Torah Portion VAYECHI – B’Reisheet (Genesis) 47:28-50:26

Birth of Messiah vs. Birth of Christmas

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God. Revelation 2:7

Shabbat shalom dearly beloved!

As we are passing through the “Christmas Season” it is very important to revisit some facts about Christmas. First of all a disclaimer:

We believe the Messiah’s Birth to be the most important event in the history of the universe! If He had not been born, He would have not been able to pay the price for our sins and each one of us would be under judgment. Especially the ex-sinners among us! However the time has come to put His birth in its original context. So leaving all emotions and feelings aside, let us talk FACTS.

(Continued from Chapter One)

*THE BIRTH OF MESSIAH*

The birth of MessiahHis Place of Birth- Beth-Lechem Judea, Israel

But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity. Micah 5:2 NASB

His Earthly Lineage- Jewish –Tribe of Judah from the House of David

(See Matthew 1 for the genealogy of Messiah)

And one of the elders *said to me, “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.” Revelation 5:5 NASB

His Heavenly Lineage- YHVH The Father in Heaven

The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. Luke 1:35 NASB

His Birth Name- Yeshua meaning SALVATION

Take into consideration that the Angel did not speak Greek or English to Joseph but he spoke Hebrew. He called the boy by the name the God of Israel, His Father gave Him and it was not Jesus or Ieso but Yeshua. Yeshua means SALVATION. Jesus is not the original name but a transliteration.

She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Yeshua, for He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21 TLV

His Time of Birth-Some scholars believe it was during Sukkot-The Feast of Tabernacles and other scholars believe it was on Rosh Chodesh, the First Day of the First Month (Nissan) leading to Passover on the 14th day of the First Month. Most scholars agree that He was not born in the winter or on December 25th. They calculate the date according to the Priestly Courses that fitted the Order of Abijah, according to Zechariah the father of Yochanan the Immerser (John the Baptizer). Also according to the visitation of the Angel Gabriel to Miriam (Mary) on the SIXTH MONTH of Elisheva’s (Elizabeth) pregnancy.

In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah; and he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. Luke 1:5 NASB

Then in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from Adonai to a city in Galilee called Natzeret, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Miriam. Luke 1:26-27 TLV

Celebration of Yeshua’s Birth-Traditions

Praise and Joy

And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” Luke 2:13-14

Brit Milah-Covenant of Circumcision-On the 8th Day

And when eight days had passed, before His circumcision, His name was then called Yeshua, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb. Luke 2:21

Presentation at the Holy Temple in Jerusalem-40 Days after His Birth

And when the days for their purification according to the Torah of Moses were completed, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to Adonai. Luke 2:22

Worship-Foreigners from the East come to Worship The King of the Jews

After coming into the house they saw the Child with Miriam (Mary) His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  Matthew 2:11

It is clear from the Holy Scriptures that the Savior, the Messiah, is Jewish from the Tribe of Judah, from the House of David born in Israel. It is also clear that His name means SALVATION, that He is Divine yet born in the flesh as a Jew and that His time of birth does not match the traditional time of Christmas on December 25th. It is also clear that the traditions surrounding His birth are very different than the traditions of Christmas.

Let us now look at the facts surrounding Christmas.

*The Birth of Christmas*

Christmas TreeAncestral Worship

Early Christians wanted to convert pagans, Shaw said, but they were also fascinated by their traditions. “Christians of that period are quite interested in paganism,” he said. “It’s obviously something they think is a bad thing, but it’s also something they think is worth remembering. It’s what their ancestors did.” (Livescience.com)

It’s Place of Birth

Eastern Rome-Byzantium

The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336AD, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine (he was the first Christian Roman Emperor). A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on the 25th December. whychristmas.com

It’s Earthly Lineage

Roman Emperor Constantine

It’s Spiritual Lineage

Sun Worship-The winter witchcraft solstice, Saturnalia, the Day of the Unconquered Sun

December 25th might have also been chosen because the Winter Solstice and the ancient pagan Roman midwinter festivals called Saturnalia and Dies Natalis Solis Invict (The Day of Birth of the Unconquered Sun or the pagan god Jupiter-Baal-Zeus-Tamuz) took place in December around this date-so it was time when people already celebrated things. Whychristmas.com

It’s Time of Birth

Christmas was adopted in year 336 after the signing and establishing of the Council of Nicaea where Roman Emperor Constantine called for a complete divorce from the Jews and everything Jewish.

At that time he established pagan celebrations for the Church to REPLACE the Hebrew Biblical ones including exchanging Shabbat for Sunday (the day that he worshipped the sun god!), Passover for Easter (the day of celebration of the goddess Ishtar or Semiramis) and Christmas on the 25th of December, the shortest day of the year, the day of celebration of the Birth of the Unconquered Sun or Tamuz.

Excerpts from the Council of Nicaea by Emperor Constantine 325 AD

Council of Nicaea We ought not therefore to have anything in common with the Jew, for the Saviour has shown us another way; our worship following a more legitimate and more convenient course (the order of the days of the week: And consequently in unanimously adopting this mode, we desire, dearest brethren to separate ourselves from the detestable company of the Jew. (Gleaned from Dr. Henry R. Percival’s “The Nicean and post Nicean Fathers”. Vol. XIV Grand Rapid: Erdmans pub. 1979,pgs. 54-55)

Emperor Constantine set himself up to be the Pope of the Church that he established and Christianity, the religion of the Roman Empire, became totally divorced from its Scriptural-Biblical-Jewish and Apostolic Foundations.

Important to note- for 300 years or more the believers in Messiah did not celebrate Christmas! The Early Messianic Church in Jerusalem would have never agreed to it because of its pagan roots and traditions!

It’s Name

From Greek Christ-Mass

Origins of the Catholic Mass

Catholic Mass

The round wafer is a symbol of the sun. It is normally placed during ceremonial masses on a monstrance with a crescent moon, symbolizing the plunging of the sun into the womb of the goddess. Some monstrance bear the letters “SFS,” which represents 666, as S was the sixth letter in the ancient Greek alphabet and F is the sixth letter in our alphabet.

The round disc in the crescent moon was a symbol of ancient Babylon, and is found in all the ancient religions. In Catholic cathedrals, these symbols are very prominent, often depicting a round form of mother and child within the crescent moon.

The rebirth of the sun god was celebrated by the eating of round bread in Babylonian times, and was common in Mithraism and Osiris worship. Historian Alexander Hislop says this:

And here, in a so-called Christian Church, a brilliant plate of silver, “in the form of the SUN,” is so placed on the altar, that everyone who adores at the altar must bow in lowly reverence before that image of the “SUN.” Whence, I ask, could that have come, than from the ancient SUN-worship, or the worship of Baal?  And when the wafer is placed so that the silver “SUN” is fronting the “round” wafer, whose “roundness” is so important an element in the Romish Mystery, is only another symbol of Baal, or the sun, what can be the meaning of it, but to show to those who have eyes to see that the “Wafer” itself is only another symbol of Baal. (amazingdiscoveries.org)

To be continued…

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Bishop Dominiquae and Rabbi Baruch Bierman

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