satan-inspired tool to habituate whole cultures in covenant rebellion. Satan wants individuals and nations to be enslaved in pagan ritual and darkness. A culture is habituated to paganism when pagan festivals, rites and ceremonies are second nature and unquestioned in that society.

    How have Christians been fooled into celebrating a pagan festival day? The day has been transformed from a day of darkness to a day of light. How is this done? It’s very simple. The first thing you do is lie. You teach that this day is Christ’s birthday. The fact that this is not really the day Christ was born is inconsequential. Very few people will check the facts. And the ones who do will be regarded as fanatics, Scrooges and out of touch with modernity. Second, you make it a day when family members are required to be together. What a wonderful thing it is, a day for family dinner and family values. Third, you make it a day of gift giving and charity, a day of caring and sharing. Who could be against that? Fourth, you dedicate the day to children all over the world. You make it fun and give them lots of hugs and presents. Therefore, when these children grow up, the day will be filled with fond memories. It is a day of intense sentimentality. Doesn’t it bring a little tear to your eye when you think of your parents and brothers and sisters gathered around the tree? Fifth, you make sure every city and town is properly decorated. And you get the whole entertainment industry into high gear with articles, specials, movies, plays and recitals. Sixth, you put community, workplace, church and family pressure on those who do not celebrate the day to conform or else be viewed as perverting the truth or out of touch with reality.

    Has this strategy been effective? Yes, very effective. There was a time when Presbyterians and Congregationalists would have been disciplined for celebrating Christmas. For Protestants from the Calvinist wing of the Reformation, celebrating such days was unthinkable for nearly three hundred years. Now, if you are a Presbyterian and do not celebrate Christmas, other Presbyterians think you are a fanatic. Protestants have been fooled, bamboozled, hoodwinked and duped because they have forgotten God’s Regulative Principle. “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar” (Prov. 30:5-6). There would be only one acceptable reason for a Christian to celebrate Christmas, and that would be an instruction from the Word of God to do so. Since there is no implicit or explicit instruction from the Bible to do so, it is forbidden.”

    Shalom

  34. Debbie and Ruth and Sheila are right, this has spun on long enough for me. I think I’ll just take Paul’s advice to Titus and be done with what is clearly a waste of time.

    “But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.” – Titus 3.9

    (Paul has lots of good things to say about controversies in this letter – good stuff).

    See ya’ll on the other boards – but not here again.

    -Tom

  35. If you will study your bible you will see that the wise men did not celebrate the birth of our Savior. Our Savior`s birth is in Luke`s gospel, you will notice that the shepherds were there but not the wise men. Matthew records the record of the wise men coming to the house where they saw the young child with Mary His mother. They brought gifts, because in the east when you approach a king you bring gifts. The gifts were not for His birthday buy to travel to Egypt and for their journey back from Egypt when it was safe.

  36. Goodbye Tom,

    Sorry you couldn’t read the historical section of the link I posted above. Larry Norman, the singer that wrote the song, “Why should the devil have all the good music”, also had a song called “Shot Down.” One of the lines went, “They say they don’t understand me and I’m not surprised, because you can’t see nothin’ when you close your eyes.” There is a lot of historical quotes in the article link that I posted. Prove yourself a student of history.

    Here is the song by Larry Norman:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kzb-53AwMCo

    Context is the key once again.

    Titus 3
    8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
    9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.
    10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;
    11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.

    We have been talking about good works, not foolish controversies, genealogies and such. The word translated as “law” above is actually “lawyer.” So literally it should read “arguments about lawyers” or “lawyers arguments.” Because we know that the law is good if used lawfully.(1 Timothy 1:8) If we are trying to use the law lawfully it is a good thing. If we are picking and choosing the parts of YHWH’s Torah we want to follow, we are heretics. That is what the word “hairetikos” means…chooser. The lawyers were the ones that tried to find loopholes in the law and invented laws of their own. A heretic is one that rejects part of YHWH’s Torah.

    Please note a heretic “sinneth.” Transgression of the law is sin. So who is Paul talking about? Those that try to justify their unlawful actions…lawyers…heretics…those that do not want to do the good works prescribed in YHWH’s law. Please keep this verse in mind:

    2 Timothy 3
    15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
    16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
    17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

    The scriptures that Timothy knew from childhood, that made him wise unto salvation, that was spirit breathed, that teaches us all we need to know about good works, righteousness and maturity (being perfect), and that is for out correction, doctrine, and reproof is the Torah and Prophets. The exact scripture that Y’shua said not to think that He came to change.

    Xmas is not a good work according to the scriptures. Fighting for a way to justify keeping it is “striving like lawyers.” Ignoring the Torah statements and principles is being a “haitetikos.”

    Please read the link I posted above. Please open your eyes.

    Shalom

  37. Sheila,

    Here is a quote from:

    “XMAS, the diabolical paradox”
    Diabolical: Of, or pertaining to, the Devil, demoniacal, fiendish
    Paradox: A statement that is self-contradictory or false

    http://bibletruths.org/holiday/xmas_diabolical_paradox.php

    “Christ-mass

    In the Roman Catholic mass, the following anti-biblical, anti-Christ events are purported to take place:
    “Unbloody Sacrifice”

    “The mass is the unbloody renewal of the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary’s cross…Christ, through the ministry of the Roman Catholic priest, offers Himself to God in an unbloody manner under the appearances of bread and wine.” 10 (Christ is thus crucified afresh, obviously indicating His death on Calvary was insufficient.) “The mass is the same sacrifice as the sacrifice of the cross because the Victim is the same. The purpose of the mass is, among other things, to satisfy the justice of God for the sins committed against Him.” 11

    “When the priest pronounces the tremendous words of consecration, he reaches up into the heavens and brings Christ down from His throne, and places Him upon the (Roman Catholic) altar to be offered up again as the victim for the sins of man…Christ became incarnate a single time, the priest brings Christ down from heaven and renders Him present on the (Roman Catholic) altar as the eternal Victim for the sins of man-not once but a thousand times! The priest speaks and lo! Christ, the eternal, omnipotent God, bows His head in humble obedience to the priest’s command…No wonder that the name which spiritual writers are especially fond of applying to the priest is that of ‘altar Christus.’ For the priest is and should be another Christ.” 12

    To those who know the Savior and Lord of the Bible, Jesus Christ, the above quotations from official Roman Catholic publications are at once sickening and outrageous! Note the following from the word of God.”

    It is not true that I use false dichotomies. It just looks that way from inside paradoxical justification of ones traditions that can not be found in the scripture.

    Shalom

  38. Ben KC,

    Is doing what scripture commands a man made thing, or is keeping Xmas a man made thing? Me thinks you are a bit mixed up.

    Shalom

  39. Ben KC,

    Who is in bondage? The ones that can walk free of worldly false feasts, or the ones that can’t bring themselves to stop keeping Xmas?

    Shalom

  40. Ben KC,

    You wrote:
    “Bo, Im curious to know if you attend a local church that supports your view. If so, what is the name, location and/or web site?”

    No location or web site. We meet in homes and campgrounds on YHWH’s feast days. We have a few in my small town that we fellowship with regularly on new moons and sabbaths. We have no name per se. We are just some of those that seek to worship YHWH in spirit and in truth and live by every word of YHWH.

    Shalom

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