The Annual Christmas Debate

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This is your day to call in and present your argument: Was Jesus born on December 25th? Does it matter? Should we celebrate Christmas? Is it a pagan holiday? Should we “keep Christ in Christmas”? All that and more as you call in and debate the issues. Listen live here 2-4 pm EST, and call into the show at (866) 348 7884 with your questions and comments.

 

Hour 1:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: Work this out, in terms of Christmas, between you and God as individuals and families, but whatever you do, always celebrate the Messiah’s birth.

 

Hour 2:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: There is hope for America. It ties in with God’s people humbling themselves, praying, and crying out. Our God will respond with mercy.

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Other Resources:

The Annual Christmas Debate

Don’t Be Afraid of the Holy Spirit!

Your Reflections on the Son of God Movie, and Dr. Brown’s Insights on the News

72 Comments
  1. Le 23:4 These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.

    I assert that YHWH is concerned with specific days and the ways in which we keep them. Like David that did some horrendous things and still was called a man after YHWH’s own heart, we can do the same thing with our celebrations and by grace be still be considered people after YHWH’s own heart. But if David would have continued in murder and adultery, he would have no doubt lost that title and we also if we continue to sin after coming to the knowledge of the truth. (Heb 10:26) David repented of his sin. Will we?

    It is not, as some suggest, that YHWH is 100% concerned with our heart and 0% concerned with how and what we celebrate. Our hearts are shown by our actions. (Jam 2:18-20) The aspects of what we do and what we think/believe cannot be separated. We dare not justify an action by virtue of the fact that the person performing it seems to have a true heart for YHWH. We also dare not justify the heart of a person by virtue of the fact that he outwardly adheres to what is right either.

    That said, YHWH has specified some days and ways that He calls holiness. We are not allowed to invent our own holiness because then we are actually holy to ourselves or to a system or group and not to YHWH. For us to have a true heart toward YHWH while in our ignorance of YHWH’s instructions concerning holiness, we might be found celebrating/worshiping contrary to His instructions. In these instances we are declared righteous by faith and grace covers our unintentional sin. But in the instances that we know to do good and do it not (Jam 4:17) or are not completely sure that what we are doing is correct according to YHWH’s instructions (Ro 14:23) or if we are knowingly transgressing YHWH’s law (1 Jo 3:4), we reveal our deceitful heart (Jer 17:9; 5:31) and must repent to be forgiven and cleansed from all unrighteousness. (Prov. 28:13; 1 Jo 1:9) Knowingly rejecting YHWH’s instructions concerning holiness to Him is idolatry and rebellion. Participating in things that we know were invented by man as service to idols and systems that fly in the face of YHWH is not a light thing.

    We need to be careful that we do not encourage those that are in the root of bitterness. Those that think that they can do what they want while ignoring YHWH’s direct instructions defile many by their attitude of blessing themselves in their hearts while walking according to their own inventions.

    Heb 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

    De 29:18 lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from Jehovah our God, to go to serve the gods of those nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood;
    19 and it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart, to destroy the moist with the dry.
    20 Jehovah will not pardon him, but then the anger of Jehovah and his jealousy will smoke against that man, and all the curse that is written in this book shall lie upon him, and Jehovah will blot out his name from under heaven.

    And yes the “root of bitterness” that the author of Hebrews is referring to is the “root that bears gall and wormwood” in Deuteronomy.

    Nu 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.

    If we are constantly going with the crowd and forgetting YHWH’s instructions concerning holiness, then we prove that we need a reminder. When we refuse to accept YHWH’s instructions concerning this reminder, we prove that we do not really care about what He calls holiness. Yes, we go a whoring after Xmas and all sorts of things that YHWH never commanded and continue to reject YHWH’s holy commandment. “WWJD” jewelry is a perfect example of rejecting YHWH’s commandment in favor of our own ideas of a reminder. Maybe it really means “what would Judas do?”. He would come up with a marketing ploy to fleece the flock while keeping them in ignorance of what YHWH’s word does say. Is xmas any different?

    2Pe 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
    21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
    22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

    Xmas and many such things are pollutions of the world and any things that happen to be truth in such celebrations are polluted by worldly customs and idolatry. We have turned from the holy commandment of YHWH concerning when and how to worship Him on the days that He made holy and are gone a whoring because the root of bitterness in this area has been allowed to defile a very great many in Churchianity.

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

    The above verse comes just before the “root of bitterness” verse. We will not see YHWH if we continue to disregard His version of holiness. Being at peace with all men is not the same as going along with their polluted, vain worship.

    Mr 7:7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

    Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

    We need to find out what Peter is referencing in the following passage.

    1Pe 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
    16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
    17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
    18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
    19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
    20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
    21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.
    22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
    23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

    Only in obeying the truth are our souls purified. Peter is referring to some very specific passages that were written long before and that were before ordained that we should walk in…YHWH’s Torah. These passages inform us as to what living in holiness includes. This “word of YHWH” abides forever. It has not been set aside.

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

    To be continued below:

  2. Continued from above:

    Check out the “be ye holy” passages that Peter calls our attention to.

    Le 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.

    Le 19:2 Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.
    3 Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am the LORD your God.
    4 Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am the LORD your God.

    Le 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…
    22 Ye shall therefore keep all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: that the land, whither I bring you to dwell therein, spue you not out.
    23 And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them…
    26 And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine.

    Nu 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.

    One thing is abundantly clear. We are not holy to YHWH if we do not remember and keep His commandments. He asks us to do some simple things concerning His sabbaths/feast days and concening our diet and our clothing and concerning not keeping the traditions of the nations. These are part of true holiness. Xmas is not a feast of YHWH. It is full of traditions of the nations.

    Eph 4:17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
    18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
    19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
    20 But ye have not so learned Christ;
    21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
    22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
    23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
    24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

    Walking in uncleanness is not true holiness. Consistently eating the things that YHWH has told us are unclean is walking in uncleanness. It shows our greediness and deceitful lust. It shows our ignorance and blindness of heart. We are not supposed to act like gentiles any longer in the vanity of our minds…a whoring after our own ideas. We are to cleanse ourselves of uncleanness both spiritual and physical.

    2Co 6:17 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.

    We deceive ourselves if we think that we are perfecting holiness while ignoring YHWH’s holiness laws. A new heart wants to keep YHWH’s statutes and ordinances. It loves YHWH’s law.

    Eze 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
    27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

    Jer 31:31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah…
    33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

    YHWH’s law is supposed to be written on our hearts if we are in the New Covanent. It has not been written on our hearts if we do not want to do it. If we do not want to do it, if it is grievous to us, we are not in the new covenant and we do not really love either YHWH or our brothers.

    1Jo 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
    3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

    So the heart and spirit that YHWH is 100% concerned with must directly affect our actions according to what He has written concerning holiness or we deceive ourselves by being hearers only instead of doers of His word. His perfect law is still perfect and has not been set aside or made void.

    Jas 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
    23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
    24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
    25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

    If the meditations of our hearts and the words of our mouths are not acceptable according to YHWH’s holiness laws, we will be in danger of unknowingly sinning (secret faults), sinning presumptuously and of committing the great transgression.

    Ps 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
    8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
    9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
    10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
    11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.
    12 Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.
    13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.
    14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

    Jer 8:7 Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD.
    8 How do ye say, We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us? Lo, certainly in vain made he it; the pen of the scribes is in vain.
    9 The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the LORD; and what wisdom is in them?

    Jer 5:31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?

    When we are still going by the “vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers” instead or by every word that has come from YHWH, can we expect the modern pastors and prophets to not speak lies…especially if the so called “believers” love to have it so? What will we do in the end thereof? Celebrate xmas and ignore YHWH’s holy celebrations, that’s what.

    Shalom

  3. Mt 15:3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?

    Why do we continue to transgress YHWH’s commandments by our traditions? Why do we celebrate a worldly, pagan holiday that was instituted by Constantine and the Pope instead of keeping YHWH’s holy convocations (feasts) that Messiah and His Apostles kept?

    Shalom

  4. Xmas is just Nimrod, Baal, Adonis, and Mithra worship in a civilized form. It is “christianized” paganism. The names of the pagan deities have been changed to protect the guilty. Just because the Pope has genuflected over this so-called “Christian Mass” does not make it holy.

    Jer 10:2 Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
    3 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.
    4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.

    Xmas is vain and vain worship at that.

    Le 18:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, I am the LORD your God.
    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.

    The correct pattern is to reject all forms of worship that are not specified by YHWH. When we are set free by YHWH, we should leave behind our old ways of worshiping our false gods and worship YHWH in holiness. YHWH tells us not to accept our cultures values and ideas. We are supposed to reflect true “kingdom of heaven” culture.

    De 12:30 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.

    YHWH simply did not invent Xmas. It is adding to and diminishing from what He has commanded. We are not to incorporate any pagan or worldly form of worship into our worship of YHWH. Their worship taken to its highest form includes human sacrifice. Their ideas are corrupt from the very beginning.

    YHWH has specified His days of special worship. Why do we reject them and accept the ways of the heathen? Why can we not forgo the pleasures of sin for a season and stand firm on YHWH’s word and accept the persecution?

    Heb 11:24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;
    25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
    26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
    27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.

    We are afraid of what our relatives or Christian friends might think. We are afraid of what our culture will think. Our peers are our god. We are in a snare.

    Pr 29:25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.

    Shalom

  5. Bo,

    What of the Festival of Lights? The Feast of Dedication? Not commanded by God. Yet, even Jesus celebrated them.

  6. Sheila,

    Joh 10:22 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.
    23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch.

    The passage says that Messiah walked in the temple during the feast of dedication. It does not say He kept it. Since when is walking in the mall keeping Xmas. 🙂

    Shalom

  7. Ms. Sheila,
    In regards to the Festival of Lights, or any other tradition, or practice, it’s not so much about it not being in the Word, but rather whether it goes against it or not.
    Blessings.

  8. Jesus was a Jew and would have recognized the Feast of Dedication, if for no other reason than to associate Himself with the miracle of the “true” light of the world! The “true” temple of God. 🙂

  9. If anyone wants to celebrate Christmas they are free to do so, just as much as anyone who wishes not to. Each Christian does with his days as he does, to the Lord. Who is any man to judge his brother for such a thing? Is there any particular verse that applies to him? If you see him sin, then if you are spiritual, try to restore him, but this is only told unto those who are spiritual and have some maturity. Is there anything most people do on Christmas that is any better or worse than they do on any other day? I don’t know of anything. Nothing comes to my mind.

  10. In the interview, James Robison referenced pages 133 – 144, but the correct pages are 233 – 243 in INDIVISIBLE, chapter title, “Crossing the Border”

  11. Thank you, Cynthia.

    I am absolutely convinced that celebrating the coming of Messiah into the world in no way goes against the word of God.

  12. Please let us not be drawn away from the most important day of every year . When we are given life from the dead it is the day of Crucifixion that is Passover . Or you are dead in sin .

  13. Good Point Paul. We are commanded to remember Messiah’s death by continuing to keep Passover. This is the focal point of history. It is easy to have loving and gushy feelings and adore a babe in a manger. Much harder to die to ourselves and be totally devoted and obedient to the Master who laid down His life for us. The world loves xmas. This should give us a clue as to where it came from.

    1Jo 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
    16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
    17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

    Shalom

  14. I’m thinking holidays are nothing more or less than what people make them, and I’m speaking on the level of the individual here. If one makes his holiday something good in God’s sight, what difference does it make as far as he and God are concerned, even while others may make much evil of the same day? Should not one man do good on another’s evil day? Who is it that owns the days anyway?

  15. And no one is bowing down and worshiping their Christmas trees, or, honoring Baal, or Mithra, or, whoever else…

    Do we not all call the days of the week the same thing…after pagan names? Does that mean we’re all pagan worshipers.

  16. Really Sheila, No one?

    Let me see…

    No one glorifies their tree with lights and ornaments and gives it more attention than a tree is supposed to have?

    No one bows and lays gifts before it?

    No one sings to it or about it?

    No one oohs and aahs and compliments it?

    No one refuses to give it up even when they know it is syncretism?

    Sounds like an idol to me. And I know everyone says that they are not worshiping the tree, but they still do all the things the heathens did in their worship. YHWH says not to worship Him in the ways that the heathens worshiped their deities. No one, at least not many, listen.

    Le 18:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, I am the LORD your God.
    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.

    The correct pattern is to reject all forms of worship that are not specified by YHWH. When we are set free by YHWH, we should leave behind our old ways of worshiping our false gods and worship YHWH in holiness. YHWH tells us not to accept our cultures values and ideas. We are supposed to reflect true “kingdom of heaven” culture.

    De 12:30 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.

    YHWH simply did not invent Xmas. It is adding to and diminishing from what He has commanded. We are not to incorporate any pagan or worldly form of worship into our worship of YHWH. Their worship taken to its highest form includes human sacrifice. Their ideas are corrupt from the very beginning.

    Shalom

  17. Sheila,

    Certainly we call the days of the week and the months names that have come from paganism. Most of us do not practice the pagan customs and worship practices associated with those false deities on their specified day. The names of these days have been forced upon us, but we forgo the religious aspects of them. So it is not the same as you suggest. But…

    The days that we choose of our own free will, namely Xmas and Easter, we continue to use the pagan symbols and religious rites to supposedly celebrate what YHWH has done. Interesting.

    We even call the day that Messiah ascended to YHWH by the pagan fertility godess’ name. We use fertility symbols to celebrate it and xmas. When we use these names and the dates of paganism and submit to the popes edicts and ideas we are serving a false religion and are letting someone be our master instead of YHWH. If you do not think that you are enslaved, try to stop doing those things and celebrating those days.

    Mr 7:6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
    7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
    8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.
    9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

    Joh 4:22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
    23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
    24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

    You see, when we ignore YHWH’s commandments and keep our traditions of men, our worship becomes worthless…vain. These traditions of men are are not truth. They are full of lies and customs and folklore and legends. They are not of the Spirit. They are of the spirit of this world. We do not know what we worship because we have believed a lie. We love that lie, but only those that keep YHWH’s commandments will abide forever. Only they will get to eat from the tree of life.

    Re 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
    15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

    1Jo 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
    16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
    17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

    Those that abide forever are those that do what YHWH has commanded. He revealed to us His holy celebrations. We invent our own feasts that are supposedly to YHWH like Aaron did. We invent feasts that cause YHWH’s people to sin like Jeroboam did. We offer strange fire like Nadab and Abihu did. We make an altar with stones that we have crafted instead of untooled ones. The reason we are always struggling to not go along with the world at xmas time is because it of the world. It is all lust or eyes and flesh and the pride of life. Do we really decorate a tree and our houses and yards and cities and not stand back and glory in our accomplishments? It is the pride of life. Do we really not secretly hope the we get the things that we have desired/lusted for on xmas morning?

    Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

    What is really in our hearts? Is it the desire to die to self and take up our torture stakes and follow Messiah? Is it really to cleanse ourselves of all filthiness of the flesh and spirit? Or would we rather play around with the idolatrous and unholy? It is easy to justify our hearts and deceive ourselves into thinking that our attitudes and intentions are pure, but the word of YHWH shows us where we are really. It divides our thoughts and intents. When we cannot forsake the worldly and the traditions of men and when we cannot bring ourselves to do YHWH’s holy days, His word has show us our hearts.

    Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

    Jas 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

    We have no excuse because we have deceived ourselves by refusing to keep YHWH’s commandments. We love our man-made stuff better.

    Shalom

  18. Does the Roman decree which moved Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem give a time frame in their writings to show when Jesus would have been born?

  19. Bo,

    The worship of the trees in ancient Israel, was exactly that. The false gods had to “inhabit” something, whether clay statues, or, trees, or, whatever representation was carved for them. They were thought to actually be “in” those objects. As concerning the Christmas tree — nope, no one believes anyone at all inhabits their tree!

    Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg traced the origins of our Christmas celebrations back to the Roman Empire and his conclusions may surprise you. You can read about them below and just follow the link to Amazon to read any of his books. There is no modern connection to paganism as it was “displaced” by the celebration of Jesus birth (and you’ll see what else….) Your argument, at best, is moot as paganism was altogether forced out by Christianity. His thoughts begin below.

    ************************************************

    Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

    ​Christmas’ Jewish Heritage

    There are two schools of thought about whether or not a modern Christ-followers should celebrate Christmas. One group of believers that represents minority holds that Christmas should not be observed. They say that because: 1) Christmas is not sanctioned by the Scriptures as other biblical feasts are and 2) The traditional day for the birth of Jesus (Dec.25) is most positively incorrect, 3) December 25 as a date has pre-Christian pagan roots.

    The other group of people that constitutes absolute majority of modern Christ-followers holds that there is nothing wrong with both Christmas not being commended in the Scripture and the date of actual birth of Jesus being unknown. They argue that Christians do many good things that are not commanded such as celebrating “Thanksgiving” and personal birthdays, or using hymnals or PowerPoint slides in their church worship services for that matter. The Christmas day, they argue, as Jesus’ birthday is symbolic. It does not matter when exactly it took place, what matters is that it surely did!

    Although usually the conviction that worldwide Christian church has departed from its Jewish roots of the first-century Jesus (Yeshua) movement is characteristic of the first group it is not limited to them. Many from the second group agree with them wholeheartedly. Explore my books HERE.

    Most in both groups, however, miss out on a very interesting Christian liturgical connection of Christmas – New Year to the Jewish roots.

    Emperor Constantine (the guy we love to hate), whatever his other faults may have been, believed that the faith in Christ Jesus needed to replace and eradicate paganism that was deeply entrenched into the Empire. The decision was made that all celebrations of week-long festival of Saturnalia that culminated on December 25, celebrated as “Birthday of the Unconquerable Sun”, must stop.

    Instead the citizens of the Roman Empire were to begin dedicating this very day to the birthday of Unconquerable Son Jesus Christ. But what about the New Year celebration on January 1? Where did this idea come from?

    The answer may surprise you: The New Year in Christian liturgical calendars used to commemorate the Circumcision of Jesus! Just count 8 days from December 25 and you will get to January 1. Basically, if Christmas is Jesus’ birthday, New Year is his Circumcision. (Explore my books HERE.)

    Whether or not we agree with the logic behind these decisions that changed history, establishing new traditions, we certainly can see that in its origins the Israelite heritage was once imperfectly, but deeply honored.

    ***********************************************

  20. In the end I think we’ll all find that none of us has it 100% right!

    Rom 14:5 One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.

    I am fully convinced in my own mind that there is absolutely nothing pagan about Christmas and I am certainly “not” worshiping anyone other than the Lord on Christmas. For me, it’s a time to contemplate, “Emmanuel,” that is, “God with us,” and the profound way in which Messiah came to live among us as a child born to a virgin in Bethlehem. It’s a uniquely Christian holiday and we’re taking a lot of flack for it these days. The celebration was banned with a death sentence this year in a Muslim country in Africa…

  21. I hope we know that we don’t measure our self by others . We are to measure our self by The word of GOD lest we find ours self in Hell and there no way of pay our way out .

  22. Sheila,

    The idea that Messiah’s birth was on 12/25 and His circumcision was on 1/1 is ridiculous. What do Pagan named months have to do with our Savior’s birth? NOTHING! YHWH has a calendar that He specified. When we invent our own version of supposedly worshiping YHWH according to a calendar that is full of false god’s names, it is a slap in the face. It is like using the photo of our old girlfriend or boyfriend to remember our spouse when we are talking to him or her on the phone and supposedly assuring them of our love.

    I suppose that you have never realized that the feast of Tabernacles has a special day at the end that is, low and behold, 8 days later? I suppose that it never crossed your mind that Messiah came to tabernacle among us beginning on the first day of that feast and that He was circumcised on the 8th day of it?

    Paul says that YHWH’s feast days are shadows of coming things. Messiah accomplishes His salvation of our souls upon those days. He died for our sins on Passover. He rose as the first fruits from the dead on Firstfruits. He poured His Spirit into us on Pentecost. He comes for us at the last trump with the shout of an archangel on the first day of the 7th Biblical month to take us to be with Him. This day is called the Day of Blowing/Shouting. He pours out His wrath upon those that refuse to worship and serve Him and judges them on Yom Kippur. The wedding feast of the Lamb is on the Feast of Tabernacles. How fitting that He begins and ends the whole process of saving us beginning and ending on this joyful feast. The Angels rejoiced on the day of His birth at the beginning of this feast, not according to a pagan calendar and its feast to Saturn.

    I suppose that if Constantine would have wanted to really get rid of paganism that He could have at least changed the names of the days of the the week and the names of the month. I suppose that he could have just invented Xmas to be on the anniversary of an old god’s worship time to placate a world bent on paganism and false worship. Sounds halfhearted and lukewarm to me. I suppose it still placates the worldly and the pagan…for it is certain that they do not worship YHWH on this day…but they get to keep their revelry and give a small amount of lip service to YHWH like they do on Thanksgiving as well. Lip service…traditions of men…vain worship.

    Mr 7:6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
    7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
    8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.
    9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

    Sorry, but when people won’t give up their trees and their worldly calendars and their traditions of men, they are worshiping idols, even if they supposedly call it a feast to YHWH. They are still keeping themselves on the throne and they are eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil instead of from the tree of life.

    Shalom

  23. Bo,

    Is there another God being worshiped on Christmas, as far as Christians are concerned?

    Is anyone bowing down to the tree, or, offering oblations to it?

    Bo–“What do Pagan named months have to do with our Savior’s birth? NOTHING!”

    That was my point, Bo. What was once a pagan beginning for our calendar has absolutely no bearing on the modern use of it. Surely you didn’t miss that point?

    It doesn’t matter that He wasn’t born on that day. Just as the pagan roots of our calendar no longer matter.

    God’s calendar is for signs and seasons and for prophetic events, it doesn’t mean that man cannot have any celebrations outside of those outlined in the Torah. I’m concerned that you’ve turned the Torah into your own idol!!

  24. Sheila,

    Col 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

    You just do not get it. When we refuse to give up something for the sake of keeping YHWH’s commandments, which is truly loving Him according to the Bible, we have a desire/lust that is standing in the way of our worship of Him. This lust being held on to is covetousness. Covetousness is idolatry. Holding on to the traditions and commandments of men that turn from the truth is not worshiping in Spirit and the Truth.

    Now as to me turning Torah into an idol…

    Ps 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
    8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
    9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
    10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
    11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.
    12 Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.
    13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.
    14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

    It is only by desiring to know and do YHWH’s commandments that we can have any hope of not committing unknowing sin and that we will kept free from presumptuous sin. We do not understand our errors without knowing YHWH’s Torah in every aspect. You see to desire an xmas tree which is contrary to keeping YHWH’s commandments is idolatry and to desire to keep YHWH’s commandments is better than much fine gold. It is the heart of a person that has entered the New Covenant. That is what having YHWH’s law written on our hearts means. There is great reward in keeping YHWH’s law. To do otherwise is to bring defilement to many through a root of bitterness.

    Someone that has heard YHWH’s law and refuses to put it into practice is deceiving themselves. YHWH’s law is still perfect. It is not made void or obsolete.

    Jas 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
    22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
    23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
    24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
    25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

    Ro 2:13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

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

    Ro 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

    The carnal mind just cannot agree to keep YHWH’s law. The carnal mind is one that has been deceived by not putting YHWH’s law into practice and is now conditioned to think that it is not perfect or not applicable. Self deception is the hardest kind of deception to see in oneself. It can only be fixed by a quality decision to agree that YHWH’s law is perfect and that no matter what it entails you will do what it says. This quality decision must entail eliminating anything that is remotely contrary to YHWH’s law or that is adding to or detracting in any way from it. If we do not do this, we show that our heart is very deceitful because we think that we are right and YHWH’s Spirit inspired law is not right. So we end up not worshiping in Spirit and Truth, but in vain.

    Mr 7:6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
    7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
    8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.
    9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

    YHWH does care when and what we do to celebrate Him and His plan and His ways. He specified what He wanted done. When we do it according to our pagan calendar and in our customs we are worshiping in vain. We are not being Holy to YHWH but we are being set apart to idolatrous customs.

    Xmas is not from Messiah or the Apostles or even those that came directly after them. It is not walking in Messiah’s footsteps. It is the sin of Jeroboam in inventing our own feasts. It is the sin of Aaron in declaring a feast to YHWH that has idolatrous customs and symbols. It is the sin of King Saul when he saved animals to offer to YHWH that YHWH said to destroy. It is rebellion that is as the sin of witchcraft. It is designing our own altar that is polluted by our tools. It is the strange fire of Nadab and Abihu. It is going down the wide road that many travel down.

    The Rougher Way

    So many times I’ve heard it said,
    “The way to hell is smoothly paved
    with the high and good intentions
    of those that think they’re surely saved.”

    But those that turn around and climb
    the rocky path to heavens gates,
    though they stumble often times,
    for their good deeds, reward awaits.

    It’s NOT the heart or thought that counts,
    though pure and noble they may be,
    if the hands and feet attached
    are pointed toward the flaming sea.

    The only kind of faith that’s true
    is clearly seen by all around.
    It’s not belief or what we say
    but what we DO on earthly ground.

    The Creator of our world has said
    He fights against the ones that think
    that they can go their asphalt way
    proudly blinded to how low they sink.

    But grace and strength await the soul
    that can bring himself to say
    “I was wrong…I’ll do Your will.”
    And continue up the rougher way.

    Shalom

  25. Bo,

    Jesus’ whole point was that the Pharisees had laden burdensome rules of their own making on people and in doing so they completely missed the spirit of Torah and their own devices were even contrary to it’s purpose, which had an end as it was fully realized in Messiah. The Torah was our “schoolmaster” that pointed us to Him. It was a “shadow” and not the very thing. Jesus didn’t come to put the whole world under Torah, but, to offer the whole world forgiveness for our sins, not by keeping Torah, but, by believing in Him. There is no other way to the Father but by “faith” in Him.

    “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord all ye lambs!”

    To praise and worship God on Christmas day is a beautiful memorial to all that the Lord gave up to become flesh and blood that we may become sons of God!

    Gal 3:22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
    Gal 3:23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed.
    Gal 3:24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
    Gal 3:25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.
    Gal 3:26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

  26. Sheila,

    If you will note, the Pharisees were doing what you and Churchianity are doing…making the commandments of YHWH not be kept by your man-made traditions and commandments. They were rebuked because they had invented their own rules instead of keeping YHWH’s rules. You are in their camp…not me.

    And if you will just read the rest of Galatians and the book of Romans that is the more complete argument that Paul wrote after many years of experience, you will notice that the whole story is not summed up in the verses you quote. Paul made some very careful statements that punctuate his argument. These tell us what we are to never think that he is saying by his detailed and complicated explanations. Those that cannot follow his whole argument can understand his points of clarification if they care to. Most of the time they do not care to. They want their own religion instead of the truth. Here are Paul’s simple statements of clarification if you can receive them:

    Ro 2:13 For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

    Ga 3:21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid…

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

    Ro 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?

    Ro 6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
    16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

    Ro 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid…

    Ro 7:12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
    13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid…

    Ro 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

    So if you think that you can continue to transgress the law (this is the definition of sin) after receiving YHWH’s grace, you are deceived. If you think that Messiah voided or made the law of no effect, you are deceived. If you think that you are spiritually minded but will not or cannot keep YHWH’s law, you are deceived. Paul tells us to get our doctrine and instruction in righteous living from the law. If you do not want to, you tell on yourself.

    2Ti 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.
    1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
    2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
    3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
    4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

    But you would rather follow fables than the instruction from YHWH’s perfect law. It is a fable that Messiah was born on 12/25. It is a fable that YHWH does not care if we incorporate pagan and worldly ideas into supposedly worshiping Him. It is a fable that YHWH’s law no longer applies to us. You can aim for least in the kingdom if you want, but as for me and my house, we will serve YHWH according to the truth and love Him the way He ask us to instead of following the crowd.

    Mt 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

    Shalom

  27. The law that was established, and that you refuse to acknowledge is the new law of faith~~the law of the Spirit! Not the “oldness of the letter” as that was a shadow of what was to be fully realized only through faith in Messiah. It served it’s purpose and has found fulfillment in the work of Messiah, who was “offered once for all” for the remission of sins. “What purpose did the law serve then?” ” It was added because of offenses, UNTIL the seed should come to whom the promise was made.”

    Rom 7:6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

    That’s why Paul could tell us, God forbid! Because it is not against the promises of God that the law had served it’s purpose and that it was good and holy! But, it was displaced by a “better promise” and a better “covenant.”

    Heb 8:6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.

    It was completed in Messiah and a New and Better Covenant is in force now. Accept it as opposed to working contrary to God and His purposes!

  28. It says new covenant not a new law. Jeremiah prophesied that YHWH would write His law upon our hearts. There is nothing spoken of about there being a new law, just the same one that was always called YHWH’s law that abides forever until heaven and earth pass away. So, yes a better covenant base on better promises, but no different law. You did not deal with all the “God forbids.” Paul does not say that YHWH’s law was good and holy but that it still is and it is also spiritual. The law of the Spirit of life does not make YHWH’s law void. It gives us what we need to obey that law for it is still wrong for us to transgress YHWH’s law now that we are under grace. Those that cannot be subject to YHWH’s law are carnal minded.

    Ro 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.

    Ro 8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit…
    6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
    7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

    1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

    When we walk after the Spirit we keep/fulfill the law. When we cannot keep it we are carnal minded. The law is of the Spirit and it is foolishness to the carnal minded and natural man.

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

    The law is not voided by our faith it is established because those that are really in the new covenant want to keep it and have been empowered by the Spirit to keep it. It is the carnal mind that fights against keeping YHWH’s law. The Spiritually minded man keeps/fulfills the law just like Messiah did. It is sin to transgress YHWH’s perfect law and we deceive ourselves if we do not put it into practice.

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

    Jas 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
    23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
    24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
    25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

    Those that are righteous keep YHWH’s law that is righteous and prescribes what righteousness is according to Paul and John. Our instruction in righteousness is to come from the scripture that existed when Timothy was a youth. Everyone knows that that is YHWH’s Torah and the Prophets.

    Ro 7:12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.

    Ro 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law…

    Ro 2:13 For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

    1Co 15:34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

    1Jo 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
    5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
    6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
    7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.

    2Ti 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.

    But I guess that you would rather not be wise unto salvation and be instructed in righteousness. I guess that you reject the scriptures that Paul told us to get our doctrine from. I guess that you must have a carnal mind that cannot subject itself to YHWH’s law. Do not be deceived, only those that do righteousness are righteous. Only the doers of YHWH’s law are righteous…not because the have worked for salvation, but because they love YHWH’s law and want to do it.

    1Jo 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
    3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

    We are not saved by good works, but we have been created to do those good works that were before ordained in YHWH’s law.

    Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

    If you can’t do them and if you do not want to do them, you prove that you are not in the New Covenant or at least are not waking accordingly.

    Tit 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

    Heb 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
    25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
    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.

    Re 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

    Shalom

  29. Sheila,

    It sounds like you are saying that it does not matter if Christmas was originally natalis solis invicti and Mithras birthday, because we are worshiping YHWH with those customs now. You are correct Christians are not trying to worship anyone but YHWH. But I believe there is a relevant passage in Exodus.

    32 And when the people saw that Moshe delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aharon, and said unto him, Up, make us Elohim, which shall go before us; for as for this Moshe, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.

    2 And Aharon said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me.

    3 And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aharon.

    4 And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, This is your Elohim, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

    5 And when Aharon saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aharon made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to YHWH.

    6 And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.

    7 And YHWH said unto Moshe, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves:

    8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, This is your Elohim, O Israel, which has brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

    A lot of people misunderstand this passage by thinking that it is saying that the Israelites were trying to worship someone other than YHWH. But this is not the case. Verse 5 makes it clear that they were trying to worship YHWH. They were just adopting pagan customs to do so. Of course YHWH hated that idea. As we can see.

    Shalom

  30. Barrett,

    Good point. We make our worship vain and sometimes even an abomination when we take matters into our own hands.

    Mr 7:6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
    7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
    8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.
    9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

    Xmas is vain and vain worship because it incorporates man-made traditions that are contrary to YHWH’s commandments and His heart.

    Le 18:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, I am the LORD your God.
    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.

    The correct pattern is to reject all forms of worship that are not specified by YHWH. When we are set free by YHWH, we should leave behind our old ways of worshiping our false gods and worship YHWH in holiness. YHWH tells us not to accept our cultures values and ideas. We are supposed to reflect true “kingdom of heaven” culture.

    De 12:30 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.

    YHWH simply did not invent Xmas. It is adding to and diminishing from what He has commanded. We are not to incorporate any pagan or worldly form of worship into our worship of YHWH. Their worship taken to its highest (or should I say lowest) form includes human sacrifice. Their ideas are corrupt from the very beginning.

    YHWH has specified His days of special worship. Why do we reject them and accept the ways of the heathen? Why can we not forgo the pleasures of sin for a season and stand firm on YHWH’s word and accept the persecution?

    Heb 11:24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;
    25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
    26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
    27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.

    We are afraid of what our relatives or Christian friends might think. We are afraid of what our culture will think. Our peers are our god. We are in a snare.

    Pr 29:25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.

    Shalom

  31. Barrett,

    Great passage, but I don’t see the relevance to Christmas. The Israelites built an idol and worshipped it, claiming that it was their god. “and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.” -At Christmas, the body of Christ worships the Messiah as God (unless you join Bo in thinking that because people sometimes have to bend down to place a gift around the Christmas tree that it somehow means that they are bowing down and worshipping the tree. The gift is not for the tree, it is for others as Jesus was a gift to us all), celebrating His birth, and while it’s true that December 25th was not His birthday, we don’t know when His birthday was. I personally believe it was around September/October and that Christmas was actually closer to his conception rather than birth, when Gabriel was sent to speak to Mary of her conception of the Messiah.

    Any day of the year is a great day to celebrate the arrival of the Messiah Yeshua. December 25th included.

    Grace and peace,

  32. Hi Benjamin! Thanks for your reasonable thoughts.

    Barrett,

    If we read those passages carefully, we can even say that the Israelites weren’t even convinced of YHWH yet and were lamenting the departure of Moses! So, it could also be that they looked to Moses as their Messiah and then reverted back to their idolatry to replace him, not YHWH.

    7 And YHWH said unto Moshe, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves:

  33. Benjamin,

    I believe that the passage you quoted should read “This be your God, O Israel, which brought thee up out of Egypt.” They made an Idol and claimed that it was YHWH or represented YHWH. They were not trying to worship a false god. Verse 5 proves that they were trying to worship YHWH. Also notice that they made one calf not two. They were not trying to worship two or more gods. Just one namely YHWH. I think your confusion is coming from the fact that the Hebrew word Elohim is being translated as as “gods” in your translation but the context makes crystal clear that it should be translated as “God”. Also I believe the relevance of this passage to Christmas is profound. In both situations you have a group of people who are worshiping YHWH the way that pagans worshiped their gods even though YHWH said not to worship Him that way. The parallels are striking to me. Deut12:30-31 says “How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise. You shall not worship YHWH your Elohim in that way”.

    You say that December 25th is not Yeshua’s birthday, and that you think he was probably born sometime in the fall. Than why would you not celebrate it sometime in the fall so that your actions line up with your convictions? Why celebrate His birth on a day that you know He was not born on, when you could celebrate His birth on a day that might really be His birthday?

    I personally believe that if YHWH had wanted us to celebrate His birth he would have at least given us a date. He could have told us on what day of the year Yeshua was born on, but He did not.

    Shalom

  34. Thanks Barrett,

    A few points.

    1: You wrote, “They made an Idol and claimed that it was YHWH or represented YHWH. They were not trying to worship a false god.”

    – Yes they were as Sheila pointed out, God said that they had corrupted themselves by worshipping an idol. And we know it was a false god when the people said after Aaron fashioned the golden calf, “This is your Elohim, O Israel”. They had corrupted themselves.

    2: You commented, “Also notice that they made one calf not two. They were not trying to worship two or more gods. Just one namely YHWH. I think your confusion is coming from the fact that the Hebrew word Elohim is being translated as as “gods” in your translation”

    – My grammar was singular, not plural, my statement was “The Israelites built an idol and worshipped it, claiming that it was their god.” The Scripture I quoted was plural as are almost all transalations of that text, even Jewish translations. And whether it was singular or plural, both resulted in corruption.

    3: Barrett, “why would you not celebrate it sometime in the fall so that your actions line up with your convictions?”

    – Regarding my convictions I laid those out as well when I said, “Any day of the year is a great day to celebrate the arrival of the Messiah Yeshua. December 25th included.” And since I do not know when he was born, any day is perfect to celebrate his coming.

    4: I believe YHVH wants us to celebrate everything about Jesus, to glorify everything about His Son, specially His being sent to redeem us.

    Grace and peace.

  35. Hello Sheila!

    I hope you’re doing well. I just returned a few days ago from California where I spent Christmas with my parents and brothers. Much better weather out there than here in the mid-west 😉
    Happy New Year.

  36. Benjamin,

    They were not trying to worship a false god. Aharon said “To morrow is a feast to YHWH”. They corrupted themselves because they were worshiping YHWH in a way that He had forbidden. Not because they were trying to worship a false god. But because they were worshiping Him in a forbidden fashion they in reality were not worshiping Him at all. And I submit to you that that is what Christians are doing with Christmas as well. You think that you are worshiping Him by “redeeming” pagan practices but you are not.

    My reason for pointing out that there was only one idol was to show that even if they were trying to worship a false god(which they were not) they were still only trying to worship one god. And that the passage should still be translated in the singular as “god” not “gods”.

    Maybe asking why your actions don’t line up with your convictions is the wrong question. Let me try again. Why do your actions of celebrating His birth not line up with the truth of when you admit He was born?

    “The actual observance of the day of Jesus’ birth was long in coming. In particular, during the first two centuries of Christianity there was strong opposition to recognizing birthdays of martyrs or, for that matter, of Jesus. Numerous Church Fathers offered sarcastic comments about the pagan custom of celebrating birthdays when, in fact, saints and martyrs should be honoured on the days of their martyrdom—their true “birthdays,” from the church’s perspective.”

    Encyclopedia Britannica, Article on Christmas

    Apparently the Christians of the first and second centuries including the Church fathers disagreed with you about celebrating Yeshua’s birthday.

    Shalom

  37. Sheila and Benjamin,

    You wrote:
    “If we read those passages carefully, we can even say that the Israelites weren’t even convinced of YHWH yet and were lamenting the departure of Moses!”

    Israel had indeed accepted YHWH Many weeks ahead of the golden calf incident.

    Ex 19:3 And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel;
    4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.
    5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
    6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
    7 And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him.
    8 And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.

    I think that they expressed the exact sentiment that we do when we come to Messiah…”All that the LORD hath spoken we will do.” After the plagues of Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea, They knew of YHWH’s delivering power. All the people agreed to obey YHWH just as we do at salvation whether we speak those exact words. It is what comes from our hearts. And low and behold, we do the same as Israel…forget our promise and revert to heathen practices to supposedly worship YHWH.

    Barrett is correct that they were proclaiming and supposedly keeping feast to YHWH. They were doing so in direct disobedience to YHWH in that they made an image to represent Him, but they were also incorporating heathen customs which is against YHWH’s commandments. Xmas is doing the same…taking heathen customs and representations in the attempt to worship YHWH. It is vain worship. That means that our traditions and commandments of men have caused our worship to not be toward YHWH even when we think that it is. Our good intentions are worthless when we ignore YHWH’s direct words. It is the wide road that leads to destruction. And the proof is that the whole world has joined in the fun.

    Shalom

  38. I wrote:
    ” It is the wide road that leads to destruction. And the proof is that the whole world has joined in the fun.”

    To be fair, we have joined them in their fun and added a “Jesus” that is not the Messiah proclaimed in scriptures and the pagans and worldly are fine with allowing the impostor in for the most part.

    Shalom

  39. Hi Bo,

    It was an alternative reading and I probably shouldn’t have mentioned it, except to point out to Barrett that they had turned to idolatry in their worship. I think it’s peculiar though, that they didn’t realize that whether Moses was with them or not, YHWH still was. So why did they revert back to idolatry at his absence? I think the association between someone/something they could “see” and the directives of God coming through Moses wasn’t clear cut in their minds. After over 400 years of idolatry, they likely had a belief that God “inhabited” someone/something visible and that Moses at the time represented God incarnate. Do you see? Anyway, it’s nothing to get side tracked over~~just some thoughts from me… God appeared to Moses, but, to the rest veiled in a cloud over the tabernacle.

    Elsewhere God says this:

    Act 7:41 And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands.
    Act 7:42 Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness?
    Act 7:43 Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon.

    It doesn’t sound like they were all on board.

  40. Hi Benjamin!

    I am doing well. I’m happily busy these days doing many things of interest to me~~photography and daylily groups among the most prevalent interests. I’ve begun hybridizing for myself and there’s a lot of planning and paperwork involved, even in planning new purchases as I’m researching the genetics (parentage) at the same time.

    Winter is the time of year I can get a break from it.

    Blessings to you, my friend!

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