Torah Portion SHEMOT – Exodus 1:1-6:1
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 enter into 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. However, the time has come to put His birth in its original context. So, leaving all emotions and feelings aside, let us talk FACTS.
Let us now look at the birth of Christmas and the Christmas traditions.
(Continued from Part One)
The Birth of Christmas
Apparently early Christians wanted to convert pagans, but they were also fascinated by their traditions. Christians of that period seemed to be rather interested in paganism, not considering it a bad thing but something worth remembering, as practices of their ancestors. (source: Livescience.com)
Its Place of Birth
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)
Its Earthly Lineage
Roman Emperor Constantine
Its 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
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. 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!
From Greek Christ-Mass
Origins of the 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)
Now that we have established that Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah and Christmas were not born in the same place, at the same time or from the same lineage, let us determine if the traditions of Christmas are holy and if they are sanctioned by YHVH, The Father.
There are so many traditions before and during the Christmas Season, so I will touch on the most prominent ones.
Tales Disconnected From Truth
The author best known for creating the Headless Horseman also created the iconic image of Santa flying in a sleigh. In his 1819 series of short stories The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, New York native Washington Irving described a dream in which St. Nicholas soared across the sky in a weightless wagon. The stories became so popular, they spawned a Christmas revival of sorts in the States, and even Charles Dickens is said to have credited Irving’s work for inspiring his classic holiday tale A Christmas Carol. (livescience.com)
Children are taught to “ask Santa for gifts or whatever they need”. Lately I have heard of movie clips that show Santa Clause praying for healing and healing the children! Beloved ones, this is IDOLATRY! There is ONE mediator between Yah (God) and man and HE is not Santa Claus or the Virgin Mary!
The sin of idolatry causes a curse to fall upon the coming generations; all the way to the third and fourth generation.
You shall have no other gods before Me. ‘You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. Deuteronomy 5:7-10
Gimmicks to promote alcohol; drinking during Christmas
Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Corinthians 6:10
Like the Energizer Bunny, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer got his start as an advertising gimmick. A copywriter named Robert L. May first created the merry misfit in 1939 to lure shoppers into the Montgomery Ward department store. Frosty the Snowman and his famous corncob pipe couldn’t escape the clutches of the advertising industry either; a whiskey maker in 1890 used Frosty’s likeness to showcase an entirely different kind of holiday cheer. Once Prohibition ended, the chain-smoking snowman quickly became the go-to guy for alcohol ads, appearing in posters for Miller beer, Jack Daniel’s, Ballantine ale, Rheingold beer, Schlitz beer, Oretel’s lager beer, Chivas Regal scotch, Fort Pitt pale ale, Mount Whitney beer and Four Roses. (Excerpts from livescience.com)
Pagan promiscuity – Kissing Under the Mistletoe
According to Celtic and Teutonic legend, mistletoe is magical — it can heal wounds, increase fertility, bring good luck and ward off evil spirits. The tradition of kissing under the mistletoe didn’t begin until the Victorian era, a surprising origin given the stuffy and sexually repressive behavior of the time. Actually, it’s not very surprising at all. (Excerpts from livescience.com)
Christmas Tree Worship
Only acknowledge your iniquity, that you have transgressed against the YHVH your God, and hast scattered your ways to the strangers under every green tree, and you have not obeyed my voice, says the LORD. Jeremiah 3:13
Even before the arrival of Christianity, PAGAN Romans and then Germans decorated evergreen trees to brighten the dark, gloomy days of the winter solstice. The first “Christmas trees” appeared in Strasbourg in the 17th century and spread to Pennsylvania in the 1820s with the arrival of German immigrants. When Queen Victoria married Germany’s Prince Albert in 1840, he brought the tradition to England. Eight years later, the first American newspaper ran a picture of the royal Christmas tree, and Americans outside Pennsylvania quickly followed suit. (Excerpts from livescience.com)
Long before the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ evergreens were used by the pagans in their superstitious worship. They took their ability to remain green year-round as a symbol of immortality, fertility, and the resurrection of the sun god. In the northern regions of Europe they were brought inside also under the superstitious notion that the woodland spirits and fairies would live in them during the winter and thus survive the cold. (No doubt this would also give “good luck” to the people as well.) In Italy evergreens were used to decorate in honor of Saturn. (1) (Excerpts from blessedquietness.com)
Now that we have proven that the traditions are pagan and not acceptable for Covenant People to practice them and that Christmas is not the time of birth of the Jewish Messiah, what shall we do with Christmas and especially with the Christmas Tree?
There were two trees in the Garden of Eden. One was the Tree of Life and one was the tree of knowledge of good and evil. I call the Tree of Knowledge, the Tree of Religion. Yeshua said “I am the way, the truth and the life”. King David said: “Your Torah is a Tree of Life”. Yeshua is the Living Torah as He is The Word made flesh. The Torah, Pentateuch or the Five Books, is the blue print and foundation of the entire Bible! Yeshua is the Torah made flesh! He is the Tree of Life. In that context would you say that Christmas is from the Tree of Life or from the Tree of Knowledge, the Tree of Death? What is the biggest symbol of Christmas?
The Christmas Tree!
Interestingly, the many Founding Fathers of America and all the way till 1870, forbade the celebration of Christmas, calling it a pagan feast. People were mandated to work on the 25th of December. Those who celebrated Christmas were penalized. It is not a secret that Christmas is pagan, that it is not Messiah’s date birth, that the traditions are pagan, so why are those who consider themselves believers and disciples of Messiah still celebrating it? And why are they still putting Christmas trees in their homes and churches? Why do they continue marketing and propagating a LIE? Why can’t we simply forsake these pagan ways?
Destroy completely all the places on the high mountains and on the hills and under every spreading tree where the nations you are dispossessing worship their gods. Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and burn their Asherah poles in the fire; cut down the idols of their gods and wipe out their names from those places. You must not worship the LORD your God in their way.” Deuteronomy 12:2-4
Thus says the Lord: “Do not learn the way of the Gentiles; Do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven for the Gentiles are dismayed at them. For the customs of the peoples are futile; for one cuts a tree from the forest, The work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. They decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with nails and hammers So that it will not topple. Jeremiah 10:2-4
Religion or Holiness?
Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14
Have we been called to uphold religious traditions borrowed from the pagans and Babylonians or are we to affect this worldly society with HOLY WORSHIP? And what is Holiness? In Hebrew KEDUSHA, means to be “separate”, to “touch no unclean thing”.
Thus you shall separate the children of Israel from their uncleanness, lest they die in their uncleanness when they defile My tabernacle that is among them. Leviticus 15:31
This is confirmed in the New Testament:
Therefore “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. 2 Corinthians 6:17
Are Roman Christmas traditions pagan and unclean? They were designed to worship Jupiter, Zeus, the sun god and not the SON OF GOD! Are we going to impact this society by “blending in?” or by being DIFFERENT in their midst! The Cultural Gospel has been polluting the Church from the 4th Century until today and The Holy One is calling us to repent and return to TRUTH. It is time to forsake the pagan traditions and feasts and come to celebrate The Holy Feasts as written in Leviticus 23.
And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘The feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts. Leviticus 23:1-2
Then YaH enumerates them:
Shabbat, Passover, First Fruits, Feast of Weeks, Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles.
Each one of them testifies of who the Messiah is! He was not born at the time of a pagan celebration to Zeus! He was born, died and was resurrected at a Holy Season prescribed by the Father and He is calling us back to Holy Worship!
But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. John 4:23
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WATCH Bethlehem Christmas
Our Savior was born in Bethlehem – that much of the Christmas story is true, but what about the rest? Do the traditions surrounding this story bring pure glory and worship to the God of the Universe? Explore some of the traditions and truths behind the celebration of Christmas. Discover what the God of the Universe expects from those who desire to give Him honor.
Book of the week:
GRAFTED IN by Archbishop Dr. Dominiquae Bierman
It’s time for the greatest restoration of all times: The Jewish People back to their Messiah and the Christians back to the original Gospel which was preached by Jewish Apostles. For Almost 2000 years the world has been waiting for this great restoration, the angels are watching, the demons are trembling. This is a wonderful practical manual that should be kept next to you Bible! It teaches you how to celebrate all the Holy Feasts and how to study the Torah and the Commandments and apply them in order to enjoy abundant life in obedience to God and without any legalism. This book is a must for every believer, it is a tremendous eye opener!
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ISRAEL TOURS & INTERNATIONAL TRAININGS 2019-2020
PASSOVER 2019 AT THE UNIFY EMBASSY on the Jerusalem Hills
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He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. John 6:54
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