Ho! Ho! Ho!
Halloween and Thanksgiving are over. Winter approaches, Santa's coming, and almost everyone's attention is turned to the Christmas and New Year holiday season.
Stores rush to display Christmas merchandise and decorations to get ready for the rush of Christmas shoppers. Santa Clauses are the attraction in many stores.
Merry Christmas melodies, Jingle Bells…I'm dreaming of a White Christmas…Silent Night, Holy Night…Joy to the World…etc. can be heard everywhere stirring up the Christmas spirit and feelings of joy and nostalgia in the religious and non-religious alike. Much of the world revels in the pageantry of Christmas, which is the most popular and most lucrative religious holiday of traditional Christianity, during this darkest and dreariest time of the year.
Many not in the "Christmas spirit" during the holidays are looked upon as a scrooges or grenches. Christmas is an American passion - 96 percent say they celebrate it in some form. Holiday traditions bring families together. Families go out of their way and often out of their budgets to purchase gifts, Christmas trees and decorate for the winter holiday season. Many businesses and charities pin their hopes on the year-end Christmas spirit of giving for making this a financially prosperous year.
However, some of the more religious complain that Christmas has become "too commercial" and want to see Christ put back into the season. According to one poll, some nostalgically wish for "a time when yuletide was more pious and more peaceful, free of gaudy commercialism and focused more on the birth of the Savior than on sales at local department stores" (U.S.News & World Report, 12/23/96).
Then there are some non-Christians who object to any display of religious symbols during the winter holidays, pressuring stores to remove all references to Christ, and even suing to force schools to remove any religious meaning to the holidays, claiming religious displays in public are unconstitutional and offensive.
Not surprisingly, some are left spiritually and financially empty after all the revelry, pageantry and religious fervor of Christmas. And one might ask, why do crime, drunkenness and violence escalate at this supposed time of "Peace on earth and good will toward men"?
Somehow, the real story of Jesus Christ seems to be totally overshadowed by Christmas stories and the cozy winter Christmas scenes around warm flickering fires in fireplaces with stockings hanging filled with gifts and candy canes, and beautifully decorated Christmas trees topped with an angel or star, and cookies set out for Santa. All while outside snow has covered everything with its soft white powder ready for Santa's sleigh, and yards and houses are decorated with colorful lights and scenes of an infant in a manger with camels and 3 wise men (the Bible doesn't say how many there really were) paying their respects to the new born King, and maybe the rooftop decorated with Santa and his sleigh pulled by eight raindeer in hopes to win the best Christmas decorations award for the neighborhood.
Still, almost no one questions what's behind the jolly traditions that capture the hearts and minds of our children and motivates adults to go all out splurging for this holiday season.
For many, especially the youngsters, businesses and the less religious, the inspiration of the Christmas season is perhaps more the focus on Christmas shopping, time off from school or work, the sentimental Christmas carols, colorful lights, and the anticipation of joyful get togethers or parties with family or friends and opening of gifts. For some, mainly those without close families and friends, the nostalgia may bring deep feelings of loneliness and depression, a reason suicides may increase around Christmas time.
For some, Christmas has a deeper religious meaning. Church attendance is usually up and many, desiring God's favor, believe they are honoring the birth of Christ, the Son of God, as their Savior.
But does Christmas really honor Jesus Christ? Was He really born on December 25th or even in the winter? Did the apostles and Early Christians keep Christmas? Does the Bible, the Word of God (2 Tim 3:16) say anything about Christmas? What is the origin of the Christmas tree? …of Santa Claus? …of the holly wreath and mistletoe traditions? …the custom of exchanging gifts?
Where did we get Christmas from? Is Christmas really Christian? Should Christians keep it and Jews or merchants promote it? Is Christmas just a Great Religious HOAX? What does God's Word in the Bible say about the traditions of Christmas? The answers may surprise…even shock you!
Who really is Jesus Christ? When and why was He born? How and when did December 25th come to be celebrated as the birthday of Christ? And how did that day come to be called Christmas?
Beyond the brief accounts in the Bible of the nativity of Jesus Christ, where do all the other traditions of Christmas come from?
And WHO is this Santa Claus, the real hero of Christmas, and where did he come from? What does Santa Claus, who supposedly checks the Christmas wish lists of millions of little children and watches to see if they were naughty or nice, have to do with Jesus Christ or true Christianity? And what does the Christmas tree, and all the other ancient and modern traditions associated with Christmas have to do with the gospel (good news) of the Kingdom of God preached by Jesus Christ and His disciples (Mat 4:23; 9:35; Mk 1:14-15; Acts 15:7; 1 Cor 9:16,18; Eph 6:19-20)?
Should Christ be put back into Christmas?
If you are a Christian and are keeping Christmas to honor God and Jesus Christ, shouldn't you take a look at the true origins of Christmas and its traditions - the REAL story of Christmas - and what the Bible says about this most popular and lucrative of all religious holidays? Was Jesus Christ really ever in Christmas? What does the Bible and history reveal?
As little boys and girls, finding and decorating a Christmas tree was a fun family affair. Many were taught to hang up stockings on Christmas eve. Then Christmas morning they would be filled with small toys and candies and nuts, and we would find presents placed under the tree. We were told that Santa Claus had come down the chimney during the night and left all these things.
Of course we adults now know that this was just make believe, a fable, a fictitious tale, or to be more blunt, a LIE. But did we question what our parents had told us? No! Most little children naively believe what they are told. Didn't we? So much for the 9th commandment (Ex 20:16; Deut 5:20 - Perhaps we should consider what God's Word says about it in Rev 21:8,27; 22:15)!
Most people keep Christmas as a TRADITION. But if Christmas is supposed to be a Christian holiday, why do so many non-Christians celebrate it? We know that a lot of things about Christmas are not true, but we love our traditions. What is the origin of the traditions we call Christmas and how did this come to be one of the most popular celebrations observed by traditional Christianity?
And shouldn't we ask, "Does God approve of the traditions of Christmas?" Do they Please Him? And if not, WHY?
Many encyclopedias clearly expose the pagan origins of the Christmas traditions admitting that neither Christ's birthday nor Christmas were observed by the apostles or early Christians.
The Catholic Encyclopedia admits, "Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the church. Irenaeus (130-200 A.D.) and Tertullian (150-225 A.D.) (considered as early Catholic fathers) omit it from their lists of feasts." The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1911 ed., says under the heading "Natal Day," that Origen (185-254 A.D.), an early Catholic philosopher, acknowledged, "...in the Scriptures, no one is recorded to have kept a feast or held a great banquet on his [Jesus'] birthday. It is only sinners [like Pharaoh and Herod] who make great rejoicings over the day in which they were born into this world."
It also admits, under the heading "Christmas," "Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church… the first evidence of the feast is from Egypt." And that, "Pagan customs centering around the January calends gravitated to Christmas."
The Encyclopedia Americana, 1944 ed., reports that, "Christmas… was, according to many authorities, not celebrated in the first centuries of the Christian church… a feast was established in memory of this event [Christ's birth] in the fourth century. In the fifth century the Western [Roman Catholic] Church ordered it to be celebrated forever on the day of the old Roman feast of the birth of Sol [the sun], as no certain knowledge of the day of Christ's birth existed."
"According to a Roman almanac, Christmas was celebrated in Rome by 336 C.E. (Christian Era)... During the 4th century the celebration of Christ's birth on December 25 was gradually adopted by most Eastern churches. In the Armenian Church, a Christmas on December 25 was never accepted, Christ's birth is celebrated on January 6." (Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of World Religions, 1999, p 236).
The World Book Encyclopedia, 50th ed, explains in its article on "Christmas": "Scholars do not know the exact date of Christ's birth... In A.D. 354, Bishop Liberius of Rome ordered the people to celebrate on December 25. ...probably...because the people of Rome already observed it as the Feast of Saturn, celebrating the birthday of the sun. Christians honored Christ, instead of Saturn, as the Light of the World. The Christians of Egypt celebrated Christmas on January 6, and many members of the Eastern Orthodox Church still observe this date."
What are the origins of the traditions of the Christmas tree, holly wreath, yule log and mistletoe? According to the Encyclopedia Americana: "The holly, the mistletoe, the Yule log...are relics of pre-Christian times." Mistletoe was used at the festival of the winter solstice because it was considered sacred to the sun, supposedly having miraculous healing power. The pagan custom of kissing under the mistletoe was an early step in the night of revelry and drunken debauchery - celebrating the death of the "old sun" and birth of the new at the winter solstice. Mistletoe, sacred in pagan festivals, is a parasitic plant growing on trees.
Yule is an old Anglo-Saxon, Old English, and Scotch name for the pagan festival that became Christmas. Jolly is from this through the French. Yule-tide was the season of Yule or Christmas (The Consolidated Webster Encyclopedic Dictionary). The Yule log was the "sun log" used for the Yule or Christmas fire. "the custom of burning the Juul...came from the Norse and Anglo-Saxons...to honor Thor, the god of thunder. After the Norse became Christians, they made the yule log an important part of their Christmas ceremonies" (World Book Encyclopedia).
Modern Christmas tree customs came from Germany, who learned them from the Romans, who in turn got them from the Babylonians and Egyptians. According to Frederick Haskins book, Answers to Questions: "The Christmas tree is from Egypt, and its origin dates from a period long anterior to the Christmas Era."
According to the World Book Encyclopedia, "The custom of decorating homes and churches with evergreens began in ancient times. The Romans exchanged green tree branches for good luck on the calends (first day) of January. The English took this custom over for Christmas." According to one legend, Winfrid (later changed to Boniface), an English missionary, traveled through northern Germany about 1,200 years ago. Seeing a group of heathens under an oak tree preparing to sacrifice a child, little prince Asulf, to the god Thor, he stopped the sacrifice and cut down the oak. And, "As the oak fell, a young fir tree appeared. Winfrid told the people that the fir was the tree of life, representing Christ."
According to Haskins book, Answers to Questions, "The use of Christmas wreaths is believed by authorities to be traceable to the pagan customs of decorating buildings and places of worship at the feast which took place at the same time as Christmas." Holly berries were also considered sacred to the sun-god.
The mythical figure Santa Clause with his elves, raindeer and his headquarters at the North Pole is one Christmas tradition that sprang from within the Catholic church and spread to many cultures, becoming greatly embellished over time - even as ancient histories became highly embellished legends in Greek mythology.
According to the Encyclopedia of World Religions, The original Saint Nicholas was apparently a Roman Catholic bishop, "probably bishop of Myra in the 4th century... He was imprisoned during Roman emperor Diocletion's persecution of Christians, but he was later released under the rule of Emperor Constantine, and subsequently attended the first Council of Nicaea (325)... Nicholas' reputation for generosity and kindness gave rise to legends of miracles he performed for the poor and unhappy. He was reputed to have given marriage dowries of gold to three girls whom poverty would otherwise have forced into lives of prostitution..."
"After the Reformation, Nicholas' cult disappeared in all Protestant countries of Europe except Holland, where his legend persisted as Sinterklaas (a Dutch variant of the name Saint Nicholas). Dutch colonists took this tradition with them to New Amsterdam (now New York City) in the American colonies in the 17th century. Sinterklaas was adopted by the English speaking majority under the name Santa Claus, and his legend of a kindly old man was united with old Nordic folktales of a magician who punished naughty children and rewarded good children with presents. The resulting image of Santa Claus in the United States crystalized in the 19th century, and he has ever since remained the patron or the gift-giving festival of Christmas" (p. 811).
According to the World Book Encyclopedia, "...the belief that Santa Claus enters the house throught the chimney developed from an old Norse legend. The Norse believed that the goddess Hertha appeared in the fireplace and brought good luck to the home... In 1823, an American minister and poet, Clement C. Moore, first described Santa's fur-trimmed suit and his sleigh with raindeer in the poem 'A Visit from St. Nicholas,' later called 'The Night Before Christmas."
We love our fairy-tales, but what does this have to do with Jesus Christ and the Biblical message? And WHO does Santa really represent? More on this later.
Clearly, Christmas was not instituted by Christ or the original apostles who were instructed by Christ, or by Biblical authority. Christmas and its traditions are not found in the Bible, but they came into the Roman Catholic Church in the fourth century from paganism. And from the Roman Catholic Church Christmas passed on to many Protestant denominations after the Reformation. But how did it creep into Catholicism and why December 25th?
The Encyclopedia of World Religions (p. 236) relates that, "The reason why Christmas came to be celebrated on December 25 remains uncertain, but most probably early Christians wished the date to coincide with the Roman festival marking the 'birthday of the unconquered sun' (natalis solis invicti), the winter solstice, when the days again begin to lengthen. The traditional customs connected with Christmas have developed from several sources. In the Roman world the Saturnalia (December 17) was a time of merrymaking and exchange of gifts. December 25 was also regarded as the birth date of the Iranian god MITHRA." Mithra was the Iranian god of the sun. Written records of Mithraism go back to 1400 BCE (before Christian Era).
Throughout the Greek and Roman worlds the celebration of December 25th, as a holiday, was fostered by the pagan sun worship of Mithriasm, the largest pagan religious cult. The chief deity of this religion was the "Sun Goddess", the Oriental goddess of the heavens, called "the queen of heaven" (see Jer 7:17-20; 44:15-19, 25). The season of the year when this goddess received her greatest adoration from the pagan world was at the time of the winter solstice in December. This winter festival was called "the Nativity" - the Nativity of the Sun.
"The ritual of the nativity, as appears to have been celebrated in Syria and Egypt, was remarkable. The celebrants retired into certain inner shrines, from which at midnight they issued with a loud cry, 'The Virgin has brought forth! The light is waxing.' The Egyptians even represented the newborn sun by the image of an infant [this was long before Christ], which on his birthday, the winter solstice, they brought forth and exhibited to his worshippers... No doubt the Virgin who thus conceived and bore a son on the 25th of December was the Oriental goddess whom the Semites called the Heavenly Virgin or simply the Heavenly Goddess" (from The Golden Bough, St. Martin's ed., by Sir James Frazer, pp. 471-472).
This "Heavenly Goddess" was the pagan "Queen of Heaven" whose worship (with all her festivals) is condemned in the Bible. The prophet Jeremiah records the Word that came from the Lord, concerning this heavenly goddess:
"Do you not see what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?During the 2nd and 3rd centuries after Christ, there was an intense rivalry between professing Christianity and the old pagan religion of Mithriasm. Catholic Christainity, however, managed in the end to suppress this pagan religion, but the victory was in name only. A great deal of compromise with the teachings of Mithriasm was effected by the early Catholic leaders. According to Sir James Frazer in his works on ancient religion, The Golden Bough, "An instructive relic of the long struggle between Christianity and Mithriasm is preserved in our festival of Christmas, which the Church seems to have borrowed directly from its heathen rival. In the Julian Calendar the 25th of December was regarded as the Nativity of the Sun..."
"The children gather wood, the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke Me to anger ("kaas," meaning to vex or provoke to anger, indignation, sorrow, to grieve).
"Do they provoke me to anger? says the Lord. 'Do they not provoke themselves, to shame of their own faces?" (Jer 7:17-19).
The apostle Paul wrote to the Romans about those who worshipped false gods:
"...although they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
"Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man, and birds and four-footed beasts and creeping things.
"Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves,
"who exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creation rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever, Amen" (Rom 1:21-25).
"The Greeks and Romans considered Mithra a sun god." … "In the 3rd and 4th centuries CE, the cult of Mithra, carried and supported by the soldiers of the Roman Empire, was the chief rival to early Christianity. …After the acceptance of Christianity by the emperor Constantine in the early 4th century, Mithriasm rapidly declined" (Ency. of World Religions, p. 742).
The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge explains in its article on "Christmas," that in the Roman culture,
"The pagan Saturnalia and Brumalia were too deeply entrenched in popular custom to be set aside by Christian influence… The pagan festival with its riot and merrymaking was so popular that Christians were glad of an excuse to continue its celebration with little change in spirit and in manner. Christian preachers of the West and the Near East protested against the unseemly frivolity with which Christ's birthday was celebrated, while Christians of Mesopotamia [Syrians and Armenians, who clung to January 6th - Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1946 ed., under "Christmas"] accused their Western brethren of idolatry and sun worship for adopting as Christian this pagan festival. …How much the date of the festival depended upon the pagan Brumalia (Dec. 25) following the Saturnalia (Dec. 17-24), and celebrating the shortest day of the year and the 'new sun'…cannot be accurately determined."
The Encyclopedia of World Religions reports that "the Saturnalia became one of the most popular of Roman festivals, and its influence is still felt in the celebration of Christmas and the Western world's New Year… All work and business were suspended…moral restrictions were eased, and presents were exchanged" (p. 973).
Because most in the Roman Empire had grown up in the pagan traditions, of which the idolatrous festivals of Saturnalia and the Brumalia, the "Nativity" festival, were chief, they didn't want to give them up. This was a festival with a spirit of frivolous merrymaking and they enjoyed it.
According to Reader's Digest's, After Jesus : The Triumph of Christianity, 1992, p. 215, "The church (Roman Catholic) succeeded in defeating the cult of the sun god while at the same time assimilating both his image and his birthday, December 25th. That date came to be celebrated as the birthday of Jesus some time between 274 and 336."
Prior to the fourth century, Christians were persecuted by the Roman government and by religious pagans. But after Constantine had became emperor in the 4th century (306-337 A.D.), he ended the persecutions against Christians in the Edict of Milan (313 A.D.), perhaps because his mother had professed Christianity,
However, because he was also steeped in pagan beliefs of sun worship, he authorized a statue of himself, which was commissioned by the Senate, with both a Christian symbol and a medallion that attributed his liberation of Rome to the sun god Sol Invictus ("Unconquered Sun"). And as pontifex maximus, or chief priest of the state religion of sun worship, Constantine made an edict in 321 A.D. proclaiming Sunday a public holiday, stating: "All judges, city-people, and craftsmen shall rest on the venerable day of the Sun." But "Despite the edict, many Christians continued the long-standing practice of observing the Jewish Sabbath [the 7th day - see Gen 2:1-2; Ex 20:8-11; Mk 2:27-28] as well, until the mid-360's, when the (Roman Catholic) church forbade it." (After Jesus..., pp. 212,233,239).
Constantine began to vigorously promote the "Christian" religion (actually a counterfeit of true Christianity that became in reality a "christianized" pagan religion) in the empire. In 325 A.D. serious doctrinal disputes concerning especially the nature of God and the keeping of Easter versus the Biblical Passover were causing great division in the church. Constantine thus called a Council of all the church bishops (more than 300 attended) to Nicea to settle the disputes. From this originated the Nicene Creed and eventually the non-biblical doctrine of the Trinity to explain the belief that God and Christ are One God of the same substance along with the Holy Spirit, but as three manifestations, opposing Arianist claims that Christ was not God, but had a beginning.
The Council of Nicea also settled the Easter-Passover controversy decreeing that Easter be kept by all the churches - instead of the Passover, which had been kept by Christ and the original apostles and the early Church. After the Council Constantine wrote a letter to the churches, "…concerning the most holy day of Easter, it was decreed by common consent to be expedient, that this festival should be celebrated on the same day by all, in every place. …And truly, in the first place, it seemed to every one a most unworthy thing that we should follow the custom of the Jews in celebration on this most holy solemnity, who, polluted wretches!, having stained their hands with this nefarious crime, are justly blinded in their minds. …Let us then have nothing in common with the most hostile rabble of the Jews." (Historical View of the Council of Nice, 1879, by Isaac Boyle. P 52).
In this way the Biblical Passover and Sabbaths came to be condemned as being Jewish by this New Roman Catholic Faith, and pagan festivals including Easter and Christmas came to be celebrated in place of God's True Sabbaths and Holy Days (see Sunset to Sunset...God's Sabbath Rest, & Holidays or Holy Days: Does It Matter Which Days We Keep?, & God's Holy Day Plan...The Promise of Hope for All Mankind).
Now, with the blessings of Constantine, large numbers of pagans in the Roman world began to be converted to this new Roman Catholic (meaning universal in Latin) Church, keeping their old traditions as this new counterfeit paganized "Christianity" incorporated worship of the sun-god, replacing the Sabbath with Sunday, and Easter in place of the Passover, and the winter Saturnalia festival calling it Christmas.
Those who continued to obey Christ and keep God's true Sabbaths and Holy Days, as Jesus and His apostles and early Church had, now became the persecuted ones as Jesus and His apostles had warned (John 16:33; 2 Tim 3:1,5-7,12).
The Council of Nicea decided, under Constantine's authority, that Easter must be celebrated on Sunday and that the Passover must be forbidden in all the churches, thereby turning away from the truth to fables, as the apostle Paul had warned - 2 Tim 4:3-4).
Emperor Constantine empowered his new Catholic (Latin for universal) Church in the Roman empire, forbidding anyone from observing God's true Holy Day Feasts ("moed" meaning appointed times - Lev 23:1-4) on threat of loss of property and life. In a letter to all the churches regarding keeping Easter rather than the Passover, he wrote: "It should be considered that any dissension...would be highly criminal (The Council of Nice, by Boyle, p. 53, Letter of Constantine, to the Churches).
To the heretics (those who persist in keeping God's true feasts), he wrote, "To speak of your criminality as it deserves demands more time...than I can give... Why not at once strike, as it were, at the root of so great a mischief (meaning the true biblical commands) by a public manifestation of displeasure?" (by persecution, in other words) "Forasmuch, then, as it is no longer possible to bear with your pernicious errors, we give warning by this present statute that none of you henceforth presume to assemble yourselves together. We have directed, accordingly, that you be deprived of all the houses in which you are accustomed to hold your asemblies: and forbid the holding of your...senseless meetings, not in public merely, but in any private house or place whatsoever..." (Eusebius' Life of Constantine, book 3). Everyone was now forced to observe a pagan Easter or flee the Roman Empire to escape the terrible slaughter of Constantine's counterfeit "Christianity" from 325 A.D. to Constantine's death (Rev 2:10 - A True History of the True Church, H.L Hoeh).
Almost every culture around the world observed some of the traditions of sun worship, which facilitated the rapid spread of the "new" Catholic faith.
By 380 A.D. the Catholic Church became the Universal state religion of the Roman Empire. But at what cost? It was no longer the same as the original Church established by God through Jesus Christ and preached by the apostles. It had become a counterfeit "Christian" church that had adopted many of the customs of the pagan religions of the Roman Empire, including Sunday worship, Easter, and worship of the birth of the sun god on December 25th, calling them "Christian."
Jesus had warned,
"Take heed that no one deceives you.
"For many will come in My name (calling themselves Christian), saying 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many" (Mat 24:4-5).
Images and idols also came to be accepted by this universal "church." Images of Christ and the apostles and saints began to appear with "halos" (a Greek word meaning "sun") showing that this new "Christianity had incorporated into it the mystery religion and pagan worship of the "sun-god," ignoring God's direct commandments against idolatry - making any images or idols of anything in heaven above or on earth beneath to be used in worship (Ex 20:2-5).
If we got Christmas from the Roman Catholics, and they got it from paganism, where did the pagans get it? When, where and what was its real origin?
The Bible and history reveal that the early traditions and customs of Christmas originated in ancient Babylon several hundred years after the Flood.
After the flood, there was only one government and one religion, the government and religion of God under the Patriarch Noah, a preacher of righteousness with whom God had established His covenant (Gen 6:8-9,18,22; 9:8-9; Heb 11:7; 2 Pet 2:5 - see "Mystery of PENTECOST...The One True Religion & Church of God"). God chose Noah's son Shem (origin of Semites) and his line to carry on the priesthood after him (Gen 9:26-27; 11:10-32; 12:1-3).
But in the 2nd generation after the flood (over 4,000 years ago), Nimrod, son of Cush, who was the son of Ham, a son of Noah, rose up and organized a rebellion against Noah and God.
"Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one ("gibbor," warrior, tyrant...) on the earth. He became a mighty hunter before ("paneh," turned against...) the Lord; therefore it is said, 'Nimrod the mighty hunter [turned against] the Lord" (Gen 10:8-9).
He gathered many of the people together under him and began building the tower of Babel, the original Babylon, and many other cities to begin this post-flood world's first kingdom or empire.
"And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel (Babylon, meaning confusion), Erech, Accad, and Calneh in the land of Shinar (Mesopotamia)" (Gen 10:8-10).
Nimrod was instrumental in founding this worlds Babylonish religious, political and financial merchandizing systems described in Revelation 17:5 and 18:1-8, called MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT.... He caused people to follow him and build a city and make a tower (the tower of Babel). They said,
"Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower ("migdal," tower, or pyramid, with a temple on top) whose top ("rosh," head, chief, leader...) is in the heavens, and make ("asah," make, appoint...) us a name ("shem," name, position, authority, honor...), lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth" (Gen 11:1-4).
God had instructed Noah to "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth" (Gen 9:1), and to divide up and resettle the earth according to the families of his 3 sons (Shem, Ham and Japheth) as the inheritance of each (Gen 10:32). But Nimrod lead a rebellion against God's appointed government to usurp Noah's authority and prevent the resettling of the people abroad where he could not easily exercise power and authority over them.
But God ("Elohim," the Almighty Ones - God the Father & Jesus Christ the Word "Logos," word or Spokesman of God - John 1:1-3,18) saw what they were doing and said,
"Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city" (Gen 10:7-8).
This account was also recorded in other ancient secular records, which are published in "Ancient Near Eastern Texts" by J. B. Pritchard, pp 68-69. The exact date of this event (2256-2254 B.C.) was preserved down to Roman times (see Roman History, by Velleiuus Paterculus, book I, section VI), which the Bible records as during the time of Peleg, "for in his days was the earth divided" (Gen 10:25).
The great apostasy from the rule of God and His Truth, that has dominated the world until now, began from the family of Ham, Noah's son (Gen 10:6-20). Nimrod's rebellion caused God to intervene to "confuse their language," and "the Lord scattered them abroad from there (Babel or Babylon) over the face of all the earth" to prevent him from forming a One-World Government with his despotic rule over all the people.
After they were scattered from Babylon Egypt became a second center of civilization. The tombs of all the famous heros who founded Babel are located in Egypt. After the scattering from Babel famous figures had many names because of the different languages of the nations.
The first Dynasty of Upper Egypt began with its capital at Thinis. The first four kings of Dynasty I, as reported by Egyptian priest/historian Manetho (c.280 B.C.), were:
Cush, (reigned 2254-2194 B.C. - called Menes (Greek name) by Manetho, he was a son of Ham and was Nimrod's father - Gen 10:6-8);
Nimrod (2194-2167 B.C. - called Athothis by Manetho, he became famous as the Egyptian god Osiris, the Baal of the Canaanites (Jug 2:13), Marduk of the Babylonians, and Tammuz of the Semites - see Gen 10:8-11; Num 22:41; Jug 2:13; Eze 8:14);
Isis (2167-2125 - her Egyptian name, called Uenephes by Manetho, Assyrians called her Semiramis and Ishtar, from which comes Easter (goddess of fertility, sex and war), and Astarte (a Greek and Roman name), and Asherah and Ashtoreth (a Canaanite goddess - Jud 2:13; 3:7; 1 Kgs 11:5,33; 18:19; 2 Kgs 23:4-13), and the Queen of Heaven - Judg 2:13; 2 Kgs 21:7; Jer 44:17,25). Ancient legends say she was Nimrod's sister and became his wife (Ency. of World Religions, pp. 513,986). Another tradition says Isis was first the wife of Cush and mother of Nimrod, and after the death of Cush she became wife of Osiris (Nimrod, her son). After Nimrod's death Isis bore a son Horus, but not by him.
The 4th king of Egypt was Horus (2125-2094 B.C. - called Kenkenes by Manetho, and Gilgamesh in Babylonian, the son of Isis. He wrote the "Epics of Gilgamesh," which contain an account of the Flood, which he claimed he learned directly from Noah, whom he called Utnapishtim.
The cult of Ishtar (Isis), who founded the spring fertility festival of Easter, became universally popular in the ancient Middle East before she ruled Egypt. "Ishtar was the protectress of prostitutes and… Part of her cult worship probably included temple prostitution, and her cult center, Erech (founded by Nimrod - Gen 10:10), was a city filled with courtesans and prostitutes. In later myth she was known as the Queen of the Universe" (Encyclopedia of World Religions, Merriam-Webster, p. 513).
After Nimrod's (Osiris) death Isis (Ishtar, Semiramis) propagated myths of Nimrod's survival as a spirit being. She claimed a full-grown evergreen tree (true origin of the Christmas tree) sprang overnight from a dead tree stump, symbolizing the springing forth of Nimrod to new life. December 25th was the birthday of Nimrod. On each anniversary of his birth, she claimed Nimrod would visit the evergreen tree and leave gifts upon it. This is the real origin of "Christmas" tree traditions. "The idea that rebirth in the next life could be gained by following Osiris was maintained through certain cult forms. …This…did not imply resurrection, but rather the renewal of life both in the next world and through one's descendants on earth. …this…Osiris cult spread throughout Egypt" (Ency. of World Religions, p. 832).
"The cult of Isis spread throughout Egypt… By Greco-Roman times she was dominant among Egyptian goddesses. Her cult reached much of the Roman world as a MYSTERY RELIGION. With Isis went Osiris and Horus the child, but Isis was the dominant figure. Many Egyptian monuments were imported to Rome to provide a setting for the principle Isis temple in the 1st century CE. The myth of Osiris shows some analogies with the Gospel story and, in the figure of Isis, with the role of the virgin MARY. The ICONOGRAPHY of the Virgin and Child has evident affinity with that of Isis and the infant Horus." (Ency. of World Religions, p. 513).
Through her scheming, Ishtar (Isis, Semiramis…) became the Babylonian "Queen of Heaven" and Nimrod, under various names, became the "divine son of heaven." From the myths propagated by Ishtar, which were perversions of the true gospel taught by Noah and Shem (Rom 1:21-25; Gal 3:8; Heb 11:13-16; 1 Pet 4:6), began the mystery religious system that is called in Revelation,
"MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS, AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH" (Rev 17:5),from which came many of the traditions and customs of Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Valentine's Day and many other pagan festivals adopted by the counterfeit "Christianity" of the Roman Catholic Church and later much of Protestant "Christianity."
In this false Babylonish system, the "Mother and Child" (Isis and the infant Horus as the reborn Osiris) became chief objects of worship. This worship spread over the world. The names varied in different countries and languages. In Egypt it was Isis and Osiris, in Asia, Cybele and Deoius, in pagan Rome, Fortuna and Jupiterpuer, etc. Even in Greece, China, Japan, Tibet a counterpart of the Madonna and Child, which originated from Ishtar, are found long before the birth of Christ.
This pagan worship of Isis and Osiris as mother and child crept into the popular new Roman Catholic religion in the 4th and 5th centuries when pagans of the Roman world accepted the new popular "Christianity," carrying their old pagan customs, festivals and beliefs along with them. Catholic leaders cloaked them with Christian-sounding names. Thus the Madonna, "Mother and Child" worship and the "Nativity" scene displays became popular in "Christianity," totally overshadowing the true message of Jesus Christ and who He is (see "Who is Jesus Christ?").
Santa (actually a slight change in the spelling of Satan) has deceived the whole world (Rev 12:9) through his pagan festivals, especially at Christmas time, even though God commands:
"You shall not make for yourselves any carved image, or 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..." (Ex 20:4-5 - see 1 Cor 6:9).
The prophet Jeremiah confronted the pagan idolatry of the "Christmas tree" tradition of his day, more than 600 years before the Christian Era, with this admonition from God:
"Thus says the Lord: Do not learn the way of the heathens;God's chosen nation of ancient Israel and later Judah lost their blessings and God's divine protection because they adopted the multicultural customs, traditions and false gods of the Gentile nations around them.
"Do not be dismayed at the signs of the heavens, for the heathens are dismayed at them.
"For the customs of the people 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.
"They are upright like a palm tree, and they cannot speak; they must be carried, because they cannot go by themselves. Do not be afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, nor can they do any good.
"For there is none like unto You, O Lord…
"For among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like You.
"But they are altogether dull-hearted and foolish; A wooden idol is a worthless doctrine" (Jer 10:1-8).
Today a great many in America and other Western Catholic and Protestant nations keep the traditions of Christmas, putting up "Christmas" trees, decorating with colored lights, "nativity" scenes, angels, Santa Claus, and the like.
Those who are religious say that, "We keep Christmas to honor our Saviour, Jesus Christ." Some even go so far as to denounce businesses and others who object and want to take religion out of the holidays by replacing "Merry Christmas" with "Happy Holidays" and removing all the religious symbols (idols) displayed in public places.
But does Christmas really honor or please Jesus Christ and God the Father, or are we really doing it just to please ourselves and our children? Shouldn't we consider what God and His Word, the Bible, say about how we should honor and please Jesus Christ and God? After all, it is God, not Santa or Satan, who is the Creator and REAL GIVER or All Good and perfect Gifts (Acts 17:24-25; 1 Cor 2:12; 1 Tim 6:17), even as James, the apostle and brother of Jesus Christ, wrote:
"Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning" (James 1:16-17)
When the scribes and Pharisees of Jesus' day confronted and denounced Him and His disciples, saying,
"Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders?Jesus said to a Samaritan woman, who was a Gentile and a sinner:
"He answered and said to them,
"Why do you also transgress the commandments of God by your tradition?
"…You hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, 'These people draw near to Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me, and in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrine the commandments of men'" (Mat 15:1-3,7-8; Isa 29:13).
"You worship what you do not know; We know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. (Remember emperor Constantine, who founded the Universal (Catholic) Roman Church condemned the Jewish customs of the Sabbath and Passover)
"But the hour is coming, and now is, when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.
"God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:22-24).
What is TRUTH? Jesus said, "Your (God's) Word is TRUTH!" (John 17:17).
What does God's Word say about putting up images and idols, and of adopting the gods and practices of pagans? The first Commandment clearly forbids worshipping the false gods of the pagans. God says:
"I am the Lord your God... You shall have no other gods before Me" (Ex 20:1-3).And the second commandment clearly condemns all forms of idolatry. God said:
"You shall not make for yourself any carved image, or 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..." (jealous for us) (Ex 20:4-5).
And Jeremiah gave this clear warning from God:
"Thus says the Lord: 'Do not learn the way of the Gentiles (heathens);...The authorities of the Roman Catholic Church were led to institute Christmas with all its pagan gods and idols, according to a 5th century Syrian Catholic writer, because: "It was the custom of the heathen to celebrate on the same 25th of December the birthday of the sun, at which they kindled lights in token of festivity. In these solomities and festivities the Christians also took part. Accordingly, when the doctors of the Church perceived that the Christians had a leaning to this festival, they took counsel and resolved that the true nativity [of Christ] should be solemnized on that day" (The Golden Bough).
"But the Lord is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King.
"At His wrath the earth will tremble, and the nations ("goyim," people, tribes, nations, often referring to pagan nations, gentiles, heathens) will not be able to abide His indignation.
"Thus you shall say to them: 'The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under the heavens" (Jer 10:1-2,10-11).
How did the Roman church get around the 1st and 2nd commandments against idolatry? Around the beginning of the 5th century, Jerome (347-419), a Catholic scholar, produced a Latin translation of the Old and New Testaments, which came to be known as the Vulgate, the Catholic Bible. Because idols had become a prominent feature of the Catholic faith, the Catholic Scriptures dropped the 2nd commandment against idols replacing it by divided the 10th commandment into two commandments, ignoring God's warnings in both the Old and New Testaments, which state:
"You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take anything from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you" (Deut 4:2). And,
"For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book" (Rev 22:18-19).
Concerning idolatry, the apostle Paul also admonished the Church:
"And do not become idolaters...
"Therefore my beloved, flee from idolatry...
"What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything?
"But I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons" (1 Cor 10:7,14,19-20).
Keeping pagan festivals, no matter how "christianized" with Christian sounding names they may be, does not honor or worship God or Jesus Christ, but, as Paul wrote, is to "have fellowship with demons!" God wants us to have fellowship with Him. The apostle John wrote,
"That which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full" (1 John 1:3-4).Christmas celebrations in England in the Middle Ages eventually became so rowdy that "Puritans in England did away with the observance of Christmas by law in 1643. Colonists in New England (America) copied the English laws... But immigrants brought with them Christmas customs from many lands" (World Book Ency.).
"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord ("YAHVEH," or "Jehovah," meaning the Eternal), and the people He has chosen as His inheritance.
"The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men...
"He considers all their works...
"Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy, to deliver their soul from death..." (Psa 33:12-19).
Shouldn't we consider what God says about adopting the customs and feasts of the Gentiles, or pagan (heathen) nations, in worshipping Him? God commanded Moses to warn His Church ("Ekklesia," called-out ones), who in the Old Testament were the children of Israel (see Acts 7:37-38):
"When the Lord your God shall cut off the nations from before you, which you go in to possess, and you displace them and dwell in their land,
"take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared by following them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, 'How did these nations serve their gods? I will do likewise.'
"YOU SHALL NOT WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD IN THAT WAY; for every abomination to the Lord which He hates they have done to their gods…
"Whatsoever I command you, observe to do it; you shall not add to it, nor take away from it" (Deut 12:30-32).
Is God an ogre, who would deny us the pleasures of life, demanding absolute submission and obedience and sacrifices, as some religions and religious teachers portray Him? NO!!!
Why then does God want us to keep His laws and commandments? Hear what He says!
"Observe and obey all these words which I command you, THAT IT MAY GO WELL WITH YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN AFTER YOU FOREVER, when you do what is good and right in the sight of the Lord your God" (Deut 12:29).
God delivered Israel out of slavery in Egypt to become His chosen people, chosen to be "a special treasure to Me above all people…and…a kingdom of priests and a holy nation" (Ex 19:5-6). God said He would bless Israel above all people "if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant" (ver. 5).
God intended for Israel to be a model nation to the world to demonstrate the wisdom and blessings of keeping God's laws. Moses wrote,
"Surely I have taught you statutes and judgments, just as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should act according to them in the land which you go to possess.
"Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations who will hear all these statutes, and say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.'
"For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the Lord our God is to us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him?
"And what great nation is there that has such statutes and righteous judgments as are in all this law which I set before you this day?" (Deut 4:5-8).
When Israel strayed from God's ways, He raised up prophets to give them correction and warnings. The prophet Jeremiah again warned the nation of Judah, before they went into captivity,
"Do not learn the way of the heathen..." (Jer 10:2).
God has given mankind the freedom to chose what we want to believe and do (Deut 30:15-20), but He grieves when we choose the ways that bring suffering and death (see - Gen 6:6; Judg 10:16; Psa 78:40; 95:10; Isa 53:3-4; Mat 23:37; Mk 3:5; John 11:35-36). God's instruction would teach mankind how to avoid all the evils and suffering and how to receive and enjoy all the blessings of His righteous way of life, as outlined by His laws, commandments, statutes and judgments (See Lev 26:1-13 and Deut 28:1-14; 30:9-11,15-19).
Satan (the REAL spirit behind Santa with his fiery red suit - Rev 12:3,9), who "transforms himself into an angel of light," is the real enemy of man who seeks to destroy mankind. Satan with his deceived helpers, who "transform themselves into ministers of righteousness," (2 Cor 11:13-15) tempt and deceive us with frivolous customs causing us to reject God's laws and to sin. We thereby become cut off from God - even as Eve and Adam were tempted and deceived and thereby cut themselves off from God (Gen 3; Isa 59:2 - see "Mystery of Satan Power behind Terror and Evil").
Satan is called the god of this world in the Bible (2 Cor 4:4; Eph 2:2), who deceives men to follow his pernicious ways. He has inspired men, through pride, greed and lust for power, wealth and recognition, to create the many false religions of this world to teach his lies, causing this whole world to rebel against God by ignoring and disobeying His laws (2 Cor 11:3,13-15; Rev 12:9). This is what has brought on all the evils and curses that this world has suffered under from Adam's time to the present (see "Mankind's Greatest Experiment").
Jesus came some 2,000 years ago to demonstrate the great love and mercy of God (John 3:16-17) and reveal the gospel (good news) of God's plan of salvation (Mat 4:17,23; Eph 1:13 - see"Passover...The Beginning of Salvation"), which can be understood by keeping His TRUE Holy Days (Lev 23:1-4...; Psa 19:7-11; 111:10). These are the same Holy Days kept by Jesus Christ and His TRUE Church.
Whereas the pagan holidays and festivals, which are a part of Satan's great deceptions (Rev 12:9), which God says He hates (Amos 5:21), have only lead man to reject the Only True God, our Creator, and His righteous laws. God says,
"I hate, I despise your feast days, and I do not savor your sacred assemblies.
"Though you offer Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them, nor will I regard your fattened peace offerings (See "Why Old Testament Sacrifices").
"Take away from Me the noise of your songs, for I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments.
"But let justice run down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream" (Amos 5:21-24).
God hates our pagan holidays because they have deceived man into believing Satanic lies, which are a cause of all the evils and suffering of mankind down through the ages. By keeping these false "Christianized" pagan festivals, that use myths and lies to cater to our emotional needs and give us a nice fuzzy feeling, we are missing out on the true blessings of God's way of truth, love, righteousness, peace, joy and abundance (John 10:10; Rom 13:8-10; Gal 5:22-23).God's chosen people, the nations of Israel and Judah, were enticed by the pagan cultures (multiculturalism and polytheism) of the nations around them. The mystery religion of their gods and goddesses with the idol worship and sexual promiscuity caused them to break their covenant with God and lose their special blessings and protection from God as He had warned (Rev 2:14; Jer 31:31-32; Lev 26:14...; Deut 8:10-20; 28:15...).
"For so it was that the children of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God…and they had feared other gods, and had walked in the statutes of the heathen (pagan nations), whom the Lord had cast out from before the children of Israel…
"And the children of Israel did secretly against the Lord their God things that were not right, and they built for themselves high places (places of pagan worship) in all their cities…
"And they set up for themselves sacred pillars and wooden images ("Asherah," images of the Canaanite sex goddess) in every high hill, and under every green tree;
"and there they burned incense on all the high places, as the heathen had done whom the Lord had carried away before them; and they did wicked things to provoke the Lord to anger,
" for they served idols, of which the Lord had said, 'You shall not do this thing…
"So they left all the commandments of the Lord their God, and made them molded images…and made an image ("Asherah") and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal (a Phoenician god that originated with Nimrod, Asherah was his wife Ishtar)" (2 Kgs 17:7-12,16)
The apostle Paul writes to the New Testament Church:
"Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages have come.
"Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall (from God's grace).
"No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful..." (1 Cor 10:11-13).
Christmas has become a highly commercialized season. Today it is sponsored by the most massive retail advertizing campaigns of the year, ads to keep us deluded and deceived about the real "spirit" of Christmas. Hollywood, TV, radio and newspapers selling the ads, exalt and eulogize the pagan traditions of the season, and it's "spirit." A gullible public has become so "brainwashed" that many take offense when told the truth! But the "Christmas spirit" is promoted each year, not to honor Christ, but to sell merchandise! Like all of Satan's delusions, who appears as an angel of light (2 Cor 11:14), Christmas is made to appear good. Billions of dollars are spent in the gift buying spree every year, while the true gospel (good news) of Christ is ignored!Christmas is more popular than ever, but Christian professing nations are becoming more secular than ever. Why? Because Christmas, as part of the Satan's Mystery Religious system which began in ancient Babylon (Rev 12:9; 17:5), is part of his scheme to deceive man from understanding and believing the Truth!
In the Book of Revelation, "which God gave Him (Jesus Christ) to show His servants things which must shortly come to pass," (Rev 1:1), Jesus said,
"Behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.
"I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.
"Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they might have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
"But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and makes a lie.
"I Jesus, have sent My angel (Gk. "aggelos," meaning a messenger, to bring a message, announce, proclaim, may be human or angel...) to testify to you these things in the churches..." (Rev 22:12-16).
Did you catch that? "...whoever loves and makes a lie" will not enter the holy city of God. Let's look at it again in another chapter.
"And He said to me, 'It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.
"He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.
"But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, IDOLATERS, and ALL LIARS shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death" (Rev 21:6-8).
Many in the Western World profess to be Christian, but the truth is most are following a paganized form of Christianity. Shouldn't we be concerned about the fables that we teach our children, such as the Christmas myths that masquerade as Christian feasts or God's Holy Days in today's traditional "Christianity."As a final warning, God says,
"Come out of her (the modern Babylon of false religion and secularism) My people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues" (Rev 18:4).
Those who want to become part of God's One True Church, the Body of Christ (1 Cor 12:12-13,27; Col 2:18 - see "Mystery of PENTECOST...The One True Religion & Church of God."), must be willing to give up the false religious celebrations of this world's churches and turn to and obey God!The apostle Paul said,
"Truly, these times of ignorance God winked at, but now commands all men everywhere to repent" (Acts 17:30).On the Day of Pentecost, the apostle Peter preached to the crowd gathered in Jerusalem for that Holy Day feast of God. When the people realized their sin in crucifying Christ, they asked the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" Peter then answered them, saying:
"Repent, and let everyone be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.The gift of the Holy Spirit will enable you to overcome the temptations and sins of this world so that you may become the children of God.
"For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call" (Acts 2:37-39).
"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God" (Rom 8:14).The New Testament Church, established by Jesus Christ almost 2,000 years ago to replace the Old Testament priesthood that had fallen from the truth and rejected Him and their covenant with God (see - John 1:11-12; Heb 8:7-9), has been called to be a
"royal priesthood... that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light" (1 Pet 2:9).Those in God's true Church are to be overcoming their past ways, the ways of this world and learning to live by every Word of God, demonstrating to this world God's way of righteousness and blessings, as His true witnesses, and preaching the gospel of the soon coming Kingdom of God and His salvation to this world (see Mat 4:4; 7:12,21; 24:14; 28:19-20; John 13:34-35; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4,36-39; 5:32; Rom 8:9,14-17; 1 John 3:6-8,22-24; 4:7-16,20; 5:1-3; Rev 2:11,26; 21:7).
Copyright © December 21, 2006, & 2007 by Serf Publishing, Inc. Updated: 11/28/09