Logo Copyright © 2007 NCCG - All Rights Reserved
Return to Main Page

RESOURCES

Disclaimer

Introduction

Symphony of Truth

In a Nutshell

Topical Guide

5-144000

5 Commissions

10 Commandments

333 NCCG Number

144,000, The

A

Action Stations

Agency, Free

Alcohol

Angels

Anointing

Apostles

Apostolic Interviews

Apostolic Epistles

Archive, Complete

Articles & Sermons

Atheism

Atonement

B

Banners

Baptism, Water

Baptism, Fire

Becoming a Christian

Bible Codes

Bible Courses

Bible & Creed

C

Calendar of Festivals

Celibacy

Charismata & Tongues

Chavurat Bekorot

Christian Paganism

Chrism, Confirmation

Christmas

Church, Fellowship

Contact us

Constitution

Copyright

Covenants & Vows

Critics

Culture

Cults

D

Deliverance

Demons

Desperation

Diaries

Discipleship

Dreams

E

Ephraimite Page, The

Essene Christianity

Existentialism

F

Faith

Family, The

Feminism

FAQ

Festivals of Yahweh

Festivals Calendar

Freedom

G

Gay Christians

Gnosticism

Godhead, The

H

Heaven

Heresy

Healing

Health

Hebrew Roots

Hell

Hinduism

History

Holiness

Holy Echad Marriage

Holy Order, The

Home Education

Homosexuality

Human Nature

Humour

Hymnody

I

Intro to NCCG.ORG

Islam

J

Jewish Page, The

Judaism, Messianic

Judaism, Talmudic

K

KJV-Only Cult

L

Links

Love

M

Marriage & Romance

Membership

Miracles

Messianic Judaism

Mormonism

Music

Mysticism

N

NCCG Life

NCCG Origins

NCCG Organisation

NCCG, Spirit of

NCCG Theology

NDE's

Nefilim

New Age & Occult

NCMHL

NCMM

New Covenant Torah

Norwegian Website

O

Occult Book, The

Occult Page, The

Olive Branch

Orphanages

P

Paganism, Christian

Pentecost

Poetry

Politics

Prayer

Pre-existence

Priesthood

Prophecy

Q

Questions

R

Rapture

Reincarnation

Resurrection

Revelation

RDP Page

S

Sabbath

Salvation

Satanic Ritual Abuse

Satanism

Science

Sermons & Articles

Sermons Misc

Sermonettes

Sex

Smoking

Sonship

Stewardship

Suffering

Swedish Website

T

Talmudic Judaism

Testimonies

Tithing

Tongues & Charismata

Torah

Trinity

True Church, The

TV

U

UFO's

United Order, The

V

Visions

W

Wicca & the Occult

Women

World News

Y

Yah'shua (Jesus)

Yahweh

Z

Zion


    46
    CHRIST AND CHRISTMAS

    The Truth and the Lie
    Robert A. Grove

    This is a transcript of a public message given by Robert A. Grove. It was transcribed for the purpose of putting it into print, by one who was blessed by it. It has been edited some for the purpose of clarity.

    Our hope is that you will be as those in Berea of whom we are told in Acts 17:11: "These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so."

    Having this attitude we trust that you will then obey these exhortations from the apostle Paul, I Thessalonians 5:20-22: "Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil."

    I want to express my thanks to the Lord for those who transcribed, edited, proofread and typed so that this message could be put into print. Without your labors it would never have been completed. Believing you have done this work as unto the Lord, I want to remind you that He has promised "...whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ." (Col.3:23 & 24) In addition, I want to express my personal gratitude to you all.

    Robert A. Grove December 13, 1996


    John 1:1-10 -- "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world."

    This is the one of whose birth we are supposed to celebrate at this time of year.

    "The one who was the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world and the world was made by him and the world knew him not. He came to his own and his own received him not." (John 1:9-11).

    And that is just as true today as it ever was. Almost everyone in the world, at least in our society in our country [USA], will come together to celebrate His birth-----some with the knowledge of Him as their Lord and Saviour and others as rank Christ rejecters. They want nothing really to do with Hs death, His burial, his resurrection, and His life for them. But this is a nice time to come together, have warm thoughts of each other, give gifts and sell gifts. There are a lot of people who get very enthusiastic at this time of year, primarily because they want to sell, which makes them money. This is the time of year that, many in the retail trade say, can actually make or break the year for them, November through December.

    The world doesn't know Him today any more than it did then. And the Christ whose birthday they allegedly celebrate is not the Christ that I love, not the Christ that died for me. It is some other Christ.

    John 1:12-17 -- "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made 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 bare witness of him, and cried, saying. This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me; for he was before me. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ."

    When we think about the Lord Jesus Christ, those two characteristics, those two attributes are truly characteristic of him. Grace, unmerited favor extended to me and to you as the Lord Jesus Christ suffered and died for my sins. Grace and truth -- truth. Years later, after his birth, He was standing before Pilate. Pilate asked a question, "What is truth?" And that is certainly a question that many people in the world today ask, "What is truth?" What all prompted, or was behind, that expression on Pilate's part?

    Look at John 18 and let's look at that context a little bit. What all was in his mind? The Roman government at that time, as I understand it, was favorable to the worship of any and all gods. They had conquered many nations and with them of course came many beliefs. Many idolatrous gods were worshiped. Many pagan deities were worshipped. The goal of the Roman government was, basically, to get all people everywhere to live peaceably, under their control and government. Therefore, they wanted to appease all the gods. And Pilate, undoubtedly, had some background and some understanding of that.

    Let's look at John 18:33-37 -- "Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what has thou done? Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now is my kingdom not from hence. Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end I was born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth."

    This is the reason I was born. This is why I came into the world, to "bear witness of the truth. Everyone that is of the truth heareth my voice." And, of course, that means that Christians should be of truth, right? We should be of truth. We have heard the voice of the Lord Jesus Christ as he called, "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden..", and we have accepted that call. And so a characteristic of our lives should be as his life of truth, and the Lord said that he came to bear witness of the truth. Pilate said unto him, "What is truth?" I am sure that Pilate had, throughout his life, heard all kinds theologies and all kinds of theories as to how to please God and how to be accepted of God. In fact, Pilate was probably well aware of the very roots of the celebration of Christmas. He probably was well aware of it because it far predates the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no historical question about it.

    I will read from material that I have never read from before. It is on the subject of Christmas, its carols and its legends. It is much easier reading than Hislop's, "The Two Babylons", which I have read before. It clearly indicates that, basically, everything that is a part of the celebration of Christmas has pagan origin and goes back well beyond the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. Pilate knew that. And the Roman government was involved in trying to keep peace among all the various pagan deities, wanting them to get along with each other, not to argue and fight. In their system of government, they deferred to all pagan gods and goddesses and the various holidays that were a part of it. Pilate had that background. And so when the Lord Jesus Christ said that he came to bear witness of the truth, Pilate had reason, undoubtedly, to say, "Well, what is truth?" And exactly the same thing is true today. As most of the world sees Christendom (I use that term to describe religion that claims to be based on the Bible), it sees the mixture of paganism, heathenism, Judaism and Christianity, all mixed into a big stew. Lies and truths all mixed together and spoken by the same people. People have every reason to back off and say, "What is truth?"

    Hopefully, I can illustrate more surely what I am thinking about as we go on. Pilate is there before the Lord Jesus Christ, the one by whom came truth. "The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." Turn back to John chapter 4. This is the account of the woman at the well. The Lord has asked her for a drink of water. Then He told her that if she knew who had asked her for a drink that she would have asked of him a drink. He told her that the water he could give her would spring up into ever lasting life and she would never thirst again. She wanted to know where he would draw the water from because the well was deep and he did not have anything to draw the water with. Finally He, I think, focuses her attention on what he is really addressing----her spiritual thirst----when he tells her to go get her husband and she says, "I don't have a husband." And he said, "It is well said you don't have a husband because you have had five husbands and the man you are now living with is not your husband." Then she realized that he wasn't simply talking about H2O but that he was talking about the spiritual thirst that she, and everyone else has, until they accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour.

    Shortly after that she goes on: John 4:19-23 -- "The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him."

    If you are going to worship the Father, you are going to have to worship Him in spirit and in truth. Again, if we are going to bring honor to the Lord Jesus Christ, in anything that we do, it is going to have to be something that is true, a part of truth. It can't be a lie, or a part of a lie, or a mixture of truth and lies. It's got to be true!

    John 4:23 -- "But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship him."

    Those are the kind of people that the Father wants to worship him. Now look at John 14:3-6. "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither Thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me."

    So we find that the Lord Jesus Christ said, "I have come to bear witness of the truth." It was said of him that by Him came truth. He said, "If people are going to worship Me, true worshipers will worship in spirit and in truth." And here He said, "I am the way, the truth and the life." So if we are going to do anything that will be honoring to the Lord Jesus Christ, it is going to have to be what? TRUTH! If it's not true, it won't be honoring to the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Now somebody tell me, what is the story of Christmas? What is supposed to have happened on the 25th of December? Santa Claus comes down the chimney. Christ was supposed to have been born. So the story is that Christ was born on December 25th. Right? And the story is that on December 25th Santa Claus comes down the chimney. Three wise men came to visit the Lord Jesus Christ in a manger in Bethlehem. The wise men brought gifts to Him. King Herod was looking for Him. Santa flies from the North Pole and drops gifts at every house where the children have been good----in one night! There was no room at the inn. It sounds like a jigsaw puzzle scattered all over the place.

    Of all that has been said so far, how much is true? Jesus was born in Bethlehem. King Herod was looking for Him. The wise men brought gifts. Other than that, virtually everything else said, as far as what is part of the Christmas story, is not true. When a child grows up, they are going to be in the same place that Pilate was. They are going to ask, "What is truth?" Because there are some other parts of the story that are true. It is true that the Lord Jesus Christ was born. That's true. Also, the Bible tells us that He was born of a virgin. That's true. But that's just as hard to believe as it is to believe that Santa Claus comes down a chimney or manages to get down all the chimneys all over the world from the North Pole in the same 12-hour period of time or less. That's almost as hard to believe---and yet it's true. And if you are going to believe it, you are going to believe it by faith. But if you've had your faith affected already, before you've come to the place where you can believe it, because somebody has lied to you, then that's going to be hard to believe. Also it's a fact that the Lord Jesus Christ lived a perfect, flawless life under the Mosaic law. He did no sin; there was no guile found in His mouth. That is hard to believe! It is a fact that Jesus Christ was Emmanuel, that being interpreted, "God with us." That is hard to believe.

    And you come along later in life, and you run into a Jehovah's Witness, and he points out to you the story you were told when you were a kid, about Santa Claus and Christmas and Christ being born on December 25th, was all a lie. And now you are an adult and you realize that, yes, it was a lie. It really wasn't Santa Claus; it was my mother and dad. Mark told us that when he was a boy, he was told that if you opened your eyes, between the time you went to bed and got up the next morning, Santa Claus would put pepper in them. The legend and the lie have a lot of facets and are only limited by the imagination of the particular parents or preacher or whoever is promoting the legend. But you run into a Jehovah's Witness and he is pretty slick. He knows his stuff and you will have to admit that you have been conned.

    They've had an ad running on the Fredericksburg radio a couple of times. A little girl goes into a furniture store and she wants to ask a question. So he immediately tells something about the finance program and she says, "No, that's not the question." He said, "What do you want to ask me about?" She wants to know if there is a Santa Claus. Well, he never does answer the question. He won't answer the question but she says, "You're saying that there is no Santa Claus." The next ad that followed that one was similar. She came back in again with the same question. About that time, Santa comes in the door, "HO HO!" Now she is convinced that there really is a Santa Claus, because he came in the door. Again, what are they doing? They are promoting a lie.

    But again, back to what I was saying. This JW points out the fact that you were lied to about Christmas. They don't celebrate Christmas. I spoke to a fellow that was picking up garbage the other day. He asked, "Are you ready for Christmas?" I said, "I guess I'm as ready as I'll ever be. I don't celebrate Christmas. I love the Lord Jesus Christ and I read the Bible, but I really don't find anywhere where I should celebrate His birth. So I don't celebrate Christmas." He said, "Well everybody has their own beliefs." He said that Mr. A., whom he worked for, didn't celebrate it either and that he was a JW. I said, "Well, I'm not a JW, but I don't celebrate Christmas." I don't know how Mr. A. got to be a JW; but at some point in time, he accepted the fact that Christmas was pagan and that the story of the birth of Christ on the 25th of December was a lie. And along with that, he may have been told that, actually, the fact that Jesus Christ was Emmanuel, "God with us", wasn't true either. And the fact that he rose from the dead wasn't true either. And the fact that you can accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and be born again----that wasn't true either. And right on down the line they go because that is what they (JWs) teach. They do use the fact that they are accurate in their understanding of the origin of the Christmas celebration. And so you wind up with people who are vulnerable for that question, "What is truth?"

    Many who have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior have allowed the devil, the god of this world, through the Roman Catholic church, to come up with a mixture of paganism and Christianity, that has been spiced and sweetened up, by calling it the celebration of the birth of the Son of God, rather than the sun in the heavens. They celebrate by the use of trees, trinkets and things the pagans used for the purpose of worshiping the sun but claim this is celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. They have allowed the devil to convince them that they can do this and it can in some way be honoring to the Lord Jesus Christ. In reality, it cuts the bottom right out from under the credibility of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe that if we were gripped by that and proved it to ourselves, then, to me, it puts the whole celebration in a different light. It isn't something that's not all that bad, that I don't do because it doesn't honor the Lord. It's bad!! It's terrible!! It's one of the tricks of the devil.

    I'll read from this book titled Christmas in Carol, Custom, and Legend. I won't try to read all of it, but it's basically a song book. But in the front part of it and after each section of carols, they make some effort to indicate where they came from. The amazing thing to me is that the dishonesty and the falsehood of the celebration of Christmas isn't something that only I know, or that only we know, or that only we and the JWs know. Everybody knows. Everybody knows, that has done any studying on the subject. It's common knowledge; there is probably not a religious leader in the world that doesn't know it. And when you talk to them, they won't discuss it, in most cases, because even though they know it, they're not going to change. After all, they get more people to come to church at Christmas than at any other time. Well fine---but what are you doing with what you're apart of for the rest of the year? What effect is that going to have on you? The writer here says:

    "Christmas, the greatest of all festivals is celebrated over the modern world through the observance of both religious and secular customs which are a heritage of many centuries. The Story of the Nativity has inspired songs, legends, and beliefs; and these have been contributed by every land to the great treasury of music and traditions which are now the background for Christian observance. Yet there are many other elements, now an integral part of the great celebration, which had their roots in pre-Christian times."

    In other words, they far predate the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. They were celebrated long before He was born.

    "The beautiful tree, the green decorative sprays, the fire, the lights, the spirit of good fellowship and gift giving come down to us from pagan sources."

    I only have partial objection to that. Maybe as they are involved in the celebration of Christmas, that's a true statement. But good fellowship doesn't come from pagan sources. True fellowship can only be in our relationship with God. But I'm sure that what they are describing as part of the Christmas celebration may come from pagan sources.

    "Christians took the most beautiful and appealing things from pagan beliefs which had existed before Christianity and endowed them with a new spirit."

    Can you do that? As far as God is concerned? No! The interesting thing is that, as you study the scripture, you find that the sources from which they took "the most appealing of pagan beliefs," as they put it, are the very sources and are the very practices that God judged Israel for over and over and over again. Many, many thousands of people died at the hand of God because Israel tried to practice some of these most appealing of customs.

    "The customs were changed little, but the spirit was new; and because of this new spirit---the spirit of God's gift to man---the customs took on new beauty."

    I don't know personally, from having researched it myself, but I have been told that the title of 'Pope' basically means "bridge builder." He is in the business of building bridges between paganism and Christianity, one thing and another, and if you follow the history of the Roman Catholic church, that's what they've done down through the years. They've built bridges. But not to stand for truth! But to mix truth with error and make what out of it? A lie! You can't mix truth and error and improve the truth. Nor can you improve the error. You destroy the truth, and the error is still an error.

    THE WORD CHRISTMAS

    "From the earliest days of Christian churches, festivals celebrating the birth of Christ have been held. In England this festival was known as Christes messe which meant Christ's mass. From this comes the word Christmas. It is often represented as XMAS because X is the Greek equivalent of Ch and Ch represents Christ."

    So it goes back to Rome again. And when they use the term Christians (I think we have discussed this in the past), in most cases, historically, it is referring to Roman Catholics because historians trace the so-called "Christian churches" back to Rome. And so when they talk about the early church or early Christians, they are talking about the Roman Catholic church. You can't come to the word of God and find anybody celebrating the Mass, to say nothing of Christ's Mass. There is no such thing. The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ suffered once. And he doesn't have to be offered time after time, in contrast to the sacrifices that were offered under the law system--- "but once in the ages."

    THE DATE OF CHRISTMAS

    "The date of the celebration of Christmas varied during early centuries of Christianity because there was no historical record of the exact date of Christ's birth."

    Let's stop for a minute and you think. What are we told about this book (holds up the Bible), relevant to what it provides for us, as far as instructions to serve the Lord and praise the Lord? "All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be perfect or mature thoroughly furnished unto all good works." That is where? II Timothy 3:16-17. So if the statement is true, and it is true that there isn't any historical basis for selecting the 25th of December, then it would have to follow that we are not told in the scriptures on what date he was born. Therefore, it would have to follow that it isn't important for us to know. And if you go one step further, since we're not told to celebrate His birth and His word furnishes us to all good works, then it would be obvious that to celebrate Christ's birth wouldn't be a good work.

    "The date of the celebration of Christmas varied during the early centuries of Christianity because there was no historical record of the exact date of Christ's birth. In some churches it was observed in December, while others celebrated it in January, April, or in May. Perhaps the winter solstice festival of the pagan Romans, Gauls, Teutons, and Britons had much to do with the establishment of the date of Christmas."

    The writer says "perhaps," and I believe this assumption is true because pagans celebrated the birth of the sun at that exact time. Other secular history makes this clear. I think the writer, who is obviously in favor of the celebration of Christmas, does everything that can be done to put Christmas in the best light and so suggests that this is what happened. Well, I believe there is no doubt, what is described is exactly what happened.

    "The Northern people worshiped the sun as the giver of life and light. Their festivals in its honor took place near the shortest day of the year when the sun seemed to stand still for twelve days before it began its upward climb which resulted in Spring and the coming of new life to the world. In the North, the sun was thought of as a wheel which was known as hweol, and it is perhaps from this word that the term Yule [Norwegian, Jul] was derived. Among the Romans" (and I am not reading everything) "the Saturnalia holiday lasted from December 17th to December 24th. Another holiday was Kalends on January 1st which marked the beginning of the new year. Both of these holidays were celebrated with feasting, great merriment and the giving of gifts. Homes were decorated with evergreens."

    And when they talk about great merriment, it is easy to think that maybe that's very innocent merriment, but it really wasn't. Those pagan holidays were characterized by immorality of the grossest sort, and as part of it, there were rites of fertility and things of that nature. It wasn't something that was innocent.

    "In Pagan Rome, December 25th was celebrated as the birthday of Mithras, a prophet of the sun worshipers. Perhaps these Roman holidays had their influence in the selection of December 25th as Christ's birthday. Justification for the choice was given by St. Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople at the end of the fourth century. In a discourse he said, 'On this day also the Birthday of Christ was lately fixed at Rome in order that while the heathen were busy with their profane ceremonies, the Christians might perform their sacred rites undisturbed. They call this (December 25th), the Birthday of the Invincible One (Mithras); but who is so invincible as the Lord? They call it the Birthday of the Solar Disk, but Christ is the Sun of Righteousness.' About 336 AD, the Church of Rome definitely fixed the 25th day of December as the birthday of the Lord. Since the fifth century most of the Christian world has celebrated that day as Christ's Birthday."

    So it has nothing to do with when Christ really was born. Therefore, it's not true.

    "Gradually, as certain pagan customs of holiday celebrations were assimilated into the Christmas festival, the activities took on gaiety and often frivolity.....In time there was reaction to the more frivolous until in certain countries, England for example, the observance of festivals was entirely prohibited."

    When the United States was settled, the celebration of Christmas was an illegal activity. I don't believe that it was just because of the frivolity that was involved. I believe that, as a result of the reformation, many people realized that the source was pagan and Roman Catholic, and thought, "We've left Roman Catholicism in protest and we are not going to bring their practices with us, such as Christmas and Easter and things of that nature."

    CAROLS AND CAROLING

    "Some carols, evidently of pagan origin, were adopted by Christians and given new words. Many of the carols were danced as well as sung which kept them from being approved by the church for centuries. The word carol was associated with dancing until the 14th century. It is said that St. Francis and his brethren sang simple carols at the first presentation of a life-sized representation of the Nativity scene."

    In the nativity scene, what do you find? Don't you find three wise men, and you find them in a manger with the babe and sometimes the shepherds, too, I guess. Is that true? Where do we find the accounts of the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ? In what books? Luke and Matthew. Mark and John don't have any record of that part of Christ's life. Luke and Matthew. But when you compare those two accounts, it's obvious that the shepherds were told, by the angels, of the birth of Christ, when he was at Bethlehem, at the time that he was born. And they found him where? In a manger. In contrast, by the time the wise men came, some time had lapsed. And when they found the Lord Jesus Christ, they found him where? In a house.

    How many wise men were there? Nobody knows. Why do people assume there were three? Because they brought three types of gifts, which in no way would indicate that there were just three men. It could have been a hundred men for that matter. It could have been 25. It could have been three. But there is no reason to believe that it was three men. I don't think that three men normally made it a practice to travel in that country, in that way together, especially carrying gold, frankincense and myrrh. They had as much trouble with robbers and that kind of people as we do, in fact, maybe more.

    THE CRECHE

    "To inspire greater religious feeling, and help in the interpretation of the story of the birth of Jesus, St. Francis of Assisi conceived the idea of building a life-sized representation of the Nativity scene. The Pope gave him permission to do so, and in 1223 he built a full-sized stable next to his church in Graecia, a village near Assisi, in Italy. In it he created the Nativity scene with living people and animals. The people who came were much impressed. From this beginning the idea spread all over Europe. The creche was used in homes as well as in the churches and through the ages it has been built in all forms, large and small from the crudest to the most elaborate."

    THE THREE WISE MEN

    "The Three Wise men (also referred to as the Three Kings and as the Magi) are always a part of the Nativity scene. The story of their visit to the Christ Child is told in St. Matthew, and they are in themselves familiar symbols of Christmas. According to medieval legend, they were Melchoir, King of Arabia, who brought a gift of gold; Gaspar, King of Tarsus, who brought myrrh; and Balthasar, King of Ethiopia, who brought frankincense."

    That is according to legend, not the word of God.

    "Some authorities believe that gift giving at this time of the year was a carryover from the pagans. The Romans gave presents during the celebrations of Saturnalia and of Kalends.

    CHARITY

    "Our present day custom of providing for the less fortunate at Christmas is undoubtedly an outgrowth of an old legend. This legend says that every Christmas Eve, the Christ Child wanders all over the world asking for food, shelter, and help."

    Again, is that true? "One of the possible origins of the idea that Santa Claus descends the chimney to bring gifts has already been given." One story was of this Roman Catholic who became St. Nicholas. The story was that Nicholas heard of a man with three daughters and the father didn't have enough money to make a dowry for them so he was going to sell them. And so Nicholas dropped three gold bags at three different times down a chimney so that they could each have a dowry. And so they thought this story may be one possible origin. The other story (there are at least two others) associates this custom with the early German Goddess Hertha, goddess of domesticity. "She was believed to descend the chimney through the smoke and guide the tellers of fortunes. At one time the Germans baked cakes in the form of a slipper which was supposed to be that of Hertha; these were filled with gifts for the children. In later times, it was the custom to clean the chimney at the beginning of the New Year so that good luck could enter the household. It is quite likely children were told that if they were good, Santa Claus would come down the chimney and bring them gifts.

    CHRISTMAS TREE

    "Of all Christmas symbols none is more familiar than the Christmas tree. The decorating of the Christmas tree is one of the most beloved Christmas customs and prevails wherever trees are available in either living or artificial form. From earliest times the ancients held nature in great reverence."

    What does the scripture say about that? In Romans 1 we read, that they "worshipped and served the creature more than the creator."

    "All things had their gods, among them water, the meadows, and the trees. Evergreen, therefore was not only for decorative purposes but because it was possible to thus bring a part of nature indoors. For the feast of Bacchus in Roman times trees were decorated with trinkets. Among the trinkets were masks of Bacchus. Those trees toward which the wind turned the masks were supposed to be endowed with great fertility. In the celebration of the pagan Yule season, the ancient sun-worshiping Teutons are said to have decorated fir trees, for they likened the sun to the spreading and blossoming of a great tree. Some tell us that our own Christmas tree decoration is symbolic of this celestial sun tree of the ancient pagans; the lights represent the lightning, the decorations the sun, the moon, and the stars, while the little animals hung in the branches represent the sacrifice of animals made to the sun god.

    THE MISTLETOE

    "Mistletoe was often hung over the entrances to homes of the pagans in Scandinavian countries to keep out evil spirits. An old Scandinavian myth tells of the seemingly invulnerable god, Balder, who was struck down by a dart made of mistletoe, and it was decreed that the plant must never again be used as a weapon. Frigga, who was the Goddess of love, henceforth, gave a kiss to anyone who passed under the mistletoe. The Druids who were members of a pagan religious order in ancient Gaul, Briton and Ireland held the mistletoe in such reverence that if enemies met under it in the forest, a truce was declared for the day. Later, among Christians, it came to symbolize the healing power of Christ.

    THE YULE LOG

    "The Druids' custom was to light fires during the Yule season to burn out the sins and evils of the past year.

    BELLS

    "For centuries bells of churches of every land have pealed forth the glad tidings of the birth of Jesus. In medieval times, the bells tolled for an hour before midnight on Christmas Eve, and then on the hour their voices changed to a joyous ringing. The tolling was to warn the powers of Darkness of the approaching of the birth of the Savior. It was believed 'the Devil died when Christ was born.'"

    I wish that were true. But sad to say, it's not true.The devil is alive and well today.

    "And in England, the tolling was known as 'Tolling the Devil's knell.' As a result, bells have become a part of our Christmas decorations, mostly in imitation form. They are also prominent in Christmas card designs."

    Again, obviously, the writer has every intent to support and encourage, rather than discourage, the celebration of Christmas. But I think that, to me, to keep it simple, I think we need to back off and just look at it and say, "Well, is it true?" How much of the Christmas story is true? Again, just to go back and reflect a little bit on the three wise men. If you go to Matthew chapter 2 you will find that there were wise men, and you will find that they brought gifts. They didn't come to the manger. And it's interesting. Let's look at Matthew chapter 2. It's an interesting thing that while the shepherds were told of peace on earth, good will towards men, it's also true that for those mothers of Israel who had children two years old and younger-------males two years old and younger----- that was a sad day. Let's start with verse 1:

    Matthew 2:1-7. "Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem. Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him in Bethlehem of Judea; for thus it is written by the prophet. And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda; for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared."

    What was he (Herod) trying to establish? At least he is trying to establish the age of the child.

    Matthew 2:8-11 "And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, Go and search diligently for the young child, and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. When they had heard the king, they departed, and lo the star, which they saw in the east, went before them till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house (not into the stable but into the house) they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts, gold, and frankincense, and myrrh."

    How many of them were there? We don't know. To imply that there were three doesn't seem to be reasonable and logical.

    Matthew 2:12-14. "And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way. And when they were departed, behold the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee 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 into Egypt."

    It's interesting how many times that the words "young child" are used here.

    Matthew 2:15-16. "And was there until the death of Herod; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son. Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under according to the time which he had diligently enquire of the wise men."

    There is no doubt, this wasn't a happy day for them. And they would reflect back at that period of time and it wouldn't be with joy and rejoicing. I think we generally forget that. But the important thing was that it was two years old and under, and I am sure he spanned more time than was necessary. In other words, let's say, based on his calculations, that the child was possibly a year old. By going two years, he picked up that much extra tolerance, and going down to all of them under, he figured he could sweep it clean-----two years old and under.

    So again, it is not an accurate representation of the biblical account. Obviously, Santa Claus is a lie. And again, when you think of the next most prominent celebration, it's very similar because its origin is the same. That celebration, in the so-called Christian religion, is the celebration of Easter, allegedly celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. What about Easter? Most of the activities that are surrounding that celebration are also from pagan origin, far predating the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. And then we cap it by telling kids that rabbits lay eggs.

    WHY? It's ridiculous! But that's what we tell them! And so we take something that did happen---the Lord Jesus Christ did suffer and did die and was raised the third day for our justification. That's true! Then we mix with it a lot of things that have their roots in paganism and idolatry that far predate the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, to say nothing of his resurrection. Again, mixing a lie with truth. And then we add the little dimension of the Easter bunny and the Easter eggs laid by rabbits, and then we present that to children.

    You think the god of this world is so blind, so stupid, that he didn't know what he was doing when he did that? No, I believe the opposite. He knew exactly what he was doing. And anytime you take something that is true and pure and holy and you mix that with a lie, something that is not true, you do not bring honor and glory to the Lord Jesus Christ. Because truth came by him. He came to bear witness to the truth. He was the truth. And therefore, to try to serve him, to please him, we must say and do what is true. Religion today (sectarian, denominational religion) takes truth and mixes it with a lie, which they say is to promote truth. All they do is discredit the truth.

    And that's why we as Christians, as we come to realize what is truth, need to hate that kind of sin, that kind of mixture. One of the things that God did not want, never has wanted for his people, was mixture. When you go back into the old scriptures, as well as into the writing of the apostle Paul, separation of truth from error is what God wanted. Over and over again, and in many ways, he taught that. The nation Israel was not to sow its fields with diverse kinds of seeds. Why? God wanted distinction. They were not to wear clothes of diverse kinds of material. God wanted separation and distinction. They weren't to inter-marry with the nations of other lands. Why? God didn't want illegitimate mixture. God didn't want his people Israel to take on the practices that were authored by the Devil, the worship of pagan deities.

    It's exactly what God didn't want. And that is exactly what the devil has been able to do, with nominal Christianity today. To mix truth with error. And it makes both a lie. It makes it a dirty, vile thing.

    Turn to Ephesians 4:25 -- "Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor; for we are members one of another."

    Put away lying! Speak truth. Look at Colossians chapter 3. We as Christians have no basis, no rhyme nor reason, that could possibly justify participating in anything with the magnitude of dishonesty in it that the celebration of Christmas and Easter have.

    Colossians 3:9-10. "Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:"

    There is no doubt that at this time of year, there is much beautiful music written. The thought of giving to the poor certainly would appeal to anyone. The joyful times of families together, good food (too much food in many cases), times to visit and times for mothers and wives to prepare and cook and look forward to having all the family together in the family atmosphere and all that. Certainly none could speak against those things. But when they are mixed with a lie about really The most important One that ever moved on this earth, the Lord Jesus Christ, then you and I need to find another time to have those activities. Certainly times of the family being together don't have to depend on everybody in the world doing the same thing at the same time. We can have those times among our own families-----times for wives and mothers and daughters and daughters-in-law to get together and cook, to have time of fellowship and maybe even eating too much. Those times don't have to be the times that the world dictates. The god of this world, the devil, dictates, as he has created through the Roman Catholic church a mixture of paganism and idolatry and mixed it up in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ-----to say nothing of mixing it with the mass, the resurrection and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. There is no place for those who know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and who want to please Him to have any part in that. And yet, the vast majority of people in the world are like robots, lock-stepping down the road at this time of the year to celebrate Christ's birthday.

    Was Christ born in December? Probably not. I hope everybody recognizes that. Most people know that it's not true. If we pretend that He was, then down the road the god of this world can begin to work on us. He certainly will work on our young people if they are raised by parents who promote this lie. He may be able to shake confidence in the truth because we believe or promoted this lie. Will it cause them to trust what they read from this book (holds up the Bible) when, in some way, they come to realize that they have been deceived by parents and preachers who said the Christmas story had its roots in the Bible? No! It won't tend to cause them to trust what they would read from this book. It will be inclined to cause them to say what the vast majority of people in the world today say, educators and the educated, particularly: that this (holding up the Bible) is a compilation of myths and stories that were handed down from father to son and father to son and finally somebody put them down in writing, and then it was translated and re-translated and we don't know whether it's accurate or not. Those deceived may feel that the gospel is like a lot of other stories, like the story of Santa Claus and the story of Christmas.

    What is this lie doing? It's having its part in sending souls to HELL----- because it causes thinking people to question, "What is truth?" relevant to the work of the Lord Jesus Christ? The question is raised because "The Truth" is mixed with "The Lie."

    May God help all humble believers in the Lord Jesus Christ to recognize him as LORD----- and Savior and obey Ephesians 5:11. "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them."


    For additional evidence as to the roots of the celebration of Christmas see the following:

    1.Your encyclopedia.


    2.The Two Babylons, by Alexander Hislop.
    3.The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, by Gibbons.

    http://www.webcom.com/christ1s/ChristAndChristmas.html last updated December 22, 1996 by [email protected]


    For REVELATIONS ON CHRISTMAS from the New Covenant Church of God, see the following sections:

    Section 28 | Section 198

    SEASONS' GREETINGS!

    Sincerely and honestly, at this time and always, we wish you the joy from above that only the Lord Jesus Christ can give.

    At this time of the year it is customary to send Christmas cards to relatives, friends and acquaintances. Although we appreciate your thoughtfulness, we cannot in good conscience toward God and His Word take part in the exchanging of Christmas cards or in the celebration of Christmas or any other religious holy-day, month, time or season.

    Let us tell you why. It is significant that there is no Biblical precedent for observing such a day. The Word of God "thoroughly furnishes" every Christian "unto all good works", yet it does not furnish us to observe Christ's birthday (2 Tim. 3:16, 17). The early Galatian Christians were even rebuked for observing days (see Gal. 4:10, 11)*.

    One need not go far, however, in his search for the origin of Christmas:

    Encyclopedias and reference works unite in telling those who consult them that Jesus Christ was not born on December 25th. After the birth of Christ, the precious name of Christ was merely yoked up with the ungodly heathen festival Saturnalia. The Christmas tree, holly, mistletoe, Yule Logs, Wassail Bowl, wreathes and (yes!) Santa Claus figured prominently in idolatrous practices and popish traditions.

    Because we love Christ and the Bible more than the traditions of men, we believe we cannot "put Christ in Christmas" but must take His Holy Name out of this unholy and pagan Santa-mas. We seek, not to celebrate His birth, but to demonstrate the fact of His death-conquering life to a pleasure-mad world of dying souls.

    For these reasons we cannot wish you a "Merry Christmas", but beseech you instead to turn your eyes away from "Christmas trees" to the "Christ of Calvary" (Gal. 3:13) and see by faith the One who died there for your sins. If you already know Him, then we beseech you to "Set your affection on things above and not on things on this earth" (Col. 3:2).

    We wish you then, not a Merry Christmas, but a Joyous Eternity!

    Reprint from "Sound Words" No. 18, January 1975

    http://www.webcom.com/christ1s/SeasonsGreetings.html last
    updated December 1, 1996 by [email protected]

    This page was created on 7 April 1998
    Last updated on 7 April 1998