Month 10:16, Week 3:1 (Rishon/Pesach), Year:Day 5939:283 AM|
2Exodus 2/40, 4th Sh'mittah - Year 49/50
Global Judgment - Day #T-16
Gregorian Calendar Sunday 27 December 2015
The Latest from Lawless Yulers
The Season in Continuance
Christmas Day is over for the Western Church (Catholic, Protestant, Mormon) though not the Christmas 'season' or the Christmas of the Eastern (Orthodox) Church which celebrates it in January, the Afro-American Kawanzaa is in full swing, and the winter-god worshippers still have the pagan New Year of the god Janus to celebrate with yet more revelry as they celebrate yet another year of not being judged for their sins.
A More Subtle Attack on Torah-Keepers
The emet (truth) about Christmas has become so widespread with so many evangelicals abandoning its celebration that a more subtle form of attack has now been launched by the staunch 'Christian' defenders of pagan Yule. The first, which has a element of emet (truth) in it, is no better summarised than by this image that appeared yesterday showing a couple of make-believe messianics emerging from battle:
One of the best ways to deflect the emet (truth) is through humour and I have to admit I chuckled when I saw this. However, it's also deceptive. The ultra-messianics aside, many of whom have no idea what grace is because they have never been born again, there is a danger of reading a false stereotype into the remainder of messianics and those evangelicals who do not celebrate Christmas by painting them as crazed fanatics who can think of nothing better to do than to lob truth-mortars about Christmas paganism into the 'enemy' camp. The problem with this kind of propaganda is that it resembles the tactics of the secular behaviourists who know how to manipulate people's opinions. For my family, Christmas day (unless is happens to be a sabbath) is like any other working day - we simply ignore it, and if people wish us a 'Merry Christmas' we simply say, 'Have a good holiday'.
Dealing With the Yulers
I can only speak for myself and this ministry in addressing this issue though I am sure plenty of other messianics and evangelicals hold a similar views to our own. Firstly, we don't go around telling Christmas-celebrants who don't ask our opinion how wicked, pagan and apostate they are. I don't do it face-to-face with people I know or don't know and I don't go into other people's social media groups and post scathing remarks about the season. If people ask me why we don't celebrate Christmas and other pagan festivals, I will share the facts them politely and respectfully. I take such opportunity to share, in a non-combattive way, such information as will enable them, especially if they claim to be believers, to repent and stop honouring the Enemy. If they don't want to listen, I don't press the matter. Yahweh knows how to deal with all of us when presented emet (truth) that we find uncomfortable.
When to Be More Aggressive
If I invite people to come to one of our meetings or to visit our website or online social group, and they may expect to be given the emet (truth) matter-of-factly. If someone comes to me face-to-face or online and starts attacking the emet (truth) with outright lies under the empowering of demons, he or she will almost certainly receive a prophetic rebuke under an anointing of the Ruach (Spirit). And whilst it is true messianic believers can sometimes respond to such attacks in the flesh and manifest another set of demonic influences, their wrong way of handling the matter does not invalidate a stern prophetic rebuke when such is called for.
Gentle Erosion or Flamethrowers?
Part of the problem is that there are immature nevi'im (prophets) who, zealous for the emet (truth), oftentimes 'lose it' because they are not skilled in handling emet (truth) in ahavah (love) and grace. Power is not something they know how to use and they are best advised to leave it alone. There are also times and seasons, depending who you are dealing with, too. People aren't alreadys ready to hear the emet (truth) and our emphasis then must be to gently break down the spiritual soil of their hearts with the simple salvation message rather than get out the verbal flame-throwers to decimate their spiritual forest of lies. True, some need forceful rebuke to break down strongholds but more often than not it is the gentle erosion of lies with ahavah (love) that gets the job done. As ever it requires discernment. Therefore the responsibility to dispense and handle the emet (truth) is bidirectional. If not mature and in doubt, hold your tongue and listen.
The Latest Excuses to Justify Christian Observation
A subtle - and, I maintain, wicked - attack was made on those who disown pagan practices in Christianity in an online antinomian magazine called Charisma News using a rennegade and compromising Messianic Jewish writer.
The Ten Compromising Points
Here are the 10 points offered in justifying supporting the continuance of Catholic Christmas which I shall then respond to:
- 1. "The Savior of humankind came from heaven to earth, an incomparable gift from God worth celebrating more than any other. Quite possibly He was conceived at this season."
- 2. "A testimony of Yeshua resonates across the earth through Christmas."
- 3. "Jews and others can be uniquely reached with the gospel at Christmas. Some Israelis are especially interested in Yeshua at this time of year. I myself committed my life to Him at Christmastime 40 years ago."
- 4. "Christmas can help preserve and protect the expression of Christianity in an era when religious freedoms are declining. Some Jewish American conservatives have become strong advocates of Christmas for this reason"
- 5. "With Christmas comes Advent, a month of spiritual focus which is generally less worldly in its expression."
- 6. "Christmas traditions can draw families closer together."
- 7. "Most believers now acknowledge some of the pagan, materialistic and other worldly roots, fruits and trappings of Christmas. This acknowledgement can free them to celebrate the holiday with much greater focus on Yeshua."
- 8. "Christmas is probably going to remain part of Western culture, at least for a short while. If the righteous do not preserve the holiday's true meaning, secular expression could eliminate it altogether."
- 9. "If Christians stop celebrating Christmas, the result in some gospel resistant cultures could be no public mention of Christianity at all."
- 10. "Quite possibly God likes it when global attention is directed to His Son one day a year." 
A Concealed Gnostic Excuse
The flesh will always invent reasons for continuing in sin. We are especially clever at making excuses when we want them. You only have to listen to liberal theologians 'explaining away' what Yahweh has plainly stated because today it's not theology that's important but feelings and carnal drives. Part of the problem is the liberals try to make a Gnostic-type artificial partition between the Tanakh (Old Testament) and Messianic Scriptures (New Testament). In essence what they are claiming - and this is what the ancient Gnostics claimed - is that the 'God' of the 'Old Testament' was an unredeemed and very conservative and harsh angel whom they called the 'Demiurge' whom a gentler, kinder and more liberal 'God' called 'Jesus' replaced in order to usher in a more loving age. By pitting the Son against the Father, these modern Gnostics engage in an age-old satanic and blasphemous tactic which we often see repeated in carnal behaviour: make someone else look 'bad' to make yourself look 'good'.
Has Elohim Changed?
So right off the bat we do not need to speculate on what Yahweh's 'opinions' about certain matters like Christmas and Easter might be because we already know. There's only a debate if you reject the nevi'im (prophets) in the Tanakh (Old Testament) in which case the real debate needs to shift to the validity of all the scriptures verses the validity of only some of them. Out of that must be asked the fundamental question: Have the morals and ethics of Elohim (God) changed? And following on from that: HAS ELOHIM (GOD) CHANGED? If you believe the answer to either is 'Yes', then I'm sorry, but you are no longer a Bible-believing Christian (Heb.13:8). You have become an existentialist and have invented a 'feel-good' god in your own image. You are no longer a true or clean believer.
Where Do You Draw the Line?
So do I really need to spell it out to this weak Messianic playing around with deadly religious syncretism? There are other Messianics, so I am told, who are advocating that messianics observe 'Easter Sunday' too. Others, like Rick Warren (the inventor of 'Chrislam'), are saying we should observe Islamic ways alongside Christian ones. He'd better sharpen his hatchet. So where do you draw the line? Either you obey the Father or you rebell again Him. It's really that's simple. Either you don't eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil or you invent a feel-good or look-good excuse as Eve did and do it again. Or you can indulge in the blame-game of Adam which is really what this apology-of-a-messianic is doing. Really, though, I think the reason people are making compromises is because it's easier not to go against the flow of the world and because they want to be ecumenical and be liked.
We Must Obey Elohim
I want to be liked too, I want it to be easier, I want to appear more 'loving' and 'accepting' - who doesn't? But at what price? Somewhere along the line, if you are to have any character at all, you are going to have to resist the majority and say NO simply because you love Yahweh more than you do everyone else which means, like Peter and the apostles, we are all prepared to stand our ground and say, "We must obey Elohim (God) rather than men!" (Acts 5:29, NIV). This does not make you 'intolerant' or 'unloving' because no lie ever blessed or saved a man, and the most loving thing you can do for anyone is tell them the emet (truth) because that is what will bring them happiness and shalom (peace).
My Own Long Journey to Messianism
If I had not stood my ground against Christmas when I was a young man in my 20's - it was the very first Christian tradition I explored and rejected - I would by no means be where I am today. I would still be ignorant and in bondage because my challenging of this pagan tradition forced me to look into everything else and to question all I had been taught. And question we must if we are to be set free from all the devil's lies in this sin-saturated world.
It's a Commitment
If you don't like Yahweh's spiritual diet then you can ask for what He has not decided to give you (for your own good) and He will give it to you. Yes, it's tough going against the grain. Yes, it's tough not joining in the world's way of doing things. Yes, it's tough to grow up and stand for righteousness and emet (truth). And if you don't like doing things that are tough, then maybe you heard and embraced the wrong 'gospel'. Maybe you need to read your Bible again with open eyes this time, not skimming over any part your flesh doesn't like. Maybe you need to count the real cost of discipleship before signing on the dotted line in baptism. This isn't a club you can join and leave if you suddenly don't fancy it any more. If you have really been born again and haven't been pretending at it by merely mimicking people who are actually spiritually regenerated sons and daughters of Elohim (God), then you've made a commitment for life.
The Feeling Gospel
And herein is, I think, the main problem. Most 'Christians' haven't been born again, most haven't repented of any sins at all because most haven't been convicted of any sins and so don't know what repentance is. Most are still trying to save themselves by works and the rest sincerely believe that the barometer of the presence of Elohim (God), and therefore the Ruach (Spirit), is their feelings. Most, in truth, are simply following themselves. And that's really the easiest thing to do of all because without a standard external to yourself, you have nothing really to challenge yourself with and certainly nothing to hold yourself to accountable to anyone but your own feelings. Self - and especially 'self-worth' - is the big lie today. It breeds self-entitlement, selfishness and spiritual death.
The Same Always
Yahweh has not changed. He is the same today, yesterday and forever (Heb.13:8). His standards of righteousness and holiness are immutable. Covenants may have changed, types may have been fulfilled, but the basic standards cannot be altered. They may be restored when man has abandoned them, but Yahweh never lowers the bar of holiness because His own holiness does not change. The Elohim (God) of the nevi'im (prophets) is the same "Elohim (God) and Father of our Master Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ)" (Rom.15:6; 2 Cor.1:3; Eph.1:3; 1 Pet.1:3) in every generation, without regard for, or reference to, man's unreliability and constant fickleness.
So hardship is part of the contract, people. Get used to it and grow up. You have been mollycoddled too long by a century of liberalism. You need a cattle-prod in the rump to wake you up. Stop provoking Yahweh by compromising with the emet (truth). And yes, your whining and rebelliousness does anger Him and he will kindle a fire of opposition in your life, if you are covenanted to Him, until you repent (Num.11:1). Stop lusting after forbidden fruit! Stop lusting after Christmas and all the other abominations of the Antichrist Nimrod which are an affront to the Most High. Stop fooling yourself! Spraying glitter on crap (the Antichrist Nimrod and his resurrection myth invented by his lover and mother, the witch Semiramis), telling a true biblical story around it (the nativity), singing beautiful carols above it, and writing Jesus' Name on it, doesn't change it into something kosher or acceptable to Elohim (God). Yah'shua's (Jesus') Name is written all over the festivals appointed by the mouth of Yahweh-Elohim which we have been commanded to observe in perpetuity! Isn't that good enough for you?
Why We Have the Festivals
So how shall we respond to the justifications made by the compromising messianic? Yes, the Saviour of Mankind is undoubtedly an "incomprable gift" from Yahweh, of that there can be absolutely no doubt. And His birth was truly of huge historical import and impact. But however wonderful the incarnation and virgin birth were, Yahweh nowhere commands us to celebrate them whilst at the same time He does absolutely command us to celebrate twelve 50-yearly, 7-yearly, annual, monthly and weekly festivals, all of which point to vitally important aspects of Messiah's life and His requirements of us, that include the atonement, holy living, the new birth, covenant obedience to the mitzvot (commandments), the second coming, the judgment, the marriage feast of the lamb, the need for prophetic witness, proper rest, rest for the land and release from servitude. Had celebrating the Messiah's birth, the date of His circumcision, the date He took His Bar Mitzvah, or any other event in His life, been so important, do you not think Yahweh or the apostles would have slotted that in amongst the 12 moedim? Yet He did not. And you will not find a single word in either the Tanakh (Old Testament) or Messianic Scriptures (New Testament) so much as hinting that believers should observe the nativity, and there is no historical evidence that the first Christians celebrated it either.
Conceived Around Christmas?
And the fact that He might have been conceived at this 'season' (actually, believed by many messianics to have been at another semi-pagan festival, Hanukkah, and not at Christmas) is entirely irrelevent. We don't celebrate conceptions!! It is in any case our belief that He was neither conceived nor born at this time of year - see Messiah's Birthday.
In Whose Image?
Is Christmas a true testimony of Yah'shua (Jesus)? It is a partial testimony, at the very best, and then only of a Messiah made in one of the images of Catholicism, Protestantism or Eastern Orthodoxy, to name the three largest denominations who promote it (not forgetting Mormons, Seventh-Day Adventists and others who also celebrate it). It depends who is using the season for witnessing, what they are witnessing of and what kind of discipling they do or don't do.
The Christ-Mass Abomination
Most converted through Christmas end up as antinomians (lawless believers) steeped in false traditions. So certainly Yahweh uses the festival but it at best is a compromise and at worst can lead the convert into any number of false religious spirits. What Yahweh wants is a witness of all truth, not just a smattering of it mixed into paganism. And He certainly does not want a witness of the Catholic 'mass' part of Christ-mas, which is a blasphemous lie, insisting as it does that a mortal Catholic priest has the supernatural power to resacrifice Christ and make Him physically present - body and blood - in the wafer and wine, respectively (transubstantiation), the latter of which remain only for appearance's sake to deceive the eye. The Catholics believe they are literally eating the body of Christ that has been conjured up by a magical ritual. That's occultism.
A Jewish Witness?
Yahweh can use all kinds of springboards for witness. As far the Jews are concerned, most of them are so repelled by the Church and its traditions that by far the most successful witness to them has come through messianics who have no connections to past pogroms and persecutions, real or imagined. As for the non-Christian advocates of Christmas, conservative Jews are not the only ones who support it - many non-radical Muslims do too because they see it as a counter - in societies where they are in the minority - to crass materialism and atheism. Do true believers - or does Yahweh Himself - need the endorsement of the unsaved?
My Malaysian Experience
When I grew up in Malaysia, Christmas was celebrated by many Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists (along with atheists and agnostics) but for cultural reasons, and we in our turn would pay our respects to friends of these religions by turning up to their religious festivals like the Hindu Deepvali or Chinese New Year. Do I think, in retrospect, that either they, or my family, were honouring Yahweh? Certainly not! This was simply honouring the 'cult of culture' - worshipping/accepting many gods in the same spirit of the Roman Empire or of the Greek Seleucids like Antiochus Epiphanes IV. Christians and Israelites alike were martyred for not engaging in this kind of ecumenism. Are we better than them? You can't respect Yahweh and Satan.
Can We celebrate Whatever We Want?
That Christians acknowledge the pagan aspects of Christmas traditions to focus more on Christ is no credit to them in the long run! It's a step in the right direction but they can't stop there! The excuse made is that we have liberty to celebrate what we want to based on a twisting of Paul's instructions to the Romans:
"One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind" (Rom.14:5, NIV).
This is not a licence to celebrate whatever you want to. The context is those new believers who are "weak in emunah (faith)" (v.1). They may be former pagans or former Rabbinical Jews, both steeped in false traditions "who have not yet grown sufficiently in their emunah (faith) to have given up various aescetic practices and calendar observances. Their tie to these activities, however, is not supported by a rational though mistaken ideology, as with the legalists [of Gal.14:1-15:16}. Rather, it is irrational and emotional, linked to psychological needs, social pressures or superstitions, or it may simply be a matter of habit. When their activities in these areas are questioned in "arguments over opinions" (v.1), they are not "fully convinced in their own minds" (v.4, JNT), not "free of self-doubt" (v.22, JNT), but rather easily "upset" or even "destroyed" (v.15. JNT) and thus able to "fall away" or "stumble" (vv.20-21, JNT). This is why Sha'ul calls them "weak"" .
Working With a Defiled Conscience
As in Paul's day, we accept new converts 'where they are' and help them work through their issues. Our consciences are all defiled to some extent by our former beliefs and need time to be re-educated:
Respect Conscience Whilst Retraining It
"Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat such food they think of it as having been sacrificed to an idol, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled" (1 Cor.8:7, NIV)
We are commanded to respect conscience while it is retrained in righteousness and holiness, and to force someone to deny his conscience is to cause him to sin:
Conversion is Never By Force
"When you sin against your brothers ... and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Messiah" (1 Cor.8:12, NIV).
There is no force in the Besorah (Gospel) - all must be given space to work out their salvation. That does not mean you bring them to the Master's Table or advance them into Priesthood while they are working out such matters. They must still be discipled with patience and in ahavah (love). But this is not a licence to let acknowledge their false beliefs in the assembly.
Minimum Torah-Compliance for New Converts
The instructions to those not coming from a Torah-compliant background are clear:
"As for the Gentile believers, we have written to them our decision that they should abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality" (Acts 21:25, NIV).
These are the minimum requirements which, by the way, include eating kosher foods which almost no evangelical Christians do! Sorry, no bacon or blood pudding. So they may come into the fellowship troubled by all kinds of things like the calendar, Christmas and Easter celebration, polygamy, smoking, alcohol, and a whole host of other issues, but so long as they have met the living Messiah and have been born again and desire to live the mitzvot (commandments) with all their hearts, then they may be admitted as baptised but not full members. Once their conscience has been retrained by the Davar (Word), and they are truly converted and at peace, then they may be confirmed and start training for the Priesthood. Remember, remember, the Davar (Word) comes before conscience and feelings in the emet (truth) stakes:
"My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent" (1 Cor.4:4, NIV)
This is so important to understand. Yet we are to respect conscience and not force someone to sin against it but at the same time not leave them in a state of defiled conscience. We must continually educated and witness the emet (truth).
No Licence for Christmas
So there is no licence in Paul's counsel to the Romans allowing believers to celebrate whatever they want. That you can celebrate Christmas freely without heavenly objections a lie. Yes, we understand if you come into Torah-obedience struggling with past beliefs and practices like Christmas but Yahweh does not expect you to remain there. If it were otherwise, why did He instruct the Jerusalem Counsel to insist on the minimum Torah requirements for Gentile believers? Catholics, Protestants and Eastern Orthodox don't even obey this instruction so it is little wonder they are liberal as far as the emet (truth) is concerned. They are in rebellion and those who are in rebellion Yahweh gives over to their own delusion.
Christmas draws families closer together - I don't know how many times I have heard that excuse. Yes it does, but in a false spirit, because we are commanded to bring families together in the emet (truth) of Yahweh's Festivals. What if our families don't agree with us? Can't we gather together at Christmas and not partake in the pagan traditions? I would like to suggest that the latter is impossible, however hard you try. We are commanded to be separate from people involved in false religious practices but this is not saying we must be separate from our family at other times. It just means we must make more of an effort to be with them at other times. A similar problem exists during American Thanksgiving.
The Training Ground for Faithfulness and Courage
I was under HUGE pressure to be with family during Christmas after I had abandoned it and they spared no effort to guilt me and accuse me of being unloving and antisocial. It's easy for them to say that, of course, when they have numbers on their side. No courage is required on their part. Only a handful of friends were gracious and accepting. But it was that experience, and my determination to be true to Yahweh, that strengthened me to stand by the many other 'controversial' (as far as the world is concerned) aspects of the Besorah (Gospel) which it doesn't like. At some point you have to stand up and resist if you are not to compromise and fall away, more so in this dangerous time of mass global apostacy. Christmas is a good training ground. You soon come to understand the power of lies and the spiritual forces behind them. And there are strong religious spirits behind Christmas because so many different kinds of people embrace it. I believe it will become the unifying celebration of the One World Religion, finally stripped of its Christian elements as it returns to its original state, as it must.
Yahweh wants you to bring your family into salvation and Torah-obedience, not to compromise by joining in with the world's revelry amongst the gods. I guarantee they will view it as a victory to them if you compromise and celebrate Christmas in addition to observaing the Biblical Festivals. And they don't know what they are doing. They are steered by invisible forces they don't understand, so who are you, as a child of Elohim (God), to submit to their authority and the authority of the demons who steer their semi-pagan celebrations? You are supposed to be witnessing to them by staying apart while continuing to love them. You don't love an alcoholic by drinking with him in a bar and you don't love a fornicator by joining in getting a prostitute 'in order to reach him', 'be accepted by him' or 'to love him'. Think clearly! Don't fall into temptation. Don't be silly. You're supposed to be the witness, not the other way round.
Let It Die to You
And if you know and love the emet (truth), it shouldn't be a temptation or struggle for you. Count it all as dead, as you are supposed to ion respect of all sin:
Whom Will You Honour?
"Count yourselves dead to sin but alive to Elohim (God) in Messiah Yah'shua (Jesus)" (Rom.6:1, NIV).
For me Christmas died years ago. The glitter, the family reunion, the presents, etc. mean nothing to me. Family reunion is still a wonderful thing, and should be cherished and pursued whenever possible, but not in honour of the winter gods around the covenant table of a devilish son (Nimrod) and an incestuous mother (Semiramis). Whether Christmas remains a part of Christian culture or not is to me irrelevent because old Christianity is dying.
There's a separation going on and you must either go with the dark side intio the One World Religion where orthodox Christianity is headed, or you must go with the Remnant separating from that corrupt and dying body. That's the choice. And there is no Christmas celebration in the Remnant and its virus can never be allowed in. Christmas belongs to the Catholics who created it, and Catholicism is but a varient of the Babylonian Mystery Religion where the original Brumalia and Saturnalia emerged from 2,000 years before Christ even came to the earth. All things must return to their roots, to the Root of Jesse (Yah'shua/Jesus) or to the Root of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Satan).
Christmas is Thievery From Paganism
If Christians stop celebrating Christians they can instead turn to Yahweh's Festivals which they should have been observing anyway. Pagans view Christians as thieves for taking their festival, and they are right. And believers are not supposed to be thieves. Let them have it back. Yahweh will find far better ways to witness of Christ without Christmas.
What Yahweh 'Likes'
Finally, do we really believe, in the light of all we have discussed, that Yahweh "likes it when global attention is directed to His Son one day a year"? Now I am not saying that Yahweh cannot use Christmas to get people's attention on Christ but don't you think He would prefer to get people's attention on Ruach/Spirit-believers preaching in power, and emet (truth), and righteousness, and holiness, witnessing of the fullness, rather than hoping people will pick up a scrap here or there at Nimrod's Table? Look what happened when Yah'shua (Jesus) preached in the Temple at the Feast of Dedication or Hanukkah - did He get a massive response? No, the people were too wrapped up in their Talmudid tradition of salvation by the sword to be interested. They we blinded by the dramatic spectacle of lights as Christians are at Christmas. That was the 'Christmas' of His day, and whilst He witnessed during that man-made festival, the fruits were small because of the dark spirit that drove it.
So with all due respect to Ms. Teplinsky, I have to say that she is massively deceived and not doing the cause of emet (truth) any good with her compromises. However, expect more of this kind of thing from the Messianic Movement in the years ahead because that movement, like traditional Christianity, is also coming under the hammer of Yahweh's judgment at this time. I am not impressed and there was nothing in what she wrote that would persuade me to change my own course of witness or behaviour by the fraction of a degree. I hope it won't influence yours either.
 Sandra Teplinsky, A Messianic Jewish Response to Christians Who Naysay Christmas
 David H. Stern, Jewish New Testament Commentary (Clarksville, Maryland: 1992), p.433
Comments from Readers
 "Thank you Christopher for your ministry and patient explanations here" (SP, USA, 22 December 2017)