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The Real Reason for the Season (excerpts)

By Edward Levi Nydle

 

According to history no one really knows the origin of Christ-Mass. But, we do know from Scripture that the early Nazarenes did not celebrate the birth of Messiah Yahshua. Luke does record in his Gospel that Yahshua was born in the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius. However, no month or day is given in his account. According to Hebraic tradition and ritual, birthdays were not celebrated by the Jewish people at the time of the Second Temple.

 

The date of the birth of Yahshua was not set for certain by the early so-called “Church” fathers. Even by the end of the second century, no date was set. Therefore, the early “church” never acknowledged the birth of the Messiah, nor could they even agree on the date.

 

The early Nazarenes never celebrated a feast called Christ-Mass. But, we do have clear record of the observance of Passover and Shavuot until the fourth century.

 

Within the Christian Church, no such festival as Christmas was ever heard of till the third century, and that not till the fourth century was far advanced did it gain much observance. For over 350 years the Believers never celebrated His birth.

 

That brings us to the question: “Why did Christians begin to celebrate Christ-Mass after the fourth century?” On account of the pagans and their customs coming into the community of Believers, leaders compromised and adopted Roman religious festivals into their calendar.

 

The meeting of Christians and Pagans half-way developed early; and we find Tertullian, even in about the year 230, bitterly lamenting the inconsistency of the disciples of [Messiah] in this respect, and contrasting it with the strict fidelity of the Pagans to their own superstition.

 

"By us," says he, "who are strangers to Sabbaths, and new moons, and festivals, once acceptable to Elohim, the Saturnalia, the feasts of January, the Brumalia, and Matronalia, are now frequented; gifts are carried to and fro, new year's day presents are made with ruckus, and sports and banquets are celebrated with uproar; oh, how much more faithful are the heathen to their religion, who take special care to adopt no solemnity from the Christians. Upright men strive to stem the tide, but in spite of all their efforts, the apostasy went on, till the Church, with the exception of a small remnant, was submerged under Pagan superstition.”

 

That Christmas is a Pagan festival is beyond all doubt. According to the Calendar of Julius Caesar set in 45 BCE, December was the month of the winter solstice. The Romans called this Brumalia. To establish the divinity of the Emperor, the Roman government incorporated the celebration of the sun / solstice to prove his divinity.  December 25th was decreed as Dies Natalis Invicti Solis, The Birthday of the Unconquered Sun, by Emperor Aurelian (270-275CE). This was carried on by Diocletian, Constantine, and Julian, all three being rabid persecutors of the Nazarenes.

 

But Brumalia lacked the excitement of religious ritual that the people wanted. They added their pagan rites of Mithraism from Iran to supply the rituals and brotherhood needed to make this date appeal to the people.  These included blood rituals and gross pornographic practices.  These practices continue today (as proven on the internet).

 

 Chrysostom (398-403CE) announced that Christ-Mass replaced the celebration of Brumalia:

 

“On this day also the Birthday of Christ was lately fixed at Rome in order that while the heathen were busy with their profane ceremonies the Christians might perform their sacred rites undisturbed. They call this (December 25th), the Birthday of the Solar Disc, but Christ the Sun of Righteousness.”

 

Besides Brumalia and the Rites of Mithras, Saturnalia (December 17-24), also was another factor in the picking of the date of December 25th by the Roman Church. The celebration of Saturnalia was in honor of the hope of the return of the Golden Age of Rome.

 

It was no mere astronomic festival, then, that the Pagans celebrated at the winter solstice. That festival at Rome was called the feast of Saturn …. The feast, as regulated by Caligula, lasted five days; loose reins were given to drunkenness and revelry. Hislop, Two Babylons, pg. 95

 

Saturnalia was celebrated by a stopping of all work and the schools were dismissed throughout the Roman Empire. Public buildings were decked with flowers and shrubs. Gifts were sent and received between friends and family. It was a time of great drunkenness and pornographic rituals.

 

A letter from Pope Gregory 1 advised Augustine of Canterbury to encourage the people to observe these harmless pagan customs that were capable of “Christian “interpretations. The use of evergreen trees after the custom of the Roman Saturnalia was permitted and even encouraged by the Pope. This was done to satisfy the masses of heathens in the Church. Thus, the Church allowed the use of occultic pagan symbols and practices to keep the people happy in the Christian faith.  This extends today with the Chrismon Tree and a host of other abominable carryovers.  (See Jeremiah 10:1-4, 2:20, 3:6)

 

Along with evergreens were holly berries and mistletoe. Holly was placed in the windows to attract the forest demons. Mistletoe (also known as the Golden Bough), was believed to hold magical powers. Druids called mistletoe “all-heal” and claimed it held several occult powers. It was used in many rituals by the Druids.

 

Homes and buildings of so-called Believers continue to be decorated in exactly the same manner as the ancient Saturnalia. It is strange that those who claimed to have the Spirit of Truth are lead into such gross error. At least the American Puritans had the sense to outlaw the celebration of Saturnalia / Christmas, recognizing its origins – and the supernatural power that continues to keep its adherents in cultic bondage.[1][3]

 

Can we make kadosh (holy) a pagan holiday by using it for “witnessing” of the Messiah?  What does YHWH say about borrowing pagan symbols and celebrations for His worship?  And what if the pagan symbols of Christ Mass have changed over the centuries for people?  Can’t this holiday be used for good?

 

The term “syncretism” means “to attempt union or reconciliation of two diverse or opposite tenants or practices in religion.”  Such is what Scripture considers an impure mixture.

 

YHWH does not accept syncretism. The term KADOSH (set-apart) means separation from the profane. Throughout the Scriptures, YHWH’s people were to separate themselves form the pagan religions and customs of the lands around them.  Elohim took a people for Himself, and set them apart to Himself. They were to be different and keep YHWH’s Holy Days as given in the Torah.

 

According to Torah, Yisrael was forbidden to make impure mixture. This included cloth, seed, and animals. No admixture was allowed.  But is there something morally wrong in mixing two kinds of seeds? No! The message YHWH was communicating is that there was to be absolutely no “heart-mixture.”  HIS were to love HIM with all their heart, soul, and strength. All religious mixture is forbidden.

 

This is not saying that people who celebrate XMass are knowingly worshiping false gods. However, they have been greatly deceived and misled to believe that YHWH looks favorably upon rituals and rites taken from paganism, idolatry and pornographic practices. They also believe it is fine to keep these pagan holidays if they put “Christ” into them.

 

However, dressing a pig in a tuxedo does not change that fact this mixture is still a pig!  By accepting and practicing the customs of one’s culture and community without first testing them against the Word of YHWH, people are unknowingly violating the Torah and Words of YHWH.

 

It is also clear, according to Scripture, that YHWH does not always punish syncretism by His people immediately. This is shown in Scripture by the history of Yisrael and their slow downward spiral taking place over centuries before their exile from the Land. The real danger of syncretism is that it leads to increasing compromise in matters of obedience to YHWH and His Torah. The worship of Baal and Easter in the Temple of YHWH did not take place overnight. It began by accepting a little at a time things which differed from the true worship of the Elohim of Yisrael, Yahweh.

 

I do not celebrate XMass because I am convinced it is a substitute for many pagan holidays and it is steeped in paganism and is syncretistic in nature. All the symbols associated with XMass, such as the tree, reindeer, elves, holly, yule logs, mistletoe, and the lie of Santa are still attached to the demonic womb from which they were birthed.  But, even more important, XMass has robbed the Believer in Messiah of the true roots of their faith and heritage. XMass is a time when Yisrael and the world are united in a common pagan celebration.  The result is that there is no visible distinction between the holy and the profane.

 

 “And if it seems evil in your eyes to serve YHWH, choose for yourselves this day whom you are going to serve, whether the mighty ones which your fathers served that were beyond the River, or the mighty ones of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But I and my house, we serve YHWH.” 16And the people answered and said, “Far be it from us to forsake YHWH, to serve other mighty ones.” Joshua 24:15

 

 

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