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.

Jerome

Fred Hammond & RFC – You Are the Living Word

 

“You Are The Living Word”

Bread of life sent down from glory
Many things you were on earth
A Holy King, a carpenter
You are the Living Word

Bread of Heaven sent down from glory
Many things you were on earth
A Holy King, a carpenter
You are the Living Word [x2]  

Awesome ruler, gentle Redeemer
God with us, the Living Truth
And what a friend we have in you
You are the Living Word [x2]

(But when we put it all together this is what we like to call You…)

Jesus, Jesus! That’s what we call you
Manger born, put on a tree
You died to save humanity
You are the Living Word [x4]

Oh oh oh
You are the Living Word [x3]

Jesus, Jesus! That’s what we call You
Jesus, Jesus Oh, oh
You are the Living Word [x3 then fade]

Jerome

JESUS: THE WORD OF GOD – John 1:1-15

The Gospel of John was penned by the aged Apostle in about 85 AD. It was the last of the four Gospels to be written. By the time this book was circulated among the Christian community, the other Gospels were household words. People the world over had already the accounts of the life of Christ as recorded by Matthew, Mark, and Luke. These first three Gospels are called the Synoptic Gospels. The word “synoptic” means “to see together.” This means that the first three Gospels contain many of the same stories and teachings, but told from a different angle. Yet, each fully inspired by the Lord.

John’s Gospel is different! In the pages of this wonderful book, we see a side of Christ that the other Gospel writers do not touch on. John was part of that blessed inner circle. That handful of Disciples that was with Christ during some of His most intimate moments. In this Gospel, John gives us 21 blessed chapters. Chapters that, as each unfolds, presents a new facet of His divine character. As time goes by, I intend to preach from each of these portraits of Christ that John gives us. We will call this series Portraits Of Christ In John’s Gallery.

Let’s look together at Jesus: The Word Of God. Three truths are revealed in these verses about the Word of God.

V. 1-3 JESUS IS THE PREEXISTENT WORD

V. 1a He Is The Constant Word – According to this verse, Jesus has simply always existed! He didn’t come into being in Bethlehem, but He has been here throughout all the endless ages of eternities past. Was in verse 1 = “always has been.” Contrast this with was in verse 6. This word used concerning John the Baptist means simply “to become.” John became, but Jesus always has been! Thank God He is the constant, unchanging Word of God – Heb. 13:8. That is why Christian can depend on Jesus. He will never fail us nor leave us – Heb. 13:5.

V. 1b He Is The Communing Word – This phrase says that Jesus “was with God.” That is, He was present in the heavenly in the presence of God, yet He stood as a distinct Person. When this phrase is taken alongside the other 2 in this verse, the reality of the Trinity is on display. This verse teaches us that Jesus is God, yet He is still a unique being.

Jesus Christ wasn’t an afterthought with God. He wasn’t something conjured up when things got out of control. Jesus was there when God moved to make man in His image – Gen. 1:26. Jesus was there in Heaven when the plan to redeem the world was formulated – Rev. 13:8; Eph. 1:4; Titus 1:2; 1 Pet. 1:19-20. Since before time began Jesus was with the Father in Heaven.

V. 1c He Is The Controversial Word – When Jesus came preaching repentance, Mark 1:15, men thought He was strange. When He began to heal and perform miracles, men thought He was a prophet sent by God, John 3:2. When He spoke the Word of God with power, men thought He was amazing, Luke 4:36. However, when Jesus claimed equality with God, men thought He was crazy, John 19:7. He stopped being a blessing and became a controversy when He claimed to be God, John 14:9, “Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?”

Men still grapple with these truths! They are willing to accept the humble Christ, the teaching Christ, the meek Christ, the dead Christ, the serving Christ. However, they will not give acknowledgment to the God/Man Jesus Christ. He is still 100 percent God and 100 percent man all wrapped up in one. It is best summed up by Paul in Phil. 2:5-8. In these amazing verses, the Apostle sets forth in clear, concise language, the fact that Jesus existed before Bethlehem. He willingly humbled Himself and came to this world in the condition of a servant. (Form = condition) Jesus is God in human flesh! 

V. 3 He Is The Creative Word – This verse tells us that Jesus was the energy behind the creation of the universe. He spoke and it was! He stood on the edge of nothing and spoke all this into existence, Col. 1:16-17.

I am grateful that this God is my God, that this Savior is my Savior! I am glad that I can know Him the free pardon of sin and that salvation is in His control. The worries and pressures of life begin to grow amazingly dim when confronted with the power and might of our all-powerful Savior – Matt. 28:18!

These four truths, taken as one give us the clear teaching that Jesus is the pre-existent Word of God. He has always been and He always will be! Thank God, there will never be a day throughout eternity that doesn’t include Jesus! No matter where we wind up, or what we have to face as we travel through this world, we can rest assured that the pre-existent One is, and always will be, there for us. He is the pre-existent Word of the Living God!

V. 14 JESUS IS THE PERSONALIZED WORD

This verse is one of the clearest in all the Bible regarding the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. Incarnation being a fifty-cent word that simply means “the bodily manifestation of a supernatural being.”

The Manner Of His Incarnation – This verse tells us that “The Word became flesh and dwelled among us.” The manner of His incarnation is a mystery. How could God become a man? The answer to this question lies in the mind of God alone. All we know is that God chose a virgin named Mary and caused her to miraculously conceive and bring forth a baby. I do know that on that night when Jesus was born, God had come to earth. Somehow, the Word became flesh! While Jesus himself had existed from all eternities past, He took upon Himself a robe of flesh there in Bethlehem. The Creator was born to the creature. God placed His life in the hands of mortals. My what a scene that must have been!

This verse says that God “dwelled” among us. That word is rich in meaning. It literally means that Jesus pitched His tent here among mortals. He lived among us, worked among us, prayed among us, suffered among us and died among us. God walked upon the earth and was unrecognized by many who came into close contact with Him. What a tragedy that men came in contact with the Savior and still failed to recognize Him.

The Mystery Of His Incarnation – The word was “made” flesh. This word carries the meaning “to appear in history, to step onto the stage.” There in Bethlehem, God stepped out of eternity and onto the stage of human history. He came a tangible proof of the existence of God and of God’s willingness to save mankind. When He was here on earth and through the record left to you and me, we can see that Jesus came to this world to reveal God to man. He did this through the medium of His flesh – 1 John 1:1. Often, I envy those men, then I remember the words of Jesus – John 20:24-29. Not everyone who saw Jesus on this earth came to faith in Him!

The Majesty Of His Incarnation – “We beheld His glory” John actually saw the glory of Jesus in a very real sense. In Matthew 17, John, along with James and Peter accompanied Jesus upon a mountainside. There Jesus allowed the veil of His flesh to be pulled aside and He revealed the glory that was concealed beneath. Jesus concealed His heavenly fame within an earthly frame. However, His greatest glory was revealed the day He allowed Himself to be nailed to a cross and died for sinners. On Calvary, the glory of God was in sharp focus! After all, That was the reason Jesus left the halls of Heaven and came to live among men. He took upon Himself a robe of flesh so that He might be able to die for mankind. That is what He did for each and every one of us this evening. To me the greatest evidence of the glory of God is the broken body of Jesus Christ has demonstrated His love for me in the clearest of terms, Rom. 5:8.

V. 18 JESUS IS THE PROCLAIMING WORD

According to this verse, Jesus came to reveal God to man. The word “declare” means “to unfold.” Everything the Lord did was simply in an effort to unfold more of the revelation of God to man. Men needed to see God not just as a Lawgiver, but also as a lover. Not only as a judge but as a justifier. Not as some stern, hateful being, but as a saving, caring God. Jesus did just this by His life – John 14:7-9; Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:3. Jesus came to put God on display before men and He did this in two primary ways.

V. 4-9 He Came To Proclaim Light – He came to a world in spiritual darkness and opened the curtains of grace revealing the truth of God to men wandering in darkness. Jesus came to illuminate the pathway of men toward God. This light will accomplish one of two things. It will either cause men to repent of their sins and run to the opened arms of the Lord, or it will cause them to reject the light and continue on their course of darkness. One will lead to salvation, the other will lead to damnation! John 3:36!

Thank God for the light that He gave fallen man! Now, we do not have to be bound by the stringent rules of Law but are free to respond to the lovely pleadings of grace. And, praise the Lord, this light reaches out to all men – v. 9! Even me!

V. 10-13 He Came To Proclaim Life – Jesus came to His people, who had His Word and were living in His promised land. He came to tell then that there was a way to come to the Father and to experience eternal life. In what may be the saddest verse in the Bible, they refused this call from the sinner’s friend to come to Him. However, verse 12-13 makes it clear that anyone who will respond positively to the light of God and will come to Jesus and receive Him into their heart and life will experience the new birth and will enter into eternal life.

John makes it clear in verse 13 that this life comes not by our natural birth (not by blood), not by our own good works (not the will of the flesh), not the work of another, (the will of man), but only through the will of God. And, just what is the will of the Father? John 6:36-40! There is only one entrance into life and that is through the Son of God. He is the Door, John 10:9; and He is the Way, John 14:6. If anyone will enter into life, they will enter through Jesus!

I can’t say that I understand all these truths that are contained in this passage, but I can say that I like them pretty good! I just praise the Lord for revealing Himself and His Father to people like us. I am glad that an old sinner like myself can come to Jesus by simple faith and can be eternally saved by His grace. I may not know a lot about this old Book, but I am glad I know the Word of God personally. How about you? If you have never met Jesus in the free pardon of sin, now is your time. Jesus stands ready to reveal the Father to you. He waits for you to respond to His light so He can give you of His life. Will you do what you need to do this evening and come to Jesus?

Jerome

STAND UP and FIGHT THE BATTLE by David Wilkerson

How many Christians call themselves warriors but have never been
tested or trained? We hear about the many prayer warriors in this
nation. But the sad truth is, the vast majority of them have never
been trained — they’re not ready to fight. Many true believers refuse
to fight the devil or do battle against his kingdom.

When God does find a believer with a hunger and a desire for his
blessing, he puts him into the ring to learn to fight. The Lord is
going to need well-trained warriors who will prevail over all the
powers of hell in his last hour of warfare.

Right now God is doing a quick work in his remnant — it’s called
crisis training. These tested saints in this training are becoming
the captains of his last-day army. God is putting the Holy Ghost fight
in them and he is bringing forth warriors who are tested and tried,
because they’ve wrestled with God, just as Jacob did (see Genesis 32:24-32).

This kind of training calls for physical discipline as well as spiritual.
Jacob threw his whole body into the battle, all his human ability.
A fighting spirit had risen up in him and, Scripture says, “He
struggled with the Angel and prevailed” (Hosea 12:4). This verse
has great meaning for all who want to prevail in prayer. It says
Jacob prevailed and won the battle. If you’re going to prevail in
these last days, you’re going to have to put all your strength into it.

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks
about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him”
(1 Peter 5:8-9).

Many Christians expect God to somehow save their family,
reconcile relationships, do miracles, all at no cost to them. They
just want to rest in their rocking chair and “believe God for it all.”
But this matter of prevailing in prayer — “breaking through” to
God, getting answers and seeing results — is going to cost your
flesh something.

God wants you to lay hold of Him because He loves you. He wants
you to claim all his blessings. Rise up in faith and lay hold of His
promises. Stand up and fight. You have his strength so use it!

~Source-

http://world.convio.net/site/R?i=GwDMpQxadCEOWNs9kFkswQ

Jerome

You Are Faithful by Jared Reynolds

 

You are faithful, You are faithful
Every day in every way
You are faithful, You are faithful to me.

Yeah yeah, to me
Oh You oh God
You oh God, Eternal are my refuge
Just and true are all of Your ways.

You’re the only constant in my ever-changing world
I put my hope in You, I put my trust in You.

You are faithful, You are faithful
Every day, in every way
You are faithful, You are faithful to me.

No matter how dark it gets, You are my Light
Why should I be afraid?.

You’re the only constant in my ever-changing world
I put my hope in You, I put my trust in You.

You are faithful, You are faithful
Every day, in every way
You are faithful, You are faithful to me