The Pope and His Christmas

Garrick Augustus; December 12, 2012

 At a time when the rest of the Christian world pauses to venerate the celebrated “birthday of Christ”—Christmas, the current Pope has sought to pour cold water on the myths of Christmas, even while Seventh-day Adventists are trumping its legitimacy!  And though Christmas has the Catholic Church to credit for its baptism into Christianity, we find Christians in general, and Adventists in particular, making room, and even seeking to find Biblical sanction for this pagan festival.  At a time when the Papacy is showing daylight between Christianity and paganism, distancing herself from the erroneous trappings of Christmas, at the same time many of our Churches are perpetuating the myth, and lying to our children and the world that December 25th is the historic celebration of the birth of Christ. It causes us to wonder, what’s at stake: Is Christmas a purely innocent festival for the enjoyment of our children?  Is it the commemoration of the birth of Christ?  Has the practice of Christmas been given Biblical sanction and recognition?

 While the papacy is blunt that Christmas, by and large, is of dressed up paganism, wrapped in the garb of church and cultural traditions, we find the people of the book—Seventh-day Adventists, making room for its promulgation!  Friends, if the stones do not cry out, then are we all damned for destruction.  Central to the great gospel commission are these words of Christ (Y’shuah): “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matt. 28: 19, 20.  The act of “teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you,” goes beyond Sabbath observance, the return of tithes and offerings, and strikes at the heart of the Torah-living Christianity.

 If indeed we are obedient to this commission from our Saviour, then we would do well to note what He has commanded us, in that “the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” John 4: 23, 24.  The “in truth” factor cannot be overstated here, for what we see in the commemoration of Christmas is the perpetuation of a lie!  Christ has declared one to be the “father of lies” (John 8: 44), even the devil and Satan, and so for Christians to proclaim his “lies” in their allegiance to and veneration of Christmas, is for them to promote and serve the enemy of righteousness–Satan!  Strong words, but they are true, and we must get to the place where we distance ourselves from the errors and lies that have attached themselves to Christianity over the centuries, and live the Torah, by worshipping YHWH “in spirit and in truth.” There must be a stop to paganism, and a call to come out of Babylon today! After all, this is the hallmark of the third angel’s message (Rev. 14: 6-12)—a call for true worship, and denouncing Babylon as fallen!

 I shall contrast below the Adventist’s version of Christmas, versus what the Papacy now teaches on its very own institution, and let the reader determine the truth of the matter.  I need first to post this warning: whenever you are accessing truth, you must leave your emotions at the door of investigation. Yes, the pretty lights and snowflakes, the gifts and pageantry all appeal to our social tastes, but let’s go beyond, the decked halls and the golden sleigh, let’s go beyond bobtails and silver bells, let’s go beyond the merry-making gift-giving jolly fellow—“Satan Claus,” even going  beyond the colorfully lit Christmas trees and all the manger sceneries, and with our emotions arrested, eyes opened to the truths of Torah, and ears opened to the Holy Spirit’s voice, assess our current Adventist teaching on Christmas, in contrast with what the pope teaches on the matter.

 Adventists are partial to Christmas only because Ellen White has given her sweeping approval of its pagan practice through her approval of the tree.  Shall we therefore continue in the perpetuation of this invention of the devil, by lying to our children and the world so that we may leave the office of Ellen White to glow with the air of “infallibility”?  God forbids!  We must be honest enough to acknowledge that she was wrong to endorse the birthday of the pagan messiah—Tammuz, December 25th.  She was wrong to give endorsement of the attendant devil-inspired Christmas tree.  She was wrong to have attributed divine sanction to the practice of attaching gifts for Jesus on this altar of Baal. This is not the only time, though, when a prophet has been wrong, and so we need to acknowledge this fact and get over this blunder of Sister White’s as quickly as possible, by teaching the truths of the Scriptures on the birth of Christ, rather than perpetuating an error simply because it has herendorsement.

 The Adventist’s position on Christmas, in the words of our church leaders, is presented in the ensuing ten paragraphs:

                                                                      

  1. I appreciate the Christmas season as it helps me to see the good that is in people all year long. I’m sorry not everyone sees it that way.
  2. Imagine this scenario. It’s a beautiful sunny Florida day. You call me and say, “William, let’s go to the beach and enjoy a beautiful sunset.” I respond, “No way! Don’t you know that some pagans worship the sun, therefore we should have nothing to do with it!” Would that be balanced thinking? Likewise just because some pagans a few hundred years ago celebrated the winter solstice around this time of year should not keep us from worshiping the Son on that day!
  3. I have also heard that Christmas is a “Catholic” holiday. Does that make it wrong to remember Christ’s birth at this time? Not everything Catholics do or have done is bad. Catholics operate good hospitals all over the world where people of all faiths and beliefs receive compassionate care. If we are not Catholic does that mean that we should not have good hospitals just because they do? There are many good Catholics who pray every day. Should we refrain from prayer because Catholics pray? Of course not. So why should we refrain from celebrating a holiday that makes the whole world think of Jesus? Remember, like Christmas, Martin Luther’s origins were Catholic too, so as good Protestants should we reject him too?
  4. We need to “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21) While Sunday observance opposes the Sabbath observance, celebrating Christmas does not oppose anything biblical.
  5. Let us remember, that while Paul clearly taught that the feast days were no longer binding, but were a shadow of things to come (See Colossians 2:14-17), he still went up to Pentecost, as it was an opportunity for him to share Jesus with everyone. (See Acts 20:16 and 1 Corinthians 16:8) With the same missionary Spirit that Paul had, should we not also take advantage of celebrations that enable us to share Jesus, including Christmas and Easter? Remember too, that Jesus met people where they were.  He showed an interest in their secular affairs, so that He could reach their hearts.
  6. The Spirit of Prophecy that rested upon Paul stays consistent as it rested upon Ellen White, who tells us Christmas serves a good purpose.
  7. As the twenty-fifth of December is observed to commemorate the birth of Christ, as the children have been instructed by precept and example that this was indeed a day of gladness and rejoicing, you will find it a difficult matter to pass over this period without giving it some attention. It can be made to serve a very good purpose. –Ellen White, Adventist Home, Page 478
  8. I believe that if Christmas was a day that we should ignore, that God’s prophet would have instructed us so very clearly. She does not instruct us to ignore this day. God gave her no such message.  Nor does the Spirit of Prophecy tell us that a Christmas tree within itself is pagan.
  9. God would be well pleased if on Christmas, each church would have a Christmas tree on which shall be hung offerings, great and small, for these houses of worship. Letters of inquiry have come to us asking, Shall we have a Christmas tree? will it not be like the world? We answer, You can make it like the world if you have a disposition to do so, or you can make it as unlike the world as possible. There is no particular sin in selecting a fragrant evergreen, and placing it in our churches; but the sin lies in the motive which prompts to action, and the use which is made of the gifts placed upon the tree.  –Ellen White, Review and Herald, December 11, 1879 par. 15
  10. Yes, we all know Jesus was not born on December 25. We do not need to celebrate it as Christ’s actual birthday. We celebrate the fact that Jesus became a man and died for our sins. Maybe Christmas was inspired by pagan motives. Joseph’s brothers had “pagan” motives when they sold him to the Ishmaelites. No matter. God used it for good and made Joseph a savior of his times. So today, we have an excellent opportunity to allow God to use a day set up by sinful mankind to turn peoples’ minds and hearts to the Savior. The original motives good or bad do not matter at this point. God can use it for good. This does not contradict Bible doctrine.  The-Christmas-Spirit (Emphasis mine); Also read Should-We-Celebrate-Christmas?; Should-Adventists-Celebrate-Christmas?

 To address the wanton errors being taught as sound reasoning in the above 10 paragraphs, will certainly make this article too long, so in the interest of time and brevity, I invite you to request my ground-breaking research paper entitled “Christ-mass, Is It Christian?”  Let’s now examine some of the arguments, and wrong-headed theology presented in the Adventist’s position shown above:

 In paragraph-1, the theologian rejoices, declaring: “I appreciate the Christmas season as it helps me to see the good that is in people all year long.”  This is emotive reasoning, but false for the following reason.  If the goodness that is in people all year long, can only be shown on one day out of the year, this is not consistent with the teachings of Torah.  People in general, and believers in particular, if they have genuine goodness in them,  should not shutter their bowels of mercy, and reserve their brotherly love and compassion for one day out of the year.  How will the needs of the poor be met for the remaining 364 days?  Here is what Christ teaches:

“And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.  And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.  And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.”  (Luke 6: 31-34)  And if ye give Christmas presents to those who can exchange a Christmas present with you, what righteousness have you? For the heathens also do the same!  What Christmas really does, is to perpetuate a system of greed by feeding a few poor at the expense of meeting their needs on a sustained basis.  Let me illustrate with the angel who troubled the water at Bethesda:

“Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.  In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.  For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.  And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.  When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?” John 6: 2-6

Imagine a poor sick man for 38 years seeking help just to get into the pool, only for a stronger than he to lunge ahead at the troubling of the water!  His hopes are dashed, and the cycle continues the next season.  This went on for thirty-eight years, and there was “no man” to help him into the pool.  Clearly, the “angel” who went down is not from Christ, because that is not how the Saviour works—he does not deal out a system of “survival of the fittest,” as is so evident with the struggle for survival at Bethesda, rather, his ministry is directed “unto the least of these.”  The angel which went down was a fallen angel, who gave enough hope of divine healing to keep the people trapped in a hopeless life, much like the lottery today.  We hear of the few people who win it at the expense of the masses, hence it gives some people hope of “winning big” someday. This though, is the tool which the enemy of souls uses to trap humans in the cycle of dependence on his methods, and what was true of the Bethesda experience is similarly true of the Christmas spirit.

In paragraph-2, the church Leader defended the Christmas myth, declaring that “just because some pagans a few hundred years ago celebrated the winter solstice around this time of year should not keep us from worshiping the Son on that day!  This remark is to miss the point altogether, and engage in circular reasoning, for the question is not whether or not Christians ought to be “worshiping the Son” of the Highest on any day of the year, but instead whether or not Christians are to observe the Christmas myth—teaching it as truth, while intentionally placating it with garments of Christian holiness!  The simple answer is “YHWH forbids,” but this is too hard to be said in a backsliding church which is comfortably joined to the idols of Babylon.  Christians worship the Son on every day of the year, Halloween included, and on all other pagan days or seasons; so again, the reasoning is spurious at best, because, as already proven, the discussion is not a question of when to worship, but WHO is being worshipped and venerated at Christmas!

In paragraph-3, the Adventist theologian lamented: “There are many good Catholics who pray every day. Should we refrain from prayer because Catholics pray?  Again, this kind of reasoning completely misses the point, for while the bible mandates us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17), and further, since Catholics did not invent the solemnity of prayer, it cannot stand the comparative test.  So yes, since Prayer is not a Catholic institution, it must always be practiced by the Christian, for the Founder of our faith has declared “that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” Luke 18:1.  If, on the other hand, Catholics demand that we pray 30 Hail Mary’s per day, then surely, we ought to abstain from such a pagan practice!  And the same is true for Christmas.

 In another act of homage to the Papacy, the theologian reasoned, “Martin Luther’s origins were Catholic too, so as good Protestants should we reject him too?”  The dogma of Christmas is not a contrast of the origins of Luther’s Christian experience versus Protestants’, and at last check, even Luther himself left the Catholic Church when he was sufficiently enlightened of her falsehoods, and so should we! We must leave Rome and her pagan practices.  The reasoning of this church leader is tantamount to saying that beggars eat from a garbage bin and don’t get sick, so eating from the garbage bin is not a bad idea, after all.  This is very bogus reasoning, and borders on presumption.  Christians are called to teach the Commandments of God and the Faith of Jesus Christ, not doctrines built on the myths and traditions of men, as is the case of Christmas.

 In paragraph-4, the Elder raised the stakes even higher by declaring: “While Sunday observance opposes the Sabbath observance, celebrating Christmas does not oppose anything biblical.” Now, it is most unhappy that in an era known for the accessibility of information, or The Information Age, these baseless statements could be made and worst of all believed.  Time and space will not allow me to prove that Christmas directly opposes the very biblically ordained festival which marks our Saviour’s birth—the feast of Tabernacles, but I will cite only a few texts to establish that foundation.  For a comprehensive study on the Biblical teachings supporting the birthday of Messiah during the Feast of Tabernacles, request my article—“In the Fullness of Time, Jesus Came.” 

 The Bible teaches that our Saviour was born during the festival of Tabernacles, and that is why everything surrounding His birth has the vestments of that festival.  But most of all, the Bible flatly teaches that “the Word became flesh, and did tabernacle among us, and we beheld his glory, glory as of an only begotten of [the] Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1: 14, YLT [mine ].  It is worthy of notice that the word “dwelt” in the KJV is the actual Greek equivalent for “tabernacle” as shown in Young’s Literal Translation above, and this marks the first indication that the feast of Tabernacles actually has something attached with Y’shuah’s birth.  A similar reasoning will show that even in death Christ respected the Sabbath day, and honored it, by staying in the Sepulcher till early the first day of the week, when He rose from the dead, lead captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

 What was called “a manger” in the Greek is the Hebrew equivalent for a booth—a tent—“a stall”—a temporary dwelling place out in the fields, another imagery taken from Tabernacles.  In the spirit of the feast of Tabernacles, when all who were Israelite born were to dwell in booths (Lev. 23: 42), we find the infant Messiah, tabernacling among men on the festival known as Tabernacles—the time when all Israel dwelt in booths.  Thus, another name for this festival is the “Feast of Booths.” Wonder of wonders! “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD…Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths.” Lev. 23: 34, 42.  It should not escape your notice to recognize that the Son of God was born in a booth on the holy Feast of Booths—Tabernacles.  He was baptized when He was “thirty years of age” at Tabernacles, betrayed on Passover, died as the antitypical Lamb,  rested in the grave during the Sabbath  hours, rose from the grave as the antitypical “wave sheaf“ offering, and poured out His Spirit on Pentecost!  These are all feast days.  And even now, in modern times, the most impressive thing is to note that the Seventh-day Adventist Church was founded on a feast day—Yom Kippur.  In 1844, the 22nd of October was the biblical feast day known as the Day of Atonement—the Day of Judgment—the holiest day in the entire Hebrew calendar–Yom Kippur, on this day the great Investigative Judgment of mankind was opened in Heaven, and will close with His judgment upon the Living, bearing evident that this holy festival was not nailed to the cross, as is broadly taught by our Church, but was to stand the test of time even eighteen hundred years after the cross, and beyond.

 This word “tabernacle,” also means a tent or a booth, the Hebrew word being “sukkot,” thus the feast of Tabernacles is also called “The Feast of Sukkot.” The word “sukkot” carries  Strong’s H05521, “cukkah” or “sook-kaw’”, and means “a temporary dwelling place.”  For this reason the feast of tabernacles, is also called the feast of Booths—Sukkot—a place of “temporary shelter,” showing that we are pilgrims and travelers in this world, until the King comes and sets up His everlasting Kingdom. 

 Many Christians, including many of our Adventist theologians, are not aware that Rome has changed more than the Sabbath at the time when they met in the Council of Nice.  In their own words, here is Rome’s testimony of what she has actually tampered with when she declared Sunday the Christian’s Sabbath:  “The new law has its own spirit…and its own feasts which have taken the place of those appointed in the law of Moses. If we would know the days to be observed…we must go to the Catholic Church, not to the Mosaic Law.” From the Catholic Catechism as published in The Signs of the Times, Nov. 4, 1919. 

 Strengthening her claims on church dogma, and her ability to institute festivals of “Christian precept,” the Roman Church further boasts with a challenge: “The Catholic Church abolished not only the Sabbath, but all the other Jewish festivals.” T. Enright C.S.S.R., Bishop of the St. Alphonsus’ (Rock) Church, St. Louis, Missouri, June 1905.  Does it make you feel comfortable to defend an institution of the Papacy’s, when they have openly declared that they tampered with the entire Torah as Daniel said they would (Dan. 7:25)?  This acknowledgement also clears the fact that the Christian church was keeping “all the other Jewish festivals,” at the time when the Sabbath was changed to Sunday, for truly, Rome could not have “abolished” festivals which, for nearly three hundred years, were “nailed to the cross” and supposedly nonexistent on the Christian’s calendar!

 In paragraph-5, the Bible Teacher now appeals for inspirational shelter, seeking to dismiss the perpetuity of the divine festivals, so that Christians may continue in their pagan Christmas merry-making spirit, and thus makes another scholarly blunder, declaring: “Paul clearly taught that the feast days were no longer binding…”  This Preacher is perhaps not aware of the fact that Paul has oft admonished the church into recognizing the relevance of the Festivals in our spiritual experience, such as when he taught the church at Corinth: “For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:  Therefore let us keep the feast…”  (I Cor. 5:7, 8).  This is an apostolic command, yes a mandate that Christians everywhere ought to keep the feast of Passover, not in the old manner of slaying a lamb, for the Lamb has already been slain on the Cross, but in the renewed manner as taught by Christ on the night when He was betrayed, when He washed the disciples’ feet, took the bread and grape juice, and blessed them, thereby forever sanctifying Passover for the Christian, commanding them, “this do in remembrance of me” (Luke 22: 19),  while also assuring us that he will keep Passover with us when He comes again in His Father’s Kingdom.  It is amazing how many theologians read these verses (Luke 22: 14-19) and incorrectly assume that Christ was here speaking of “the communion service,” when in fact He repeatedly used the word Passover to forever solemnize this festival in the Christian Church!  Since Y’shuah has promised that He will not eat the Passover with us “until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God” (Luke 22: 16), an event yet future, this further presents concrete evidence that He expects to partake of the Passover with His Church in glory, and that Passover for the Christian has not been “nailed to the cross;” much to the dismay of our Adventist Church’s current theological expositors.

 In paragraph-6, the pastor rejoices that “Christmas serves a good purpose.”  It is true that Christmas may be serving as good a purpose as does Sunday sacredness, but this is not what our Creator is calling us to.  There are many “good” purposes which are derived from human institutions, but let’s be clear, we don’t use emotions to evaluate whether an institution is righteous or not, simply because it does some good.  In the case of Christmas, by and large, the purpose it serves is to generate greed and covetousness, filling the coffers of the merchants, and leaving poor families in high mountains of indebtedness.  It leads to the greatest sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages, and brings the onset of some of the most lascivious acts known to man.  While a few people are fed a plate of food and given some money, and even a smaller “few” may receive a shelter over their heads, the basis for this festival is greed and riotous living, which of themselves serve no “good purpose,” either to Christians or the greater human race.

 In paragraph-8, the teacher of Church History further chides: “I believe that if Christmas was a day that we should ignore, that God’s prophet would have instructed us so very clearly.” This is the real trump card which most Adventists who are attached to the pagan Christmas, use to defend its practice among us. For while Ellen White was very wrong in giving sweeping authorization for the placement of the pagan tree in the churches and homes of Christians, yet “God’s Prophet” has instructed us that this is the way of the “heathens,” a way we ought “not learn” (read Jer. 10: 1-10).  As Adventists, we’ve placed a lot of stock in Ellen White’s counsel on this one, even at the exclusion of the clear testimony of the Bible. This type of wresting has forced Christians of other denominations to call us “a cult,” because some of our teachings, at least the way they are presented, cannot be sustained without calling on Ellen White for foundation, a practice which she condemns. (Read The Great Controversy, p. 626.)

 Let’s take for example this overworked line from Ellen White: “God would be well pleased if on Christmas, each church would have a Christmas tree on which shall be hung offerings, great and small.”  This statement is countermanding the Scriptures, and should never have been made!  If this statement is true, then the Almighty needs to write an open letter of apology to ancient Israel, confessing that His condemnation against their practicing the religion of the pagans around them, was short-sighted on His part and blatantly wrong! There is no biblical precedent for the placement of a tree in the temple (grove worship), let alone for the attachment of offerings to its bowers.  This has the stamp of paganism on its very face, and must not be practiced by Christians.  Our Savior has forcefully warned: “Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.  They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.  They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go.  Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.”  Jer. 10: 2-5. 

 The last verse above (v. 5) needs some clarification, to leave the right tone. When the Scriptures declare of the pagan Christmas trees, “Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good,” it is not suggesting that it is OK to “deck” this tree.  What it is actually teaching is simply this: the tree is a pagan god, which has not the ability to do evil or good, it cannot move on its own, and only has the life of its devotees, its worshippers.  These idols are called in Scripture, “no gods,” because they of themselves can neither do good nor bad—they are inanimate “heathen” objects, which can only be carried by their enthusiasts, therefore thus saith the Holy One, “learn not” their vain customs!  This is a command, and any voice which countermands this directive is not speaking for the Most High.  I know this is strong language, but Ellen White will not be the first prophet to have made a practical theological blunder.  The patriarch Lot, made theological blunders, even committing incest! Abraham lied to save his skin.  Isaac lied to spare his life.  Moses murdered to assert his might.  Jacob stole, to secure the birthright.  Elijah ran away from the heathen Jezebel, for fear of her wrath, telling YHWH he was the only true worshipper left in Israel, who does not worship Baal!  And even the prophet Jeremiah told his Maker, “You have deceived me” (Jer. 20: 7).  So calling out Ellen White on this one, does not mean we are invalidating her prophetic ministry, but to extoll this erroneous teaching of hers on the pagan tree, as of divine sanction, does great injustice to the cause of truth.

 Some of my readers will shudder to read my above sharp critique of Ellen White’s theology on the Christmas tree, but this I did on the strength of the Scriptures alone.  She too has admonished that there are too many wishy-washy, spineless Christians, people who fall for everything, because they stand for nothing, thus she counsels: “The greatest want of the world is the want of men—men who will not be bought or sold, men who in their inmost souls are true and honest, men who do not fear to call sin by its right name, men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole, men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.”  E.G. White, Education, p. 57.  I am confident that if Ellen White were alive today, she would have condemned the Christmas tree even more forcefully than here shown, and recanted the above statement which has led to such great controversies in our churches.

 It is not a matter that our theologians are ignorant of the myths and pagan origins of Christmas, it is a fact that we are, with opened eyes, willingly choosing to follow Baal worship at every cost.  Here is one of the patriarchs of the Advent hope on the historicity of Christmas:

 “There was no Christmas celebration in the early church.  ‘The Roman winter solstice,…as celebrated on December 25 in connection with the worship of the sun-god Mithra, appears to have been instituted in this special form by Aurelian about 273 A.D., and to this festival the day owes its apposite name of the ‘Birthday of the Unconquered Sun.’  With full symbolic appropriateness, though not with historical justification, the day was adopted in the Western Church, where it appears to have been generally introduced by the fourth century, and whence in time it passed to the Eastern Church as the solemn anniversary of the birth of Christ, Christmas Day.  As a matter of history, no valid or even consistent early Christian tradition vouches for it.’  Chrysostom says that Christmas was introduced into the East about 378 A.D.”– Origin of Sunday Observance, Walter E. Straw, Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1939, p. 90.  (Emphasis added).

 As students of prophecy we must ever be on the guard against Satanic delusions, for “if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (Matt. 24: 24). Many Christians are looking for “The Antichrist” in the distant future, when with his powerful delusions he will take the world captive, so they look for a fire-spitting, silver-tongued charismatic leader, while reveling in the bosom of Baal through the vain practice of his commemoratives such as Christmas, Easter, Sunday, Halloween, Valentines, etc., and pride themselves that they are “following the Lamb, whithersoever he goeth,” all the while worshipping the dragon who gives power unto the beast, and causing the world to “wonder after the beast” (Rev. 13:3), deceiving themselves that that they are following Christ!  This class is already deceived, and unless they awake to the stark reality, will find it forever too late to awake to the crisis, as they are daily being stupefied by the wine of Babylon’s brewing, thinking that they are on the road to Glory when they are on the brink of destruction!  The story is told that frogs and crabs are cooked while yet alive.  First they are placed in a cauldron of cold water with a lid on it.  The fire is lit, and the warmth of the water makes them “comfortable,”—neither hot nor cold.  But alas!  The temperature rises, and they die a painful death!  It is reported that the chilling squeals of death from these dumb creatures are audible to the human ear.  I say to all, let’s learn the parable of the steaming Crabs—whatever feels too comfortable, must be examined with close spiritual discerning:  If it is popular, it must be questioned—the road to destruction is broad and popular, and the world throngs that way, but the path of holiness, is narrow and strait and is often the road less traveled by the masses.

 Rome’s Great Challenge!

 I few years ago, I wrote an article entitled, “Christ-mass, Is it Christian?” from which I now quote:

 Rome has literally challenged the entire Christian world to produce biblical support for their keeping of Sunday as the Sabbath, and it will not be long before she makes the like challenge with regard to the “Christian festivals” which she has instituted in place of the divine statutes given Israel…All of our modern “Christian” festivals were foreign to the early Christian fathers, and can only be found in an age when Rome asserted her imperial power over the Church, and tampered with the law of YHWH (Dan. 7:25), and thereby abolished from the Christian Calendar the Sabbaths (festivals) of our Creator in exchange for sun-worship.

Here is Rome’s challenge in the following  question: “Have you any other way of proving that the church (Roman Catholic) has power to institute festivals of precept?  Answer:– Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her – she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday, the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday, the seventh day, a change for which there is not scriptural  authority.”  A Doctrinal Cathecism, by Stephen Keenan, p. 174.  I submit to you, dear reader, that Rome will eventually raise the following criticism, in response to Christmas: “Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with hershe could not have substituted the observance of Christmas, the birth of the Sun-god, for the observance of Feast of Tabernacles, in the seventh Hebrew month, a change for which there is not scriptural authority.” What a sobering thought today, to practice only that which the Torah teaches, rather than having to answer to Rome’s embarrassing challenge!  How many in that day will realize for the first time that rather than following the Lamb whithersoever He goes (Rev. 14:4), they are wondering “after the beast” (Rev. 13:3), to whom the devil gave “his power, and his seat, and great authority” (Rev. 13:2)!—Garrick Augustus, 2008, Christ-mass, Is It Christian, p. 10 (Emphasis added to quote).

 In view of the above quote, suggesting that it would not be long before Rome challenges Christianity on its authority for the continuance of the Christmas myth, let’s now hear the current Pope, only four years after the  above article was published, denouncing the trappings of Christmas as patently mythological, thereby challenging Protestants on the veracity of this “Christian” institution: 

 THE MYTH OF NATIVITY, ACCORDING TO THE POPE… AND DID THREE WISE MEN RIDE ON CAMELS TO THE MANGER?

 Three wise men make their way to the manger… or did they?

 In the latest instalment (sic) of his book series, Pope Benedict XVI has this to say on the subject of the birth of Jesus…

 NO DONKEY: No donkeys or any other animal have a place in the traditional nativity scene – they were a 7th century BC Hebrew invention, relating to the Book of Habakkuk.

Habakkuk was the eighth book of 12 minor prophets in the Old Testament. In Christian tradition, he is regarded by some as a prophet who predicted the nativity.

Scenes relating to the birth of Jesus, as described in the Gospel, do not directly refer to the presence of an ox and donkey.

 But in Habakkuk 3:2, it is written: ‘In the midst of the two beasts wilt thou be known’ – and this was one of the sources which inspired the presence of the creatures at the manger.

(It is worth noting that another Old Testament prophet, Isaiah, also inspired the manger scenery, with his words from 1:3: ‘The ox knows its owner, and an ass, its master’s manger’).

 NO SINGING ANGELS: Angels never sang to the shepherds to proclaim Christ’s birth – they just spoke, according to Pope Benedict. And it is from this falsehood the tradition of singing carols was born.

‘Three’ wise men and other myths about the birth of Jesus

According to the Bible, three wise men from the east travelled a great distance on camels and followed a star to Bethlehem to visit baby Jesus in the manger – bringing with them gifts. However, hardly any of these details are actually in the holy book…

 In Mathew 2:1, it is written: ‘Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem…’

 HOW MANY WISE MEN? Matthew’s Gospel does not reveal the exact number. But because Matthew 2:11 mentions three gifts – ‘… they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh’ – it is widely held that there were three wise men.

 WERE THEY KINGS? They were probably learned men, such as astrologers.

 WHAT WERE THEY CALLED? The three often cited were supposedly called Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar. But these names are said to have first been recorded in a Greek manuscript 500 years after the birth of Jesus.

 CAMELS: There is also nothing in the Bible that says they travelled on camels.

 BORN IN A MANGER? Again, according to Matthew 2:11: ‘And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him…’ 

 BETHLEHEM OR NAZARETH?: Matthew has Jesus’ parents living in Bethlehem; Luke has them living in Nazareth in Galilee. (And the Gospels of Mark and John don’t actually recount the story of the nativity at all.)

 MARY’S BOY CHILD JESUS CHRIST WAS BORN ON CHRISTMAS DAY? Boney M sang it but it doesn’t mean it’s true. The Bible does not specify a date or a month. But December 25 is known to have become popular during the fourth century so Christians could have an alternative to a popular pagan festival at that time of year. December 25, which was around the time of the winter solstice, also marked a pagan festival for Mithraism, a Roman cult that rivalled Christianity (and celebrated the birth of their god, Mithra).

 NO STAR OF BETHLEHEM: At that time, in Judea, there was no concept of astronomy. And no star can shine on just one particular town. According to Matthew 2: 9-11: ‘After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.’

 SHEEP IN THE BLEAK MID-WINTER? If the shepherds had truly been watching their flocks by night, it is highly unlikely they would have done so in the bitter cold. They would have watched them night, and day, during the lambing season in spring.—Read more: The Pope’s book on the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ

 I will not here endorse or critique the Pope’s theology on Christmas shown above, however, I will make a few contrasting comments.  I suppose the only item the Pope has not criticized in his book was the Christmas tree itself— “O Tannenbaum!”  Even so, it is not clear if the Pope has actually opined against the tree, or if he purposefully left it out, however, it may be that because of the negative marketing impact it would have had right here in the season when the economy is trying to heal itself, that it was not featured in the above news print, or in the Pope’s book.  Be that as it may, should we desire to know the truth of the pagan tree, it is not hard to find out, and so we do not need to depend on the Pope’s endorsement or condemnation of any practice for the Christian to accept or shun it, we simply rely on the Torah.  Further, it is either an intentional oversight, or gross omission that the Pope has not criticized the tree in his book, for while he condemned the “star,” which the Bible does mention, he appears to completely disregarded the tree, an article which the Bible does not mention whatsoever surrounding the Saviour’s birth.  So, if this Pope did not mention it, I suppose time alone will cause another Catholic cleric to shine the light of Scripture on it, and justifiably condemn it as of pagan tradition and heathen vestments.  What an alarming day that will be, when on the one hand Adventists are creating every logical reasoning to parade the Pagan tree in our churches, on the strength of Ellen White’s endorsement, while on the other hand, the Pope is condemning it as of Pagan origins and Catholic baptism into Christianity!  Stay tuned.

 “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.  The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.  Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.”  Rom. 13: 11-14.

 “If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!”  Matt. 6. 23.  When the people who are the repositories of the divine Law, become the primary proponents of its violation, know then that “the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, [is standing] in the holy place.” Matt. 24: 15.  When those who have been granted the duty to preach the everlasting gospel, is preaching another gospel, know that the holy place has been invaded.  I say, when the people who are commissioned with the most solemn message for sinful man have become the spokespersons for the man of sin, know then that even in this, they have apostatized!  O friend, let us heed the Apostle’s warning: “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. “ 

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