Christmas holiday traditions are cherished because they bring families together. This is a time many stop and enjoy being home together as a family. But why is it celebrated as the birthday of Jesus Christ? Was He really born on December 25th or in the winter season?
Many admit that Jesus may not have been born then, but believe it's okay to observe Christmas to honor Him anyway. After-all, it is a time of giving and joy. And what about all the Christmas miracles, doesn't that show God is pleased?
So, What is the truth? Does it really make any difference? Is Christmas biblical? Does it really please God? What does Jesus Himself, and the Word of God in the Bible say? Jesus said,
"Thy (God's) word is truth" (John 17:17).
The reality or TRUTH is, Christmas is a sentimentally emotional time when many enjoy being home together as a family, but it is more about commercial interests perpetuating non-biblical myths and idols such as Christmas trees, Santa (spelling close to Satan - see 2 Cor 11:13-15; Rev 12:3-9; John 8:44-47) Claus and his elves and flying raindeer - the real heros of Christmas, and gift-giving to sell merchandize, including war games as Christmas toys, than it is about truth or honoring Jesus Christ or promoting peace on earth.
Is it any wonder, that to non-Christians and atheists, the myths, legends, idols and customs of Christmas, taught and observed by traditional Christianity, are seen as evidence that Christianity is a BIG LIE based on superstitious beliefs and fables, thus discrediting Jesus Christ, God, the Bible and truth? James, the apostle and half-brother of Jesus Christ, wrote:
"...glory ("katakauchaomai," to exult, boast, glory, joy, rejoice against, apart from or in opposition to) not and lie not against the truth" (James 3:14).Such rejoicing or glorying in pagan non-biblical Christmas traditions IS apart from and against or in opposition to the plain teaching of the truth of the Word of God.
To non-Christians and atheists the myths, legends, idols and customs of Christmas, taught and observed by traditional Christianity, are seen as evidence that Christianity is a BIG LIE based on superstitious beliefs and fables, and thus discredit Jesus Christ, God, the Bible and truth.
Jesus said to a woman of Samaria who kept such pagan traditions:
"You do not know what you worship; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews (Jesus was a Jew - of Judah - and they were given responsibility for preserving the Old Trestament Scriptures - Acts 4:12; Rom 2:28-29; 3:1-4,9,23-31; 10:1-21; 11:26-36; Heb 7:14).
"But the hour (time) is coming, and now is, when TRUE worshipers shall 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 Him in Spirit and Truth" (John 4:22-24).
In His prayer to the Father, Jesus said, "Sanctify them by Your TRUTH. Your word IS TRUTH" (John 17:17).
As we saw in Part I, many encyclopedias and the Bible clearly expose the pagan origins of Christmas and Christmas traditions. And that neither Christ's birthday nor Christmas were observed by the apostles or early Christians.
The observance of Christ's birthday was ordained and became popularized by the Roman Catholic church to "christianize" the pagan winter festivals of the Saturnalia and Brumalia, which honor Nimrod (Baal, Tammuz, etc.) represented by the sun god, to facilitate the conversion of pagans into the Roman Catholic church beginning in the 4th and 5th centuries A.D. (After Jesus - The Triumph of Christianity, Reader's Digest, pp 190, 215, 239; Halley's Bible Handbook, 23rd ed., Paganization of the Church p. 867; Unger's Bible Handbook, 1966, p. 516)
Why, then, do many who claim to be Christians, followers or disciples of Jesus Christ, keep and teach pagan traditions instead of the TRUTH?
The Scriptures admonish Christians, true followers of Jesus Christ, to,
"Prove all things (and) hold fast that which is good" (1 Thes 5:21).But many would say, "How does the tradition of gift-giving at Christmas not honor Jesus Christ?" True, giving is a godly principle, even as Jesus said:
Jesus Said to His disciples, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.
"And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:31-32).
"It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35), and also, "Give, and it will be given to you... For with the same measure you use, it will be measured back to you" (Lk 6:38).But giving is a principle for all times, not just an excuse for people to keep pagan customs, which merchants promote to get rich (Jam 2:6-7; 5:1-6; Rev 18:1-11).
When the scribes and Pharisees asked Jesus,
"Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders?"
Jesus answered, "Why do you transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?" (Mat 15:3).
He had warned His disciples: "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves!" (Mat 7:15).
Jesus did not change or reject the commandments of God. He said to His disciples and those religious leaders who persecuted and sought to kill Him:
"Do not think that I came to destroy the Law and the Prophets. I did not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
"Most assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all be fulfilled.
"Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of heaven (if he repents), but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the Kingdom of heaven.
"For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the Kingdom of heaven" (Mat 5:17-20).
He taught what God the Father taught. He said: "Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner...
"I can of myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek my own will but the will of the Father who sent Me" (John 5:19,30).
He says to those who claim to be His followers doing works and miracles in His name:
"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
"Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in YOUR NAME, cast out demons in YOUR NAME, and done many wonders in YOUR NAME?'
"And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'" (Mat 7:21-23).
Jesus warned His disciples:"Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in MY NAME...and will deceive many" (Mat 24:5,11).
Satan also gives limited powers to some of his followers to work miracles to deceive people (Acts 8:9-11; 16:16-39; 2 Thes 2:3-10; 1 Tim 4:1; Rev 12:9; 13:2-8,11-18).
The apostle Paul admonished and warned:
"The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs and lying wonders,
"and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved" (2 Thes 2:9-10).
"Oh that you would bear with me in this foolishness - and indeed you do bear with me.
"For I am jealous for you with godly jeslousy. For I have betrothed you to one Husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
"But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. "For if he that comes preaches another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you had not received, or another gospel, which you had not accepted, you must virtuously resist him...
"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ.
"And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.
"Therefore it is not great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works" (2 Cor 11:1-4,13-15; see also John 8:44 & 1 John 4:1)
A similar warning is in the books of the Law in the Old Testament:
"If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder (miracles),
"and the sign or the wonder comes to pass of which he spoke to you saying, 'Let us go after other gods (which you have not known - like Santa Claus), and let us serve them,'
"you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
"You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice, and you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him" (Deut 13:1-4).
Clearly the traditions and myths of Christmas do not honor Jesus Christ, but rather deceive the world (Rev 12:9), especially little children who learn to believe in the fantasies of idols and false gods (Santa), and honor their merchants with huge profits by its observance. Merchants and toymakers greatest fear would probably be anyone preaching against Christmas, for emotionalism and Christmas sales make the difference between profit and loss for many businesses.
Merchants and craftsmen in Ephesus, who made great profits making shrines to the goddess Diana, were greatly upset and created an uproar against the apostle Paul's preaching against idol worship among them (Acts 19:23-41).
In Early America many Protestants rejected the celebration of Christmas on grounds that there was no biblical sanction for December 25 as the date of Jesus' birth and because of the pagan origins of many of its traditions. According to Clyde Kilough, president of the United Church of God, "Its common knowledge that Christmas and its customs have nothing to do with the Bible... The theological question is quite simple: Is it acceptable to God for humans to choose to worship Him by adopting paganism's most popular celebrations and calling them Christian?" ("American Christians new to holiday" by Tom Breen, Associated Press - The Columbian, p. D6, Dec. 15, 2007).
Breen also cites Bruce Forbes in his book, "Christmas: A Candid History," that Presbyterians, Baptists, Quakers, Methodists and Congregationalists either ignored the holiday or actively discouraged it until the late 19th century, even making the holiday illegal in colonial New England, punishable by fine for celebrating it.
The Scriptures reveal that the pagan traditions of Christmas are part of Satan's great deception (Rev 12:9), part of a counterfeit "Christianity" propagated through the world's false religious system, founded by Nimrod (Baal, Tammuz, Osiris, etc.) and Ishtar (Ashtaroth, Asherah, Isis, the queen of heaven, etc. see Gen 10:8-10; 11:1-9; Judg 2:13; 3:7; 1 Sam 7:3-4; 12:10; 1 Kg 11:5,33; 18:19; Jer 44:17-19,25-26; Eze 8:1-6,12-18) and called in Revelation,
"MYSTERY BABYLON (meaning confusion) THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH" (Rev 17:5).
Jesus Christ revealed this great political-religious-commercial system, and its end to the apostle John in prophetic visions. John wrote:
"And I saw a woman (symbolic of a church) sitting on a scarlet beast (symbolic of a political government) which was full of names of blasphemy (usurping and slandering God's name)...
"The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornications.
"And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT...
"And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints (read about the crusades and inquisitions in history) and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement"
And the angel revealed to John "the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her..." (Rev 17:3-7).
"After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with great glory (splendor).
"And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, 'Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a habitation of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird!
"For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.
"And I heard another voice from heaven saying, 'Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.
"For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities" (Rev 18:1-5).
Many religious deceptions have been perpetuated through Christmas and other religious holidays usurping the name of Christ, and using the biblical story of Christ's birth in Bethlehem, and His crucifixion and resurrection in association with pagan festivals to falsely claim they are Christian sanctioned by God's Word, the Holy Bible (see Isa 8:20; Mat 7:21-23; 24:4-5).
Why should keeping these pagan customs be an offense to God? God says through the prophet Isaiah:
"To whom will you liken God? Or what likeness will you compare to Him?
"The workman molds a graven image, the goldsmith overspreads it with gold, and the silversmith casts silver chains.
"Whoever is too impoverished for such a contribution chooses a TREE... He seeks for himself a skilled workman to set up an idol that will not fall" (Isa 40:18-20; see also Jer 10:3-5).
"Thus says the Lord, The King of Israel, And His Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: 'I am the First and the Last (Rev 1:11,17); Beside Me there is no God.
"And who can proclaim as I do? Then let him declare it and set it in order for Me...
"They fashioned themselves idols, all of them worthless, and their desirable things, which are unprofitable witnesses that see not nor know, that they may be ashamed ("bosh," feel ashamed, confused, confounded, dismayed, disillusioned, disappointed, embarrassed, humiliated, disgraced, deceived).
"Who would fashion a god, or cast or carve an idol that is profitable for nothing?
"Surely all his companions would be ashamed; and the workmen... Let them assemble and stand up and fear and be ashamed ("bosh") together...
"He hews down cedars...cyprus...oak... He burns part in the fire, with part...he roasts a roast and is satisfied. He even warms himself, and says, 'Ah! I am warm, I observe (or enjoy) the fire.'
"And with the rest of it he makes a god, an idol. He falls down before it and worships and prays to it, saying, 'Deliver me, for you are my god.'
..."No one considers in his heart...to say, 'I have burned part in the fire, have baked bread on its coals, roasted meat and eaten it; and shall I make the rest of it an abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?"
"He feeds on ashes; a deceived heart has turned him aside; he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, 'Is there not a lie in my right hand?...
"Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, and He who formed you from the womb, 'I am the Lord ("Jehovah"), who makes all things..." (Isa 44:6-7,9-11,14-20).
"...I am the Lord (The Eternal), and there is no other.
"I have not spoken in secret... I, the Lord, speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.
"Assemble yourselves and come, you who have escaped from the heathen nations. They have no knowledge, who carry the wood of their idols, and pray to a god that CANNOT SAVE.
"Tell and bring forth your case; Yes, let them take counsel together. Who has declared this from ancient time? Who has told it from that time? Have not I, the Lord ("JHVH," Jehovah or Yahveh meaning Eternal or everlasting)?
"And there is no other God above Me, a just God and a Savior; there is none besides Me.
"Look to Me and be saved, all you who are nothing on the earth! For I am God, and there is no other"( Isa 45:18-22).
"Let Us make man in our image and according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth, and over every creeping things that creeps on the earth" (Gen 1:26; Rev 21:7).
But to become children of God, according to God's likeness, means to develop God's character, which is Love. Character is something that cannot be created by divine fiat, it is a matter of choice. Therefore God gave man a free will, the freedom to choose, and God gave man the divine laws of God to teach him godly character (Deut 4:5-8; 30:11-14; Rom 13:8-10). But every human must choose (see Choices of Life.... God says through Moses:
"See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil,
"in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God shall bless you in the land which you go to possess...
"I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessings and cursing; therefore choose life that both you and your descendants may live;
"that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days..." (Deut 30:15-16,19-20).
God wants man to enjoy all the blessings of life all the days of his life (Eccl 3:9-13; 5:18-20; 8:15; 9:9-10; 11:9-10; 12:1...13-14), but God's concern is that the superstitious pagan traditions and customs, such as in Christmas and Easter, deceive people into worshipping false gods that cause them to sin (sin is the opposite of love, it is anything that causes hurt and leads to death - Eze 18:4; Rom 6:23; 13:8-10; Mat 19:17) - false gods that cannot save or deliver them from the consequences of their sin. God inspired the apostle Paul to warn:
"Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,
"speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron..." (1 Tim 4:1-2).
In another epistle, he warns, "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 (pagans) sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons.
"You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord's table and of the table of demons.
"Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?" (1 Cor 10:14,19-22).
God's concern is that the superstitious pagan traditions and customs, such as in Christmas and Easter, deceive people into worship of false gods that cause them to sin - false gods CANNOT SAVE or deliver them from the consequences of their sin.The TRUTH from God's Word, the Holy Scriptures, reveals how man can be freed from the tragic consequences of the deceptions of this world, deceived by Satan and those who promote his lies (Gen 3:1-8; Isa 58:1-2; John 8:44; 2 Cor 4:4; 11:3,13-15; Eph 2:1-3; Rev 12:9 - see "Mankind's Greatest Experiment" and "Mysteries of Satan...The Power Behind Evil & Terror").
Now back to our question - What does the Bible REALLY reveal about when Jesus was born?
Many worldly rulers established festivals to honor themselves on their birthdays, often exulting themselves to the status of gods and goddesses demanding worship from their subjects. Some commissioned their own calendars with special holiday festivals honoring themselves and their pagan gods and goddesses. Even today the months and weekdays of the Roman calendar, which was derived from the Egyptians and which much of the world still uses, retain the names honoring these ancient rulers, gods and goddesses.
Why do the Scriptures or historical records not reveal the exact date of Jesus Christ's human birth as the Son of Man and Son of God? No doubt, God had several reasons for keeping it hidden (Acts 1:7).
For one, Jesus did not come to exult Himself as a human. God did not want to focus attention on Jesus' birthday as a special worship through some frivilous festival as pagan rulers do. But rather, His purpose was to build His Church ("ekklesia," called out ones), the Church of God, to preach the Gospel (Good News) message of the coming Kingdom of God (Mat 16:18; 24:14,46; 28:19-20; Mk 1:14-15; 13:10; 16:15; Lk 4:18; Rom 10:14-16; 15:15-21; 1 Cor 9:14-18; Gal 1:8,11-12; Eph 1:13; 1 Thes 2:2-9; 2 Tim 1:8-11).
Also, He came to fulfill His mission for the salvation of the world (John 3:17; 17:4-5; 19:28,30; Heb 9:11-12,15,28 - see "Passover...The Beginning of Salvation").
Another reason that would make it inappropriate to worship the birthday of Jesus Christ is the fact of WHO He is, as revealed by His name...and it isn't Santa.
Matthew and Luke wrote accounts of the geneology and birth of Jesus. In Luke's account, the angel Gabriel was sent by God in the 6th month of Elizabeth's (mother of John the baptist) pregnancy to a virgin named Mary (Gk. "Mariam") betrothed to Joseph. The angel said to her,
"Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
"And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS" (Lk 1:26-31).
What does the name Jesus mean?
Jesus (Gk. "Iesous") comes from the Old Testament Hebrew "Jehoshua," (translated in some places as Joshua), which is a conjugation of "Jehovah" ("YHVH" or "Yahveh" meaning Eternal or Self-Existent, the LORD), and "Yasha" meaning Savior, to save, deliver, free, help, rescue, defend, give victory, preserve. Thus Jesus was the LORD God of Israel, the Eternal, the Savior who was promised by the OT prophets to come and save His people. The prophet Isaiah wrote:
"Thus says the LORD ("Jehovah," the Eternal), who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel...Continuing in Luke's account:
"For I am the Lord (Jehovah) your God, The HOLY ONE of Israel, your Savior ("Yasha")" (Isa 3:1,3,11).
"He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest, and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.
"And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His Kingdom there will be no end.
"Then Mary said to the angel, 'How can this be, since I have not known a man?'
The angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that HOLY ONE who is to be born will be called the Son of God" (Lk 1:32-35).
According to Matthew's account:
"Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows... an angel of the Lord appeared to him (Joseph) in a dream, saying, 'Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.
"And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.'" (Mat 1:18,20-21).
Jesus' name reveals who He was before His human birth as the Son of Man and Son of God. Other Scriptures fill in more details. Isaiah prophesied:
"Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us" (Isa 7:14; Mat 1:23).
This says that the Son would be "God with us." Paul reveals that Jesus was the Lord God of Israel, "...that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ" (1 Cor 10:1-9). He was the Spokesman ("Logos") of the God Family to Israel.
The apostle John reveals more details of Jesus' prior existence as God. He wrote,
"In the beginning was the Word ("Logos," meaning Word, Spokesman), and the Word was with God and the Word WAS God.
"He was in the beginning with God.
"All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
"In Him was life, and the life was the light of men...
"That was the true Light which gives light to every man who comes into the world.
"He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.
"He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.
"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the power to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name...
"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:1-4,7-12,14).
But if Jesus was God, and there is only ONE GOD, who then is the Father, whom Jesus said is "Lord of heaven and earth...whom He came to reveal" (Mat 11:25-27; 10:32; 18:10; Lk 2:49; 10:22; John 5:17-23,30,36-37,43-44; 6:44-46; 8:16-19,28-29,54-58; 10:17,25,29-30; 12:49-50; 13:1; 14:6-11,23-26,28,31; 15:10,15-16,23,26; 16:3,16,23-28; 17:1-7,11,21-26; 20:17,21; Rom 6:4; 15:5-6; 1 Cor 8:6; Eph 1:3,17; 2:18; 3:14-15; 4:3-6; Phil 2:5-11; Col 1:19-20; 2:2; 1 John 1:3; 2:1,22-24; 3:1; 4:14; 2 John 3,9; Jude 1 - see "Who is Jesus Christ?")?
As God (Heb. "Elohim," Gk. "Theos," meaning the Almighty Ones, the Family of God - see Gen 1:26; Eph 3:14-15), Jesus was Eternal ("YHVH") and has been with God the Father forever, for eternity. The apostle Paul reveals that Jesus was also called:
"Melchizedek," meaning "King of Righteousness," and also "King of Salem, meaning King of peace,
"without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but because of likeness to the Son of God continues a Priest perpetually...
"...because He continues forever, has an unchangable priesthood.
"Therefore He is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He ever lives to make intercession for them...
"Who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people's, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself" (Heb 7:1-3,24-25; see Gen 14:18-20).
Paul explains that Jesus, "...in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
"...is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn (who is) over all creation.
"For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible... All things were created through Him and for Him.
"And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist" (Col 1:14-17).
"But (He) made Himself of no reputation, tqking the form of a servant, and coming in the likeness of men.
"And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross ("stauros," a stake, post or cross as an insturment of capital punishment, crucifixion)" (Phil 2:7-8).
"For we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.
"For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the Author of their salvation perfect through suffering" (Heb 2:9-10).
Jesus' birth was such a glorious event that God sent an angel to announce it. The angel appeared and said to shepherds in the field keeping watch over their flocks,
"I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people.
"For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
"And this will be a sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.
"And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
"Glory to God in the highest, And on earth, peace to men of good will.
"...when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the sheperds said to one another, 'Lets us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.
"And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.
"Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning the Child.
"And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds...
"Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them" (Lk 2:10-20).
But God did not sanctify Jesus' birthday to be kept as a special feast day or day of worship, rather the exact date of His birth was kept hidden, even to the early church. The human tendency is to worship physical things (hence the 2nd commandment against worship of idols - Ex 20:4-6). Focus on Christmas as Jesus' birthday, and sentimentally on Him as a baby in a manger, ignores who He is as God our Savior, now in power and glory at the right hand of God in heaven to intervene and work miracles on our behalf to protect, defend and save us and change our lives forever.
The Christmas message not only ignores who Jesus is as God, but it ignores the message He brought, and His sacrifice for us, making it possible for us to be forgiven our sins and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit to help us overcome sin and become worthy to be resurrected to eternal life into the Family of God (Acts 2:32-36; Rom 6:23; Heb 1:1-3; 4:14-16; 9:11-15,24,28; 1 John 3:1-3; Rev 1:13-16; 20:4-,6; 21:7).
The Christmas message not only ignores who Jesus is as God, but it ignores the message He brought, and His sacrifice for us...
Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah (Christ, the Anointed One) would come and begin His ministry at the beginning of a Jubilee year:
"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to PROCLAIM LIBERTY to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;God ordained a Jubilee, prophetic of the Kingdom of God, to be consecrated at the end of 7 sabbath year cycles (49 years), beginning on the Day of Atonement.
"To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord..." (Isa 61:1-2).
"And you shall consecrate the 50th year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants" Lev 25:8-10).
God revealed to Daniel, through the angel Gabriel, when the Messiah would appear to begin His earthly ministry.
"Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem (which was given in 457 B.C. by Artaxerxes, king of Persia - Ezra 7:1-28) until the Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty two weeks. (Dan 9:25).
Understand that a prophetic week may be a 7 year Sabbatical cycle. "A day for a year" is a prophetic principle (Num 14:33-34; Eze 4:6), therefore 69 weeks = 483 years (69x7=483). Counting 483 years from 457 B.C. comes to 27 A.D. (457 - 483 = 26 A.D., but there was no year 0 so we must add 1 = 27 A.D.) when the Messiah would appear or begin His ministry. A Jubilee year began on the Day of Atonement in 27 A.D. (The Sabbath and Jubilee year cycles can be verified from the OT accounts in 2 Kgs 19:29; Isa 37:30; Neh 5; Jer 34:8-22).Continuing, Daniel wrote:
"And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself...
"Then He shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week sacrifice and offering are put away..." (Dan 9:25-27).
The Gospel accounts reveal that Jesus ministry lasted 3 1/2 years and He was cut off in the middle of a 7 year Sabbath cycle. Also He was crucified in the midst of a 7 day week on Passover in the spring of 31 A.D. (Mat 12:40; John 18:28; 19:14-18,31,42; 20:1 - see Narrative of Jesus' Last Passover). This places the beginning of His ministry 3 1/2 years earlier in the fall of 27 A.D., at which time He was "about 30 years of age" (Lk 3:23), the age required in the OT to enter the ministry (Num 4:3).
After His baptism (Lk 3:21-22) and being tempted by the devil (Lk 4:2), Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee and taught in their synagogues. He came to Nazareth on the Day of Atonement and read from Isaiah 61:1-2, the prophecy concerning His first coming and the Jubilee in Lev 25:9, and said, "This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your hearing" (Lk 4:14-21), revealing that He was the Messiah, and that this was the beginning of a Jubilee year, and He began to proclaim liberty from the bondage of sin to those who turned to Him as their Savior.
Having turned 30 in the fall of 27 A.D., Jesus would have been born 30 years earlier, in 4 B.C. around the time of the fall Feasts. The Feast of Trumpets is a prophetic memorial (reminder) of the Day of the Lord when Christ shall come again as "King of kings and Lord of lords" (Joel 2:1; Rev 11:15; 19:16 - see Mystery of the 7 Trumpets of Revelation) and was perhaps prophetic of the approximate time of His birth.
"Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to...Nazareth, to a virgin (Mary) betrothed to...Joseph, of the house of David.
"The angel told her, "Behold, you will conceive...and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS (from the Hebrew "Jehoshua," meaning the LORD (Jehovah or YHVH, meaning Eternal) saves). He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest...
"Then Mary said to the angel, 'How can this be, since I have not known a man?'
"And the angel answered... 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore...that Holy One who is to be born shall be called the Son of God.'
"Now, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren" (Lk 1:26-36).
Luke also reveals approximately when Elizabeth conceived. Her husband was,
"...a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah...
"So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division,(Lk 1:5-24).
"according to the custom of the priesthood...he went into the temple of the Lord...
"Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him...
...(and) said to him,...your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name John...
"And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God.
"He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah...to make ready a people prepared for the Lord...
"And so it was, as soon as the days of his service were completed...he departed to his own house.
"Now after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived..."
The clue revealing the time Elizebeth conceived is when Zacharias served in the temple. The division of Abijah was the 8th of 24 orders, each order serving two weeks at a time in the temple (all priests served during the Holy Days), as established in king David's time (1 Chron 24:1,7-19; Neh 12:4). The order began in the first month, Abib (Nisan - March or April) of the year (Ex 12:2; 13:4; Est 3:7 - The Companion Bible, Appendix #179; MacArthur Study Bible, note pp. 589, 677).
The 8th order served after Pentecost (sometime in June), so Elizabeth would have conceived soon after this when Zacharias returned home. John the Baptist would have been born nine months later in the spring (April), around Passover. Jesus was born six months later, which would have been in the fall, September or October, around the Feast of Trumpets and fall Holy Days in 4 B.C.
According to Luke, shortly before Jesus' birth, Caesar Augustus (emperor 27 B.C. - 14 A.D.) made a decree that all the world should be registered, and that this first census took place when Quirinius (Cyrenius) governed Syria (Lk 2:1-2).
Quirinius ruled as proconsul of Asia two times, 4-1 B.C. and 6-10 A.D. as verified by a monument unearthed at Rome, which states:
"Quirinius as proconsul obtained Asia as his province. As legate of the deified Augustus a second time, he governed Syria and Phoenicia."This first census occurred between 4-1 B.C. (Unger's Bible Dictionary, pp. 199-200, 232-233).
"So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city" (Lk 2:3-7).
This census by Emperor Augustus required Joseph and Mary to travel to Bethlehem-Ephratah, "because he was of the house and linage of David..." which was the home of their ancestors Boaz and Ruth and king David who grew up there (Ruth 1:2,22; 2:1-12; 1 Sam 17:12).
"So it was that while they were there...she brought forth her firstborn Son" (Jesus), thus fulfilling the prophesy of Micah (Lk 2:6-7).
"But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are not the least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel" (Mat 2:6; Mic 5:2).
This census was most likely taken around the time of the Fall Feasts for convenience. Luke relates that shepherds were still
"living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks by night..."
And that an angel of the Lord revealed to them that "There is born to you this day in the city of David (Bethlehem) a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger" (Lk 2:8-12).
Unger's Bible Handbook (also The Companion Bible, Appendix #179) relates that Jesus' birth "did not occur in the winter, since shepherds in Palestine customarily do not remain in the open with their flocks, except from spring to autumn" (p. 516).
These accounts make it clear that Jesus was not born in the winter or anytime around the Roman festival of the Saturnalia or Brumalia, which the Roman Catholic Church transformed into Christmas in the 4th century!
These accounts make it clear that Jesus was not born in the winter or anytime around the Roman festival of the Saturnalia or Brumalia, which the Roman Catholic Church transformed into Christmas in the 4th century!
Luke cites certain details about rulers of the Roman government and the Jewish priests around the time of Jesus birth:
"that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were [informed]" (Lk 1:1-4). He then tells us that this "was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea" (vs. 5) when Jesus was born.
King Herod (the great) ruled Judea from 37 B.C. till his death in 4 B.C., meaning Jesus was born no later then 4 B.C.
Matthew's account than adds that sometime after Jesus was born, wise men (it doesn't say how many) from the East (probably Israelites or some of Jewish (Levitical) priesthood from Parthia or Media where they had been deported in the captivities of Israel and Judah centuries before - 2 Kgs 17:5-24; 25:1-12; 2 Chr 36:15-21; Acts 2:9) came to Jerusalem, saying,
"Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.
"When Herod the king heard these things, he was troubled... He gathered the chief priests and scribes together and inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
"So they said to him, 'In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet...
"Then Herod...called the wise men...and he sent them to Bethlehem..." to search for the young child" (Mat 2:1-8).
Eight days after His birth Jesus was circumcised and after 40 days was taken to the temple in Jerusalem and presented to the Lord (Lk 2:21-24; Lev 12). The wise men then found Him in a house in Bethlehem - not in a manger as Christmas nativity scenes portray (Mat 2:9-11).
Herod sought to kill "He who has been born King of the Jews," but Joseph was warned by an angel in a dream:
"Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.
"When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt,
"and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying 'Out of Egypt I called My Son'" (Mat 2:13,15).
Herod had all the male children two years old and under in Bethlehem put to death (Mat 2:1-2,16). He then died a miserable death soon after this. Joseph was then told in a dream to return to the land of Israel. But because Archelaus (4 B.C. - 6 A.D.) was reigning over Judea instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there.
"And being warned by God in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee, and came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, 'He shall be called a Nazarene'" (Mat 2:19-23).
The true message of Christ is not about His birthday or the Christmas myths and traditions, but about the gospel (good news) He proclaimed of the coming Kingdom of God and His salvation. At 12 years of age, Jesus said to His parents, "...I must be about My Father's business" (Lk 2:40). Eighteen years later,
"Jesus came to Galilee preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God, and saying, 'The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe the gospel (good news)" (Mk 1:14-15).
The good news (gospel of your salvation - Eph 1:7-13) is that"God so loved the world that He has given His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
"For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved" (John 3:16-17).
Satan's myth and false gospel (a counterfeit of the true gospel) is that Santa flys in the heavens up to the north pole and returns with his bags of gifts. But the good news is that Jesus Christ will be returning soon, as the two angels said to the disciples while they watched Jesus as He was taken up toward heaven:
"Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven" Acts 1:9-11).
And He will be returning in power and glory as King of kings and Lord of lords to rule over all the kingdoms of this world (Rev 11:15; 19:11-16). The apostle John was told to write:
"Then I, John, saw the Holy City, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
"And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying,'Behold, the tabernacle (dwelling place) of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.
"And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things are passed away.
"Then He who sat on the throne said, 'Behold, I make all things new.' And He said to me, 'Write, for these words are true and faithful.'
"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" (Rev 21:2-7).
Jesus said pray: "Thy Kingdom come!" (Mat 6:10). Only when it comes will the world have true peace. God will put down all evil. All will be taught the truth, including God's laws of love (Mat 22:36-40; Rom 13:8-10), and will be given the opportunity to repent (2 Pet 3:9-13). Those who will not repent, "the fearful, unbelieving, abominable, murders, sexually immoral, sorcerers (ie. drug dealers), idolaters, and all LIARS shall have their part in the Lake which burns with fire and brimestone, which is the second death" (Rev 21:8; 20:11-15).
How can you be among the "called, chosen and faithful" (Rev 17:14)? You must come out from Satan's false Babylonian religious system of this world and their pagan festivals (Rev 17:5; 18:4), and love the truth and Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior (John 4:23-24; 1 John 5:2-5).
Quiting Christmas is not easy because it is such a widespread tradition. What would we replace it with? We need holidays and traditions to bring our families together. What does God have to offer for us to stop and enjoy being together as families?
The answer is, God has given us His Festivals, Feasts ("moed," appointed times) or Holy Days, for us to rejoice in.
Man in the beginning kept God's Holy Days. But when Satan inticed men to rebel and turn away from God, they founded their own religions and festivals or holidays.
God restored His ways on the earth after the flood through Noah, but when Nimrod began another rebellion over 4,000 years ago, Satan, through Nimrod and his mother/wife Ishtar, established the Babylonian Mystery Religions and counterfeit festivals or holidays that the world still observes today.
God then called Abraham to restore knowledge of His ways (Gen 18:17-19; 26:1-5) and from Abraham's descendants choose the children of Israel and delivered them from slavery in Egypt to become a nation of priests to teach His laws to the world (Ex 19:5-6).
The Lord ("YHVH," The Eternal) spoke to Moses, saying,
"Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'The feasts ("moed," meaning appointed times) of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.
"Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solomn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.
"These are the feasts of the Lord, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times..." (Lev 23:1-4...).
God sanctified the Sabbaths and 7 annual "feasts ("moed," meaning appointed times - Holy Days) of the Lord, which you shall proclaim as holy convocations, these are MY FEASTS" (Lev 23:1-4; see also Gen 2:3; Ex 20:8-11; 31:13; Psa 81). The biblical calendar reveals the appointed times of God's special Holy Days, which in turn reveal His prophetic plan of salvation for all mankind. These are the feasts kept by Jesus Christ and His disciples and His Church (Lk 2:41; John 7:14,37; 11:12; Acts 2:1-4; 20:16)
The purpose of God's Sabbaths, His Feasts (Appointed Times - Holy Days), are times for convocations for coming together, convening to hear God's word taught by His appointed servants (Deut 30:11-13; Neh 8; Eph 4:11-16). And they are a time of rejoicing for the family:
"...you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your manservant and your maidservant and the Levite, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow, who are withing your gates...
"...you shall keep a sacred feast to the Lord your God in the place which the Lord chooses, because the Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you surely rejoice" (Deut 16:14-15).
The hoaxs of Christmas (see "What Is the REAL Christmas Story", Easter, Halloween (see "Mystereies of Halloween...The Devil's Holiday?"and other false Christian festivals have deceived man from knowing and understanding God's love and true plan for the hope and salvation of all mankind. The 7 annual feasts are themselves prophecies of God's plan of salvation and teach the true message of the gospel. They give understanding, guidance and hope to mankind (Psa 20:5; 119:81,166,174; Isa 52:7,10).
Begin now to plan on keeping God true Feasts (appointed holy times) and God will reveal to you the details and good news of His soon coming Kingdom and His salvation through Jesus Christ for all mankind (Psa 74:12; 98:2-3; Isa 49:6; 62:11; Lk 3:6; Acts 13:47; Rom 1:16; Eph 1:13; Heb 2:9-10; 5:9; 1 Pet 1:5,9-12,18-21; Rev 12:10).Return to Top
Go to Part I: "What Is the REAL Christmas Story?"