This article first published December 1st, 2018 on my previous blog at Emeraldministries.org The season is upon us in all its wonder. All sorts of lovely warm and fuzzy memoriess rise to the surface from my childhood, and even more so from the fun of being a parent at Christmastime over the twenty seven years of raising our three girls. But as the season emerges from it's hibernation this December 1st I find myself being confronted with shame, anger and so much confusion. The polar (no pun intended) opposite views within my Christian circles are mind boggling and I find that because I do not agree with either end I am forced to be quiet or risk being ostracized by both camps of people of which I consider myself having many brothers and sisters.
The Straight Path and the Narrow Gate
To be honest-I think this is RIDICULOUS but this is not the first time that I feel myself in the middle of these two camps. The holy truthers vs. the supernatural doers. They throw accusations and arrows from both sides even though God's word certainly tells us not to. (Just read 1 Corinthians 12 for starters). Quite honestly, I believe that the straight path that leads to the narrow gate runs right down the middle of this body war, I am trying to keep my balance on a tiny point in the center and have been caught in the painful crossfire too many times to count. I've lost friends because I refuse to leave my watch post in the center and it hurts. But I am continually reminded that I must, at all costs, continue to live for the Audience of One and that is my Lord and Savior-you either know Him as Y'shua Hamashiach or Jesus Christ depending on which side of this battle your feet are planted. But I digress....back to CHRISTMAS-to celebrate or not to celebrate...
We Must Have Christmas!! No Wait-Christmas is evil!
Just two years ago the entire Christian world was angry because Starbucks
got rid of their seasonal red cups. Everyone thought that it was an assault on Jesus and His followers. Fast forward to 2017 and 2018 and now it's an assault on Jesus to actually celebrate this month with red let alone ever step foot in a Starbucks. I can't keep up and I refuse to try. I first heard of the 'Christmas is pagan theory almost twenty years ago and have prayed about it every year since. This is long past due so let's dive into what God's word says and some common arguments against Christmas so that we can all make an informed decision and not merely buckle to facebook peer pressure one way or the other...
1-Jesus was born, and was celebrated by both angels and humans/sinners at the time of His birth and way after the time of His birth.
The following scriptures debunk the argument that since Jesus was mostly likely born in September that we should not celebrate His birth in December. It is agreed upon by theologians that Jesus was probably about 2 years old when the wisemen brought Him gifts. Therefore, we can deduce it is okay to celebrate Jesus and His birth whenever we come to Him. For me that is everyday.
These same scriptures also have something to say about the argument that we should not celebrate 'as the pagans' do. The 'wise' men were not God's preists. They were not even Jewish. They were in fact, HEATHENS.
According to Thayer’s Greek lexicon, the word Magi “springs from a Babylonian root meaning oriental scientist, wise man, astrologer, or seer.” [Hugh Ross, “The ChristmasStar” (revised 11/2010) citing to Thayer’s Greek lexicon)] As summarized by Paul Maier (a professor of ancient history), extra-biblical references to Magi indicate they were originally a clan of the Medes who formed the priestly class in Persia (modern-day Iran). They were well-educated, specializing in medicine, religion, astronomy, astrology, divination and magic. [Paul Maier, “The First Christmas” (2001)]
Shocking, Right? These men were PAGAN magicians sent by order of an evil king to bring back the whereabouts of the rumored baby so he could KILL the Savior. But these wicked men decided to celebrate the new born King with gifts instead! Interesting to say the least..... 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. Luke 2:4-20 1Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,2 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.3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,6 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.7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.8 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.9 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.10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.11 And when they were come 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. Matthew 2:1-11
2-Heavenly spirits ministered God's glory in songs, and pronounced peace on earth and good will toward's men.
In verses 13 & 14 from Luke 2, we see the original "Christmas spirits', they were angels sent to announce the birth of the Savior to the shepherds in the field. They were the ones that first brought the feeling of perfect peace on earth and good will towards men and they were sent by the Father himself. For every good and perfect gift that the Father gives us, satan has a counterfeit and the 'Christmas spirit is no exception. The feelings that we get when we sing Christmas carols on a stranger's porch or serve a holiday feast at a soup kitchen are God's idea. Not man's. Thinking of the mailman with a gift card in the box or sharing our baking with an neighbor is us having good will towards men. Should we do this always? YES, as Christ followers we should. But if the rest of the world wants to jump in with us in December, I won't stop them. Would you? This is the Christmas spirit as far as the Lord is concerned, the heavenly hosts announced it and it is beautiful. It is KINGDOM.
So what of the counterfeit 'Christmas spirits'? They are sent by satan to deceive of course. To rob us of our peace and joy. They cause everything from materialism, guilt, shame, bitterness and depression, to greed, suicide and now doubt and legalism at Christmastime-because it is Christmastime! That is their job! Confuse and cause the ceasing of the celebration of Jesus's birth. The Christmas spirits from the Father were sent to bring the news of peace and good tidings aligned with the Glory of God. Satan's counterfeits are here to stop that. It is up to us to discern and reject the false spirits, but to refuse and reject the heavenly hosts that the Father sent would be a tragic error.
Do you see? The birth happened, heaven and earth all celebrated and kept celebrating, and it was different than God's appointed feasts. It was in addition to! The celebration happened and THEN satan came along through the Luciferian Catholic church and pagans to kill, steal , destroy and twist the memory of it. Do we understand that Luke and Matthew both telling the account of Jesus's birth IS EVIDENCE of THEIR REMEMBERANCE and celebration?
And we already know they gathered in fellowship and feasted so why would they not do this as they told their personal account stories of His life? We don't know for certain but we also don't see it forbidden. Quite the contrary, just read Romans Chapter 6 and let us strive to not be a stumbling block for other believers who choose to celebrate His birth on December 25th. Do we think that Luke or Matthew would have been in error to chose a day to remember and tell this story to their families every year? Was it a sin to do so? Do we think that they stopped telling this magnificent miracle because of anything the pagans were doing or do we just think that they they refused to tell the story in December or avoided pine trees when telling it? But now I am jumping ahead. .. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
3-Decorating houses using trees (the wood and likeness thereof), gold, silver, bronze, beautiful colors, cherubim and the likeness of fruit, bells and more was God's idea. In fact-He described the decorating of His temple using these things in great detail.
The scripture that most people point to to say that Christmas and Christmas trees are pagan is Jeremiah 10 (top), you will see it directly contrasts with 2 Chronices chapters 2 and 3 (bottom). We see by comparing the two scriptures that this has nothing to do with using trees for decoration in our houses, but rather using them to purposely carve demon idols that do not move or speak like our God, the only true God, does.
The sin here is not about the tree, the decor or the celebration of anything, but rather the concocting of a demon god to serve instead of Jesus. In fact, reading these scriptures has me tearing up...Do you see? The building and decorating of the temple with things found in nature, the heavens, and silver and gold for God to come dwell among His people was a prophetic foretelling of Jesus coming to dwell among His people. One could really say it was the prophetic celebration of His coming birth and life on earth!The story goes that the early Romans celebrating the demon god Saturnalia decorated with evergreens, then everyone from the Celts, Druids, Vikings, Scandinavians and more went on to carry on this tradition in worship of their sun 'gods'. But as you will see in the scriptures below, they counterfeited our Lord. Decorating with evergreens (cypress) was HIS IDEA, not the pagans, not satan's. Satan stole it through the pagans just like he did the rainbow through the homosexual community or medicine through pharmakeia. Should we banish the rainbow and all medicine because satan has stolen its use? Of course not. We should continue to embrace God's rainbow (prohpetic promise), medicine (natural/biblical) and decorating our dwellings with evergreens, silver, gold etc. Because it is God's idea and satan and his people only have right to it as their own if we surrender it. I will not.
Most Christians do decorate their homes (inside or out) with trees, silver and gold in some way or another and have no issue with that. If you are not comfortable decorating with trees and pretty things in December, that is of course, okay. But scripturally, it is also okay for those that want to.
"3For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.4They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.5They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.6Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O LORD; thou art great, and thy name is great in might." Jeremiah 10:3-6
"7Send me, therefore, a craftsman who is skilled in engraving to work with gold and silver, bronze and iron, purple, crimson, and blue yarn. He will work with my craftsmen in Judah and Jerusalem, whom my father David provided.8Send me also cedar, cypress, and algumb logs from Lebanon, for I know that your servants have skill to cut timber there. And indeed, my servants will work with yours 9to prepare for me timber in abundance, because the temple I am building will be great and wonderful. 10I will pay your servants, the woodcutters, 20,000 corsc of ground wheat, 20,000 corsd of barley, 20,000 bathse of wine, and 20,000 baths of olive oil.” 2 Chronicles 2:1-10 4He overlaid the inside with pure gold.The Temple's Interior 5He paneled the main room with cypress, which he overlaid with fine gold and decorated with palm tree and chain designs.6He adorned the temple with precious stones for beauty, and its gold was from Parvaim. 7He overlaid its beams, thresholds, walls, and doors with gold, and he carved cherubim on the walls.8Then he made the Most Holy Place; its length corresponded to the width of the temple, twenty cubits long and twenty cubits wide, and he overlaid the inside with six hundred talentse of fine gold. 9The weight of the nails was fifty shekelsf of gold. He also overlaid the upper area with gold.The Cherubim10In the Most Holy Place he made two cherubim of sculptured work, and he overlaid them with gold. 11The total wingspan of the cherubim was twenty cubits. One wing of the first cherub was five cubits long and touched the wall of the temple, and its other wing was five cubits long and touched the wing of the other cherub. 12The wing of the second cherub also measured five cubits and touched the wall of the house, while its other wing measured five cubits and touched the wing of the first cherub. 13So the total wingspan of these cherubim was twenty cubits. They stood on their feet, facing the main room.The Veil and Pillars(1 Kings 7:13-22)14He made the veil of blue, purple, and crimson yarn and fine linen, with cherubim woven into it.15In front of the temple he made two pillars, which together were thirty-five cubitsh high, each with a capital on top measuring five cubits.16He made interwoven chains and put them on top of the pillars. He made a hundred pomegranates and fastened them into the chainwork." 2 Chronicles 3: 4-16 (Also told in 1 Kings 6)
I feel like I could probably keep digging through scripture and write a part two in regards to Christmas, but for now I have a Hannukah blog already stirring in my spirit and am going to close with this, Jesus is my whole life. I love His law, His word, His ways and His holy days above all else. I want to continue to be used by Him to minister in inner healing and deliverance as well as world evangelism and healing and I refuse to do anything to compromise that. I want to steer as far away from pagan practices as I possibly can, but did you know that to banish anything the pagans do from our lives would mean getting rid of our wedding rings, not eating chocolate and refusing to use the days of the week and the months of the Gregorian calendar? Yes, it's true. A quick google and you will see. But who's idea was jewelry for betrothel? Adonai! Eating the things we grow and combinng them with other things to make them sweet? Yaweh! Days nights weeks and years? THE GREAT I AM. He is the only GOD that matters in my life and in my house and I will celebrate Him and His birth and death everyday; And I do believe, I will embrace the message of the heavenly hosts right along with the shepherds- which is peace on earth (as a fruit of Holy Spirit) and good will towards men, and I will give gifts right along with the wisemen as I stand in awe of the birth of the Creator of the universe as a babe in a manger, on a silent night so many centuries ago. Merry Christmas friends! May all Creation sing His praises as we worship Him this season, and may pagan hearts turn away from their evil king as they meet Jesus in all His glory through His people this season. In the mighty name of Y'shua, God bless you this and every season. Amen and Amen.#Paganism #Christmas #Jesus #Legalism #theChristmasspirit
P.S. I pray about this every year and this year is no different. If I am missing somthing I pray that He would open my eyes so I can see. Feel free to leave a comment, but only after reading and praying about everything written here. In turn, I promise to pray over your comment and ask the Lord to search my heart and SPEAK!