Jerome

Grateful | Live | Elevation Worship

 

“Grateful”

 

This is the day, that You have made
Whatever comes, I won’t complain
For all my hope, is in Your name
And now Your joy awaits my praise

I give thanks, for all You have done
And I will sing, of Your mercy and Your love
Your love is unfailing
Lord, I am grateful

When I was down, You brought me out
You set my feet, on higher ground
So here I stand, You are my God
His faithfulness, my Solid Rock

I give thanks, for all You have done
And I will sing, of Your mercy and Your love
Your love is unfailing
Lord, I am grateful

I give this, for all You have done
I won’t forget, all the battles You have won
Your love is unfailing
Lord, I am grateful!

And as we lift our hands up
Heavens open, heavens open
So let our lives declare the love
Our God has spoken over us

And as we lift our hands up
Heavens open, heavens open
So let our lives declare the love
Our God has spoken over us

I give thanks, for all You have done
And I will sing, of Your mercy and Your love
Your love is unfailing
Lord, I am grateful

I give thanks, for all You have done
I won’t forget, all the battles You have won
Your love is unfailing
Lord, I am grateful

Jerome

JESUS BORN WITH A MISSION

Luke 2:8-14

 

In verse 11 Luke, quoting the angel of the Lord gives Jesus three titles. These titles reveal this childs identity and His mission. These titles remind us that the baby born in Bethlehem two thousand years ago was no ordinary baby. That baby was God in the flesh, Philippians 2:6-8; John 1:1, 14.

 HE CAME TO REDEEM US

The first title given to Him is that of Savior”. The word refers to one who delivers, saves, or preserves”. The baby is identified as One who will save, deliver, and preserve. That title begs the question, who needs to be saved, delivered, and preserved? And, why does anyone need to be saved, delivered, or preserved?

Notice what the angel says to the shepherds. He says, unto you born this day…a Savior”. The phrase unto you” speaks directly to the shepherds. It is a personal declaration that those shepherds were in need of a Savior. We have talked at length about the shepherds and their standing in that society. They were, in many cases, social pariahs. They were outcasts from the temple. They were on the lowest rung of the social ladder. These men needed a Savior. They needed someone to deliver them.

But, I also call your attention to verse 10. That verse tells us that the news brought by the angel was to all people”. That phrase reminds us that we are no different from the shepherds. They need a Savior, and so do we. They needed a deliverer, and so do we. The fact is, we share a common link with those ancient shepherds. They were sinners and so are we. The Bible is crystal clear on this point: Romans 3:10-18; 23.

Since we were sinners, we needed a Savior; we need a Deliverer. Our sin makes us the enemies of God, Romans 8:7. Our sin condemns us in the eyes of God and brings us under His judgment, Romans 6:23. We could never save ourselves. We could never earn our own salvation. Ephesians 2:8-9. We need something that we cannot provide for ourselves. What we cannot do for ourselves was provided for us by the Savior the angels pointed the shepherds to that night in Bethlehem.

His destiny was to go to a place called Calvary where He was:

•   Rejected by the people He came to save, John 1:11, He came unto his own, and his own received him not”.

•   Crucified by the Romans, Matthew 27:35, And they crucified Him…

•   Judged by Almighty God, Matthew 27:46, And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

•   Our sins were placed on Him, 1 Peter 2:24, Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

•   And God judged Him in our place, 1 Peter 3:18, For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit”.

•   On that cross, the Savior redeemed the sinner, 1 Peter 1:18-19,

•   He forever satisfied Gods demands for sin, 1 John 4:10, Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

•   He made it possible for us to be made right with God, 2 Corinthians 5:21, For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.

With His death, Jesus Christ the Son of God, fulfilled His mission and He fulfilled the prophecy the angel gave to Joseph before He was born: And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins,” Matthew 1:21.

  HE CAME TO RECONCILE US

The second title is that of Christ”. This word means the anointed One”. The word refers to someone who has been ceremonially anointed for an office. The title Christ” speaks of Jesus as the One Who is the fulfillment of all the ancient prophesies. He is the answer to all the promises of the Old Testament.

The list of Old Testament types fulfilled by Jesus is much longer. But the title Christ” speaks of His as the Anointed One”. In the Old Testament, anointing was performed for those taking three offices. Those offices are prophets, priests, and kings.

Jesus Christ fulfills all those offices.

•   He is the King of Kings, Revelation 19:16.

•   He is a prophet, Matthew 13:57.

•   He is also our High Priest. Hebrews 9:11 says, But Christ being come a high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building”.

In the word Christ”, the office of Jesus as our High Priest is what is in view. The high priest in the Old Testament was a mediator between God and the people. He spoke for the people in the presence of God, and He spoke for God in the presence of the people. The high priest was a man who stood between God and the people. It was His job to sprinkle blood on the mercy seat on the Day of Atonement. The high priest entered the Holy of Holies with the blood of a sacrificial goat and He offered that blood to atone for the sins of Israel.

What sets Jesus apart from the Old Testament priest is that Jesus went before Almighty God with His Own blood. Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us,Hebrews 9:12. When Jesus died on the cross, He was the true Mercyseat! When His blood was shed, and His life was poured out, God was satisfied.

After His death, Jesus was buried. On the third day, He arose from the dead. Then, He ascended back to Heaven to serve as our Great High Priest. In His position at the right hand of God, He ever liveth to make intercession” for us, Hebrews 7:25. Not only is Jesus our Savior, but He is also our High Priest. Paul said that Jesus is our Mediator”. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,1 Timothy 2:5. The word mediator” speaks of a go-between”. It literally refers to reconciler”, or to one Who brings others together”.

That is what the Lord Jesus does for us. He makes it possible for us to approach God. He makes it possible for God to accept us when we do approach Him, To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved,” Ephesians 1:6.

Isaiah 59:2 tells us that our sins separate” us from God. Jesus paid for our sins. He died as a man for fallen men. When He died, His death was accepted by God as our death. When we turn to Christ by faith, God accepts us in Jesus Christ. If we tried to approach God in ourselves, we would be rejected and sent to Hell. But, when we approach God through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus, we are accepted by God as if we were Christ Himself.

In Christ, two warring parties, holy, righteous God, and wicked, sinful men, are brought together. 2 Corinthians 5:19 reminds us of a powerful truth. It says, To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.”

Now, wicked, lost sinners can come to God because we have a Mediator. We have a High Priest in Heaven Who represents us before the throne of grace. We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous”, 1 John 2:1.

Jesus in Bethlehem came to redeem us, and He came to reconcile us to God. He is our Savior, and He is our Great High Priest! Hebrews 7:26-27 says this about Jesus: For such a high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for His own sins, and then for the peoples: for this, He did once, when he offered up Himself.” 

  HE CAME TO RULE US

The third title given is that of Lord”. This word speaks of One Who is supreme in authority; one who controls; one who is master of all”. This title is one of authority. It speaks of One Who is on absolute control.

This title reminds us of just Who Jesus is.

•   He is the Creator of all things.

–   All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made,” John 1:3.

–   For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him,” Colossians 1:16.

•   He is the Controller of all things.

–   And He is before all things, and by Him, all things consist,Colossians 1:17.

–   He …worketh all things after the counsel of His own will,Ephesians 1:11.

–   But our God is in the heavens: He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased,” Psalms 115:3.

–   Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did He in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.” Psalms 135:6.

•   He is the Concluder of all this in that He alone will determine the destiny of all people who have ever lived. Faith in Jesus is the dividing line between those who go to Heaven and those who go to Hell, 1 John 5:12.

The title Lord” reminds all humanity that Jesus Christ is to be obeyed in all things. His Word is to honor as Gods final word to men. Thus, the Bible is to be the final authority for all faith and practice. His will is to be sought and followed in all the choices we make in life. He is Lord, and we are to honor Him as such. When we obey Him, we prove that we love Him, John 14:15. When we disobey Him, we demonstrate the truth that He is not the Lord of our lives.

We have all heard people talk about making Jesus Lord of their lives”. The fact is, you cannot make Jesus be what He already is. He is Lord whether people recognize Him as Lord or not. Mankind would do well to remember that Jesus is Lord of all”, Acts 10:36.

How the angels must have marveled when the Lord of Glory concealed His glory behind a robe of human flesh. How they must have wondered as He lived a life of poverty and rejection in this world. How they must have watched with awe and indignation as He died for the very people who cried crucify Him”. The angels were accustomed to worshiping Him and enjoying His presence in Heaven. That is what they were created to do.

I wonder if they still marvel when they see a lost sinner who has lived his life in open rebellion to God humble himself before Jesus Christ and cry out for salvation. I would imagine that they are amazed when they see that sinner accepted by God, saved by grace, and made a new creature” in Jesus. How it must amaze them when they see that rebellious sinner become a faithful follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.

That is what Jesus does! He takes rebels and transforms them into children of God who delight in doing the will of the Father. Those who know Him love Him, and the reason we love Him is that He first loved us, 1 John 4:19. Obedience to the word of God is easy for this who loves Jesus. He is our Master, and doing His will is not a difficult thing to do. He has changed us and we recognize Him as Lord.

The lost do not have that opinion of Him. They struggle against His Word and they rebel against His will. They do not know Him because they do not know Him. Even though they rebel against Him, He is still Lord of all, and they will face Him one day in judgment.

Let those of us who know Him yield to His will for our lives. Let us happily bow to His authority in all things, and even when we do not understand what He is doing, let us trust that He can be trusted to do what is right all the time, and in every circumstance of life. He is Lord! Happy is the soul that respects and honors His Lordship!

 

Jerome

Charlotte Church – The Prayer – featuring Josh Groban

 

I pray you’ll be our eyes
And watch us where we go
And help us to be wise
In times when we don’t know

Let this be our prayer
As we go our way
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your Grace
To a place where we’ll be safe

La luce che to dai
I pray we’ll find your light
Nel cuore restero
And hold it in our hearts
A ricordarchi che
When stars go out each night
L’eterna stella sei
Nella mia preghiera
Let this be our prayer
Quanta fede see’e
When shadows fill our day
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace

Give us faith so we’ll be safe.
Sognamo un mondo senza piu violenza

Un mondo di giustizia e di speranza
Ognuno dia la mano al suo vicino
Simbolo di pace e di fraternita

La forza che ci dai
We ask that life be kind
E’il desiderio che
And watch us from above
Ognuno trovi amore
We hope each soul will find
Intorno e dentro a se
Another soul to love

Let this be our prayer
Let this be our prayer
Just like every child
Just like every child

Needs to find a place,
Guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we’ll be safe
E la fede che
Hai acceso in noi
Sento che ci salvera

Jerome

PLEASE HOLD FOR AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM GOD

Image result for John 3:16

 

The phone rang the other day and I answered it. After several seconds of silence, a voice on the other end of the line spoke and said: “Please hold for important information.” Well, I did just what most of you do when you get one of those wonderful calls from a telemarketer: I hung up! Of course, I never did find out what that important information was. I am sure that there was a message for me concerning the life-altering benefits of vinyl replacement windows. Or, maybe there was cold chill producing details regarding seamless guttering! Or maybe they were going to try and sell me spectacular movies that even my dog wouldn’t want to watch! Oh well, I guess I will never know, will I?

It seems that everyone has something to say to us today. Everyone wants us to lend them our ears while they fill us in on what they think, want or are doing. The news media wants your ear. Politicians want your ear. Advertisers want your ear. Most of these are words, opinions, and details we do not want to hear. However, there is One Person Who wants to tell you something that you really should take the time to listen to.

In this passage, the Lord Jesus brings us an important message from God His Father. He tells us something we really need to listen to this morning. You can hang up is you want to, but I would advise you to hold the line this morning. The Lord has something to say to you so, Please Hold For An Important Message From God

GOD HAS A MESSAGE FOR YOU ABOUT LOVE

The Source Of Love – Not human love which is biased and often impure as to its motives. Human love is selfish and is usually given out on the basis of what it can hope to receive in return! God’s love is not like this at all! His love is always pure, always holy, always seeking what is best for the object it loves. His love is given freely without the hope or desire for anything in return. God loves because He is love! His love is never-ending – Jer. 31:3. His love is always given first, 1 John 4:19. His love is precious beyond words!

The Scope Of Love – We are told that God “so loved the world”. The word “so” indicates the depth of His love. It describes the manner of His love for fallen men. It is a deep love that motivated Him to send His Son to die for the lost. This is uncommon love! This is God’s love! Notice the object of God’s great love: the world. By its very definition, this love is no ordinary love! It is a special love that seeks to give itself away on behalf of the objects loved. Of course, this should not surprise us, after all, to love is the very nature of God, 1 John 4:8, 16.

Friends regardless of the curve balls life may have delivered to you, you need to know today that God loves you! No one is beyond the scope of His love! The greatest thought to grip the human mind is this: “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so!”  The second greatest thought is this: There is nothing you can do to make Him stop loving you – Rom. 8:38-39!

The Sacrifice Of Love – The true value of love lies in what love is willing to give to the objects it loves. You see, God’s love is not static or self-centered! His love doesn’t just sit quietly by while men drop off into Hell! His love prompted Him to do something for the men He loves! Many love like the man who called his girlfriend and said, “Darling, I love you! I would cross the burning sands for you! I would fight a jungle full of lions for you! I would brave anything just to be with you because I love you! And, if it doesn’t rain tonight, I’ll be over to see you!

God’s love is seen in the gracious gift of His Son Jesus on the cross. The death of Jesus Christ for sinners is the greatest, most visible and the absolute final word concerning God’s love for humanity, Rom. 5:8, John 15:13! 1 John 4:9-10; Isa. 53:6; 1 Pet. 3:18; 1 John 3:16) Look no farther than the bloody cross of Calvary to see the extent of God’s love for you!

GOD HAS A MESSAGE FOR YOU ABOUT LIFE

The Worth Of Life – God was not content to see man lost in sin. He was not content to watch humanity march off into endless torment. God declared man worthy of His love! What grace! What love! Friends, we are not talking about people who are friendly to God! No! The Bible declares the lost man to be God’s enemy, Rom. 8:7! In spite of man’s sinful condition, in spite of the fact that natural man hates God and opposes all God stands for, God still saw value in human life!

The value we attach to life is seen in abortion, euthanasia and spiraling crime.) People around you may question your worth, but God declares you to be worth His Son! The Worry Of Life – God mentions the ultimate worry of life. He uses the word “perish”. This word means “to destroy, to give over to the misery of hell.” There is a worry greater than cancer, greater than losing a child in death, greater than losing a mate.

The most horrible thing that can happen to anyone is for them to live their entire life without a relationship with the Lord and the die and go to Hell! Nothing in this world or eternity beyond can compare with dying without Jesus Christ! Why? Because of what the Bible says to those who die without Him – Psa. 9:17; 2 Thes. 1:8-9. There is no thought more horrible than the thought of going to Hell, forever, with no hope of release or reprieve. Yet, that will be the fate of countless billions! (Note: Even religious people will be in Hell – Matt. 7:21-23! Is it possible that you might be in that number?

The Wonder Of Life – Not everyone will experience the flames of Hell! Those who are saved will enjoy “everlasting life”. They are in a state of being in which they can never die! Because they know Jesus, they know the Prince of Life and they are alive forevermore, John 11:25-26. Death may claim these bodies, but the spirits of the redeemed will live on with Jesus in Heaven, 2 Cor. 5:1-8; Phil. 1:23.

The difference between the saved man and the lost man lies in one word: Jesus, 1 John 5:12. Do you know Him? If you do, then you know all about the life I am trying to describe, because the moment you were saved, you became a partaker of His everlasting, eternal, new, heavenly life, John 10:10; 2 Cor. 5:17! If you are saved, you know what He did for you and you know whether or not He lives within! 

GOD HAS A MESSAGE FOR YOU ABOUT LIABILITY

There Is A Precise Liability – Jesus says here that the difference between the saved man who enjoys everlasting life and the lost man who perishes is all wrapped up in the idea of “belief”. Here is the plan of salvation in its simplest form: Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 16:31; John 3:16; Eph. 2:8-9! Everyone in this room is trusting in something or someone this morning! Only a fool wants to go to Hell.

Therefore, I believe that each person in this room has some hope of heaven, something that we believe in! You see, the saved man has trusted Jesus Christ, His finished work at the cross and His resurrection from the dead as his only hope of salvation. The lost man has not trusted Jesus, 1 John 5:12! He may trust many things, like works, religion, church membership, etc, but he is not trusting the one and only Person Who can save the soul!

There Is A Personal Liability – The truth of the matter is this: if you go to Hell, you will go because you did not trust Jesus Christ as your Savior! It will not be God’s fault. It will not be the church’s fault. You will not be able to blame your family or those hypocrites down at the church. If you die without Jesus, you will have no one to blame but yourself! Friends, your parents cannot make this decision for you!

Your spouse cannot decide this for you! Your friends cannot do, no one in this room can do it! If you want to be saved and go to Heaven when you leave this world, this is a decision you must make personally. If you leave this world without Jesus, one day, you will stand before God and be judged for your sins, Rev. 20:11-15. You will be sent away into the lake of fire to be tormented there forever. On that day, you will have no one to blame but yourself! There will be no one to point your finger at to blame.

The blame will rest squarely on your own shoulders! Here is what the Lord says about the matter: John 5:39-40; John 8:24! (Note: Dear friends, if you have never been saved, or if there is doubt in your minds today, please look to Jesus and trust Him! The Brazen Serpent – Num. 21:4-10; John 3:14-15! Those who simply looked in faith were made whole! Look and live dear friend, look and live!)

If you are saved, maybe you should get into the presence of the Lord and thank Him for the time He rang your number and changed your life! I praise His name that I did not hang up the day He called me! How about you?

Jerome

The True Origin of Christmas – BY DAVID C. PACK

Where did Christmas originate? From the Bible or paganism? What is the real origin of Santa Claus—mistletoe—Christmas trees—holly wreaths—and the custom of exchanging gifts? Many are concerned about putting “Christ back into Christmas.” Was He ever there? Here are the stunning answers!
Every year after Thanksgiving, most people’s thoughts turn to Christmas. It is the time when professing Christians are supposed to focus on Jesus Christ. After all, it is the “Christ-mass” season!

Christmas is thought by most to be a wonderful time, focusing the participants on giving, family togetherness, beautiful music, and decorations, feasting on special foods and singing Christmas carols throughout the neighborhood (as my family did every year). All of this is supposedly centered around the worship of Christ. Surely the Bible instructs us to do all this—right?

The answers will shock you!

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Why do people think that Christmas is wonderful? Most never reflect on why they believe what they believe or do what they do. We live in a world filled with customs, but few ever seek to understand their origin. We generally accept them without question. Most people basically do what everyone else does—because it is easy and natural!

Let’s carefully examine the roots of Christmas. Let’s look at why people follow the customs associated with it. Why is it kept on December 25th? Did the early New Testament Church keep it? This article is filled with facts from history that, when placed together, paint a complete picture. Let’s avoid all assumptions and only accept what can be PROVEN!

Pagan Origin

In 1990, the Solon, Ohio (a Cleveland suburb) school board banned all nativity and other Christmas scenes on any school property because they felt it violated the separation of church and state. They were challenged in court when outraged parents opposed them, feeling that Christmas was being stolen from their children and the community. The board lost the case! The citizenry had contended that Christmas was a worldwide tradition that was not part of, and transcended religion. It was deemed to be secular—a part of virtually all cultures worldwide.

The court decision affirmed that Christmas has no Christian roots! However, the court’s opinion also noted that Bible reading and prayer obviously are associated with Christ-ianity—a remarkable admission! The court concluded that Christmas-keeping and manger scenes could remain because they are not really part of either Christianity or religion—but prayer and Bible reading, which are, must remain excluded from schools!

Nearly all aspects of Christmas observance have their roots in Roman custom and religion. Consider the following admission from a large American newspaper (The Buffalo News, Nov. 22, 1984): “The earliest reference to Christmas being marked on Dec. 25 comes from the second century after Jesus’ birth. It is considered likely the first Christmas celebrations were in reaction to the Roman Saturnalia, a harvest festival that marked the winter solstice—the return of the sun—and honored Saturn, the god of sowing. Saturnalia was a rowdy time, much opposed by the more austere leaders among the still-minority Christian sect. Christmas developed, one scholar, says, as a means of replacing worship of the sun with worship of the Son. By 529 A.D., after Christianity had become the official state religion of the Roman Empire, Emperor Justinian made Christmas a civic holiday. The celebration of Christmas reached its peak—some would say its worst moments—in the medieval period when it became a time for conspicuous consumption and unequaled revelry.”

Consider these quotes from the Catholic Encyclopedia, 1911 edition, under “Christmas”: “Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church…the first evidence of the feast is from Egypt.” Further, “Pagan customs centering around the January calends gravitated to Christmas.” Under “Natal Day,” Origen, an early Catholic writer, admitted, “…In the Scriptures, no one is recorded to have kept a feast or held a great banquet on his birthday. It is only sinners (like Pharaoh and Herod) who make great rejoicings over the day in which they were born into this world” (emphasis mine).

The Encyclopedia Americana, 1956 edition, adds, “Christmas…was not observed in the first centuries of the Christian church since the Christian usage, in general, was to celebrate the death of remarkable persons rather than their birth…a feast was established in memory of this event [Christ’s birth] in the fourth century. In the fifth century the Western Church ordered the feast to be celebrated forever on the day of the Mithraic rites of the birth of the sun and at the close of the Saturnalia, as no certain knowledge of the day of Christ’s birth existed.”

There is no mistaking the origin of the modern Christmas celebration. Many additional sources could be cited and we will return to this later. Let’s begin to tie some other facts together.

It was 300 years after Christ before the Roman church kept Christmas, and not until the fifth century that it was mandated to be kept throughout the empire as an official festival honoring “Christ.”

Can Christ Be Honored by Christmas?

The most common justification that one will hear regarding Christmas is that people have replaced old pagan customs and intents by asserting that they are now “focusing on Christ.” I have heard many say that they are “honoring Christ” in their Christmas-keeping. The problem is that God does not say this is acceptable to Him! Actually, He plainly commands against it! Keeping Christmas dishonors Christ! He considers everything about it to be an abomination! We will soon see why.

Christ said, “But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matt. 15:9). Christmas is not a command of God—it is a tradition of men. Christ continued, “Full well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your own tradition” (Mark 7:9). Every year, throughout the world, on December 25th, hundreds of millions do just that!

We will see that God plainly commands, “Follow not the way of the heathen.” But most people do not fear God, and He allows them to make their own decisions. Human beings are free moral agents—free to obey or disobey God! But woe to those who ignore the plain Word of God!

Was Christ Born on December 25th?

Christ was born in the fall of the year. Many have mistakenly believed He was born around the beginning of winter—December 25th! They are wrong! Notice the Adam Clarke Commentary, volume 5, page 370, New York edition: “It was custom among Jews to send out their sheep to the deserts about the Passover [early spring], and bring them home at the commencement of the first rain.” The first rains began in early-to-mid fall. Continuing with this same quote: “During the time they were out, the shepherds watched them night and day. As…the first rain began early in the month of March-esvan, which answers to part of our October and November [begins sometime in October], we find that the sheep were kept out in the open country during the whole summer. And as these shepherds had not yet brought home their flocks, it is a presumptive argument that October had not yet commenced, and that, consequently, our Lord was not born on the 25th of December, when no flocks were out in the fields; nor could He have been born later than September, as the flocks were still in the fields by night. On this very ground, the nativity in December should be given up. The feeding of the flocks by night in the fields is a chronological fact…See the quotations from the Talmudists in Lightfoot.”

Luke 2:8 explains that when Christ was born, “there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.” Note that they were “abiding” in the field. This never happened in December. Both Ezra 10:9-13 and the Song of Solomon 2:11 show that winter was the rainy season and shepherds could not stay on cold, open fields at night.

Numerous encyclopedias plainly state that Christ was not born on December 25th! The Catholic Encyclopedia directly confirms this. In all likelihood, Christ was born in the fall! A lengthy technical explanation would prove this point.

Since we now know that December 25th was nowhere near Christ’s actual birthdate, where did the festival associated with this date come from?

Now read this quote under “Christmas”: “In the Roman world, the Saturnalia (December 17) was a time of merrymaking and exchanging of gifts. December 25 was also regarded as the birthdate of the Iranian mystery god Mithra, the Sun of Righteousness. On the Roman New Year (January 1), houses were decorated with greenery and lights, and gifts were given to children and the poor. To these observances were added the German and Celtic Yule rites when the Teutonic tribes penetrated into Gaul, Britain and central Europe. Food and good fellowship, the Yule log and Yule cakes, greenery and fir trees, gifts and greetings all commemorated different aspects of this festive season. Fires and lights, symbols of warmth and lasting life, have always been associated with the winter festival, both pagan and Christian” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 15th ed., vol. II, p. 903).

A final quote about the selection of December 25th as the birthdate of Christ is necessary. Note an article in The Toronto Star, December 1984, by Alan Edmonds, entitled, “We owe a lot to Druids, Dutch”: “The Reformation cast a blight on Christmas. By then, of course, clever ecclesiastical politicians had adopted the Pagan mid-winter festival as the alleged birthdate of Jesus, of Nazareth, and thrown in a few other Pagan goodies to make their takeover more palatable.”

December 25th was not selected because it was the birth of Christ or because it was even near it. It was selected because it coincided with the idolatrous pagan festival Saturnalia—and this celebration must be carefully examined. In any event, we do not know the exact date of Christ’s birth. While God certainly could have made it known, He chose to hide it from the world’s eyes!

What About Santa Claus?

Parents reason that they owe the whole Christmas myth to their children! Christmas traditions are focused primarily on kids, and they are certainly the center of most of what happens. I know because I kept seventeen Christmases. My older sister and younger brother and I were the recipients of much and the givers of very little on that day—and it all started with the Santa Claus lie.

Some years ago, a priest in New Jersey told his Sunday school class that Santa was a myth. The outrage from parents and his supervisors was swift. He had “killed Santa!” He had “destroyed family tradition!” He had “usurped family authority,” the article continued. He was officially censored by his superiors for being “overzealous and insensitive.”

His crime? He told the truth!

According to Langer’s Encyclopedia of World History, (article “Santa”), “Santa” was a common name for Nimrod throughout Asia Minor. This was also the same fire god who came down the chimneys of the ancient pagans and the same fire god to whom infants were burned and eaten in human sacrifice among those who were once God’s people.

Today Santa Claus comes from “Saint Nicholas.” Washington Irving, in 1809, is responsible for remaking the original old, stern bishop of this same name into the new “jolly St. Nick” in his Knickerbocker History of New York. (Most of the rest of America’s Christmas traditions are even more recent than this.) “Old Nick” has long been recognized as a term for the devil.

In Revelation 2:6 and 15, we read about a “doctrine of the Nicolaitanes,” which Christ twice tells His Church “[He] hates.” Let’s analyze the word Nicolaitane. It means “follower of Nicholas.” Nikos means “conqueror, destroyer.” Laos means “people.” Nicolaitanes, then, are people who follow the conqueror or destroyer—Nimrod. If you have believed that following Christmas is an innocent Christian custom, let this truth sink in!

Is It Scriptural to Exchange Gifts?

Merchants regularly report that over 60% of their annual retail sales occur during the Christmas shopping season. This represents a tremendous amount of gift buying. Most today believe that gift-giving comes from the Bible example of the “three wise men” (the Bible gives no number) presenting gifts to Christ. Is this true? Where did exchanging gifts come from, and what does God’s Word say about it?

The Bibliotheca Sacra states, “The interchange of presents between friends is a like characteristic of Christmas and the Saturnalia, and must have been adopted by Christians from the pagans, as the admonition of Tertullian plainly shows” (Vol. 12, pp. 153-155).

Like every other aspect of Christmas, the shocking truth is that even this supposed Christian custom does not come from the Bible. It is an irony that people love to believe they are following the custom of the wise men giving to Christ when actually they are giving almost exclusively to each other! What hypocrisy! Christ is completely forgotten.

The Bible actually teaches that Christians should not keep birthdays. Numerous scriptures make this principle clear. (Read our article “Are Birthday Celebrations, Christian?”) However, what if you went to a birthday party that had been prepared for you and everybody gave gifts to each other and you were left out? The idea is ridiculous! If this happened, you would say that people were being selfish and forgetting you. In fact, most people give to others on Christmas merely because they expect to receive gifts themselves!

Let’s briefly return to the “wise men” who gave gifts to Christ. The scripture describing this is Matthew 2:1-11: “Now 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, saying, Where is He that is born King of the Jews?… And when they have 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.”

It is commonly supposed that these were birthday presents for “baby Jesus.” But is this what the Bible actually says? Absolutely not! First, it is important to note that they did give gifts to Jesus. They did not stand in his presence and exchange gifts among themselves or give them to others. The gifts were “presented unto Him.” Also, they arrived well after his “birthday.” This is another reason these could not have been “birthday presents.”

A long-standing, ancient custom of the East was to present gifts when coming before a king. These men understood they were in the presence of the “King of the Jews.” The Bible carries many examples of people sending gifts to kings or presenting them upon arrival into their presence. This custom is common today when ambassadors or others come into the presence of a world leader.

Finally, notice what the Adam Clarke Commentary, volume 5, page 46, states about what really happened on this occasion: “Verse 11. They presented unto him gifts. The people of the east never approach the presence of kings and great personages, without a present in their hands. This custom is often noticed in the Old Testament, and still prevails in the east, and in some of the newly discovered South Seas Islands.” Gifts were customarily presented to kings.

What could be plainer?

Origin of the Christmas Tree

No article about Christmas is complete without some explanation of the “Christmas tree.” We have touched on it without directly focusing on it. The modern Christmas tree originated in Germany. But the Germans got it from the Romans, who got it from the Babylonians and the Egyptians.

The following demonstrates what the Babylonians believe about the origin of the Christmas tree: “An old Babylonish fable told of an evergreen tree which sprang out of a dead tree stump. The old stump symbolized the dead Nimrod, the new evergreen tree symbolized that Nimrod had come to life again in Tammuz! Among the Druids the oak was sacred, among the Egyptians it was the palm, and in Rome, it was the fir, which was decorated with red berries during the Saturnalia!” (Walsh, Curiosities of Popular Customs, p. 242).

Frederick J. Haskin’s Answers to Questions states, “The Christmas tree is from Egypt, and its origin dates from a period long anterior to the Christmas Era.” Did you know this—that the Christmas tree long preceded Christianity?

Most aspects of Christmas are not referred to in the Bible. Of course, the reason is that they are not from God—they are not part of the way He wants people to worship Him. The Christmas tree, however, is directly mentioned in the Bible! Turn to Jeremiah 10:2-5, “Thus says the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen…For the customs of the people are vain: for one cuts a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must need to 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.”

This plain description of the modern Christmas tree is clear. God directly refers to it as “the way of the heathen.” Just as directly, He commands His people to “learn not the way of the heathen,” calling these customs “vain.” Verse 23 adds a remarkable and powerful statement: “O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walks to direct his [own] steps.” God must teach people how to live. Man simply cannot figure out God’s ways for himself.

There is no room in Jeremiah 10 to believe, as some have tried to suggest, that because these trees are powerless of themselves, it is not really forbidden to have a Christmas tree. God condemns the putting up of pagan (Christmas) trees with this plain Bible command!

The Source of Holly Wreaths, Yule Logs and Mistletoe

The Encyclopedia Americana states, “The holly, the mistletoe, the Yule log…are relics of pre-Christian time.” In other words, paganism! The Yule log was commonly used in a rite of Teutonic nature worship.

Frederick Haskin further states, “The use of Christmas wreaths is believed by authorities to be traceable to the pagan customs of decorating buildings and places of worship at the feast which took place at the same time as Christmas.”

The Encyclopedia Britannica, under “Celastrales,” exposes the origin of the holly wreath: “European pagans brought holly sprays into their homes, offering them to the fairy people of the forests as refuge from the harsh winter weather. During the Saturnalia, the Roman winter festival, branches of holly were exchanged as tokens of friendship. The earliest Roman Christians apparently used holly as a decoration at the Christmas season.”

There are dozens of different types of holly. Virtually all of them come in male and female varieties—such as “Blue Prince and Blue Princess” or “Blue Boy and Blue Girl” or “China Boy and China Girl.” Female holly plants cannot have berries unless a nearby male plant pollinates them. It is easy to see why the holly wreath found its way into pagan rituals as a token of friendship and fertility!

Christmas is incomplete to many unless it involves “kissing under the mistletoe.” This pagan custom was natural on a night that involved much revelry done in the spirit of drunken orgies. Just like today, this “kissing” usually occurred at the beginning of any modern Saturnalia/Christmas celebration. I will never forget having to always kiss my friends’ mothers upon entering each of their houses every Christmas. It was the first thing that we did. I hated it—but it was something I “had to do”! Mistletoe was considered to have special powers of healing for those who “reveled” under it.

The Encyclopedia Britannica, under “Santalales,” states, “The European mistletoe is thought to have had special ritual significance in Druidical ceremonies and lives in folklore today, its special status as the Christmas mistletoe having come from Anglo-Saxon times.” Mistletoe is a parasite that lives on oak trees. (Recall that the Druids worshipped in oak tree groves.) The ancient Celtics (associated with the Druids) used to give mistletoe as an herbal remedy to barren animals to make them fertile. It is still referred to as “all healer” in Celtic.

Like mistletoe, holly berries were also thought to be sacred to the sun god. The original “sun log” came to be called the yule log. “Yule” simply means “wheel,” which has long been a pagan representation of the sun. No wonder people today commonly speak of the “sacred yule-tide season.”

What Should You Do?

Finally, let’s examine what God told His people they should do and the way they ought to teach their children.

Human beings do not want to obey God (Rom. 8:7). They would rather follow their own “imagination.” They do not understand that God wants their lives to go “well.” He wants happiness, joy, and blessings to flow into people’s lives. All these are the results of obeying Him.

God inspired Moses to warn parents of the grave responsibility that they have in what and how they teach their children. Notice His instruction in Deuteronomy 6:1, 6-7, 20-21, 25: “Now these are the commandments…which the LORD your God commanded to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you go to possess it…And these words, which I command you this day, shall be in your heart: And you shall teach them diligently unto your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up…And when your son asks you in time to come, saying, What mean the testimonies, and the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD our God has commanded you? Then you shall say unto your son, We were Pharaoh’s bondmen in Egypt, and the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand…And it shall be our righteousness if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as He has commanded us.”

God took Israel out of Egypt—out of the customs of the world around them and revealed His Law to them. He does not want His people going back to the traditions, customs and ways from which He has called them.

When all of the interconnected traditions, filled with the symbolism of worshipping an ancient pagan, humanly devised god, are taught, this is not worshipping the true Creator.

The prophet Isaiah was inspired to write, “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet, and show My people their transgression” (58:1). I have done this.