IN DEFENSE OF CHRISTMAS – 25 Dec 2012

As a Jew, I didn’t want to celebrate Christmas when I became a believer, partly because it wasn’t “Jewish”, and partly because it was too paganized and commercialized. But the Lord began to show me that my reasons were not all correct. In my other words, I was throwing the baby out with the bath water. The truth of God is not pagan, and it happened right here in Israel among Jewish people, as prophesied by the prophets of YHVH  long before.

Much of what people do with God’s holy things is to defile them, to paganize them, and Satan is the cheerleader in this, along with our own propensity to be drawn away by what seems ‘good in our eyes’, and to fit in with the surrounding unholy and unclean culture.  As a Jew, I have examined and judged myself and my people for FIRST doing what Christians also do; yet, we continue to keep the Passover (in the light of the New Covenant and greater Passover). We continue to acknowledge Purim and Hanukkah, even though, like Christmas, God did not ordain them, but believers did unto Him and for the people to celebrate God’s mighty acts on their behalf, in keeping with His covenantal promises, despite their own general and widespread unfaithfulness and tendency to heathen practices.  Purim especially has been paganized, and is more like Carnival and Halloween.  God has historically intervened in the lives of His people and of the rest of humanity, redeeming days, etc., so that these times become connected with His redemption, while remaining mere worldly, even pagan, occasions for those not in covenant relationship with Him

It is true, as the Lord spoke through Amos and others, that He hates our sacrifices and fasts and holidays: in other words, when we are doing them according to our own understanding and culture, and not for Him and His honor. That is what I am trying to express: that we should keep His celebrations as a freewill offering in a manner that does honor and please Him, and fills us with thanksgiving and joy in the Holy Spirit. And I do believe that there is much more evidence in Scripture to warrant Yeshua’s birth around this time (Haggai 2 refers several times to the 24th of the 9th [Hebrew Israeli] month Chislev, which corresponds with the first night of Hanukkah that occurred hundreds of years later and corresponds to the Western Christian calendar of the evening of 24th of December), but did not fulfill what the last verses speak of: Yeshua’s coming in the flesh at birth does begin that overthrow, first in our own hearts, and ultimately in all peoples and nations, including Israel. Mary’s new song in Luke 1 expresses her own understanding in faith and hope of what the Lord spoke through Haggai, and other prophets.  The true and brighter and eternal Light that shines in the darkness is not extinguished, and should be given much higher priority over celebrations of mere oil or candle lights that burn out.

The reason that Jewish people as a whole do not celebrate the Lord’s birth is because they do not believe in Jesus, even though the first ones who did celebrate with the angels were Israeli Jews! Neither do the Jewish people, along with many nominal Christians, celebrate His resurrection, also because of unbelief. But the Holy Spirit has brought Gentile Christians into the Commonwealth of Israel through their faith in the promised Messiah to Israel, and have celebrated His life, and His suffering and death, and His resurrection and ascension, and the hope of His coming again — whether with faith or without — for most of this age.

I have put together a timeline that brings together and reconciles all of the appointed/set times, and those which God accepted from His people, to show Yeshua’s birth:  http://streamsinthenegev.com/school-of-fish/conception-and-birth-of-john-the-baptiser-and-jesus-the-messiah/

Just as the second coming of the Lord will be at a time, and a day and an hour, not expected, well. . . it seems that so was His first coming!  The winter objection pre-supposes that the God of Nature can not do something extraordinary to declare His glory, just as I believe He did the night of the Lord’s betrayal, when it was so chilly on a Spring night (and it’s possible that Passover was a late date that year), that Peter and others kept themselves warm with a fire. And the sheep, as far as I have heard others say, were sacrificial sheep, and were handled differently, and were outside yearly. But since these things are not understood by ‘babes’ anyway, they are not central to resolving the controversy. That Jesus ‘tabernacled’ with us does not mean that He was therefore born at the Feast of Tabernacles, which actually is the Feast of Booths (succot). The Hebrew word for tabernacle is mishkan, and is more permanent than a temporary booth. And the priestly course of Abia (Aviyah) is not certain of its annual cycle, nor can we be sure of how the Jewish rulers at that time were regulating matters, since the whole system had become corrupt. But I have read sites that have decided to assume a particular cycle and time, but acknowledging that if another were taken, then it puts John’s father in the Holy Place at a time in a context that Yeshua would be born as tradition maintains. The whole counsel of God together unfolds His revelatory plan and purpose, and Scripture interprets Scripture, and the spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus.

Since YHVH is a Man of War and the God of Armies/Hosts, He is not going to reveal things before it’s necessary, because there is an enemy with certain liberty to do what he will in this world, who likes to pre-empt things to ‘muddy the waters’, like he has with the Queen of Heaven, and the whole saturnalia bit. Even if the date of Christmas is the same as saturnalia, the God of gods has come and taken the day for Himself! Passover is celebrated by the heathen and unbelieving Jews even as merely a Spring festival and celebration of freedom. But God’s freedom is for us to serve and worship Him, not to remain independent from Him nor to remain slaves to sin and unbelief.

Despite all, let us take a stand of faith for the name of Christ/Messiah, who is Jesus/Yeshua, our great God and Savior.

God bless you, and, yes, Merry Christmas, and a blessed 2013 in Messiah,
Howard

3 Replies to “IN DEFENSE OF CHRISTMAS – 25 Dec 2012”

  1. Shalom Howard,

    You made an interesting comment- please permit me a very limited reply to it and I’ll keep it to one statement that you wrote – “Throw out the paganism, but keep and sanctify the original holy thing.”. I will reply in two parts.

    1.
    – “Throw out the paganism”. Exactly how does one accomplish this?

    The name itself is pagan- “Christ”-“Mass”. Mass is one of the names by which the sacrament of the Eucharist is commonly called in the Catholic Church English noun mass is derived from Middle Latin missa – “Go- the dismissal is made”).

    Name
    So are you proposing to change “Christ-Mass” to “Mashiach – Shalach” or “Mashiach Miqra” ?

    What is next?

    Day
    How about the day? ALL of YHVH holy-days are determined and dependent by the lunar calendar as HE declared. How is this determined?
    Is it sabbath? What type of sabbath is it? Can work be done?

    How
    How does one celebrate the B_Day of Yshua? The treelights, tinsel, gift exchange, are all pagan.
    Should one make a B-Day cake or put up a display of manger in the front yard ? What type of food? Does one fast? When does it start/end?

    What hits me to to build a sukkah and celebrate there since a “feeding through / phatné” in Luke 2:7 a Greek “patne” is Hebrew”sukkot” as mentioned in Gen 33:17

    I would be very curious to learn “HOW” to “throw out the paganism” on as you suggested.

    2.
    “sanctify the original holy thing.”

    Btw,I am really confused with this – Honestly. It is a non- sequitur.

    “If” an original IS sanctified – “then” it is then holy.
    “If an original ISN’T sanctified – “then” it cannot be made holy.
    “If” an original IS sanctified – “then” it can become unholy by coming in contact with something that is defiled.
    “If a original IS sanctified – then anything touching it CANNOT become holy as noted in Hag 2:12

    ‘If a man carries holy meat in the fold of his garment, and touches bread with this fold, or cooked food, wine, oil, or any other food, will it become holy?’” And the priests answered, “No.”

    According to your statement – “one is to sanctify the original holy thing.” Who & how can this be sanctified ?

    Then Haggai said, “If one who is unclean from a corpse touches any of these, will the latter become unclean?” And the priests answered, “It will become unclean.” Hag 2:13

    Please correct me if I am wrong – but only YHVH can “sanctify” (His commandments regarding this are very explicit regarding what HE deems holy).
    Man cannot deem anything holy. If so, could you please provide scriptures from OT/NT?

    A quick definition oh “holiness” would be freedom from “unclean spirits”as directed by YHVH Ruach Qodesh.

    Whiles Hanukkah & Purim are times of celebration – they are “Israeli celebrations” commentating National independence (like the 4th of July in the USA).
    They are not “holy” nor an “appointed time” as determined by YHVH and the scriptures.

    Quite often, very religious people ignore YHVH Feasts and subsitute man made traditions- this is “without law / lawlessness / anti-nomi”.

    Yshua was very clear clear regarding this in Matt 5:19 “Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

    As previously mentioned, all me to suggest the Haredi are correct in calling this “idolatry” and wanting to remove it from the land of Israel and is in violation of the stern commandments of Yshua who told us to keep His commandments and not bake Him birthday cake.

    ~Shalom

  2. Shalom Gidon,

    Thanks for your comment. I think if you read other articles that I have written about the birth of the Lord, most of your objections have been covered. You may still not agree, but my conscience is clear as a Jew who has come to believe in Yeshua, and to appreciate the importance and significance of His birth, according to the prophetic word. His birth at the appointed time is very relevant to the Jewish people and to Israel. The pagan things added to it do not nullify what God did. Throw out the paganism, but keep and sanctify the original holy thing.

  3. If you would permit a scriptural reference and historical reference.

    YHVH spoke again to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘ YHVH appointed times which YOU SHALL PROCLAIM as “HOLY” convocations— “MY” moedim are these…. Lev 23:1-2

    Historically December 25 is the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, Roman feast of the Saturnalia and the birthday of Mithra as described in the Roman cult of Mithraism. Saturnalia was a week long private gift-giving, continual partying, and a carnival atmosphere that overturned Roman social norms. Christianity imported the Saturnalia festival hoping to take the pagan masses in with it. Christian leaders succeeded in converting to Christianity large numbers of pagans by promising them that they could continue to celebrate the Saturnalia as Christians.

    Since your article brought up Haggai 2 – lets take a look at verses 12-13.

    Thus says the YHVH of hosts, ‘Ask now the priests for a ruling: 12‘If a man carries holy meat in the fold of his garment, and touches bread with this fold, or cooked food, wine, oil, or any other food, will it become holy?’” And the priests answered, “No.” 13Then Haggai said, “If one who is unclean from a corpse touches any of these, will the latter become unclean?” And the priests answered, “It will become unclean.”

    Allow me to suggest how much one tries to Christianize a pagan feast day – there is NO possible way it can be a “holy-day / holiday” as noted by “happy holidays” sayings and advertisement – this cannot be denied.

    Leviticus 23 says it very clearly “these are the YHVH appointed times which YOU SHALL PROCLAIM as “HOLY” convocations— “MY” moedim are these”
    of which X-Mass isn’t one of them and never will be.

    In addition, the custom of adorning of a tree is forbidden in the Tanach and the Prophets (Jer 10:1-5 & Deut 16:21). This goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden.

    Christmas has always been a holiday celebrated carelessly. For millennia, pagans, Christians, and even Jews have been swept away in the season’s festivities, and very few people ever pause to consider the celebration’s intrinsic meaning, history, or origins.

    · Christmas celebrates the birth of the Christian god who came to rescue mankind from the “curse of the Torah.” It is a 24-hour declaration that Judaism is no longer valid.

    ·Christmas is a lie. There is no Christian church with a tradition that Jesus was really born on December 25th.

    · December 25 is a day on which Jews have been shamed, tortured, and murdered.

    ·Many of the most popular Christmas customs – including Christmas trees, mistletoe, Christmas presents, and Santa Claus – are modern incarnations of the most depraved pagan rituals ever practiced on earth.

    Allow me to suggest the Haredi are correct in calling this “idolatry” and wanting to remove it from the land of Israel.

    The non-Jews need to be told the truth and to stop “sacrificing food to idols” as directed in Acts 15:20-21 and “the table of demons” in 1 Cor 10:14-22.

    ~Shalom

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