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From: What Ever Happened To Christmas?

Jim_Alaska

2,118 views

On 9/20/2014 at 7:11 PM, Jim_Alaska said:
 

The Great Deception

James Foley



 

Text: 2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.




Introduction:

1. There is a great deception that has spread throughout the whole world. Exposing this deception is not going to make me, or anyone else that preaches it very popular with the world and sad to say, we will not be very popular with some of God’s people either. The reason is simplicity itself, for this particular deception has come about through so called Christianity. Although it did not originally start with Christianity, it has been adopted and perpetuated by so called Christians and even by our beloved Baptist churches in the last century.

This particular deception is so insidious that virtually no one even thinks to question its teaching. PrOBably the most insidious aspect of this deception is that it is so ingrained in our culture and even our churches, that we see no reason to question it. It comes to us in the form of truth, is believed by pastors, teachers and even the Bible colleges that have trained them. To the un-churched masses it is unquestionably “religious”. While it needs to be pointed out that this deception is religious at its roots, it must also be pointed out that it is false religion, not Bible truth, nor is it Bible based.

It is deeply rooted in Pagan religion and can be directly traced back to the worship of Baal, which is vehemently spoken against by God and His prophets. At this point you might be thinking that you have never heard anything Pagan in your church services; but you would be wrong. You have been deceived just like so many others. This Paganism wears a veneer of Christianity. Remember that a veneer makes one material look like something quite different, many times it covers something quite ugly. This is a very apt description of my subject today, which, if you have not guessed it yet, is Christmas.

It may come as a surprise to most, but the original OBservance of this holiday has nothing to do with Jesus Christ. It does, however, have everything to do with the Pagan Roman god Sol Invictus, the Sun god, and with the false “Christ” of apostate Christendom and the Roman Catholic Mass.

As far as churches OBserving this holiday, it has come down to us through time, first through the Catholic Church and then through her daughters the Protestants. This should not be a surprise because God shows us the true identity and character of this supposed church: Rev 17:5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

a. We have supposed Christmas to be the chief of the Christian holidays. Without asking questions, we have blindly assumed that Christmas must be one of the principal teachings and commands of the New Testament. Nothing could be further from the truth. Christmas is not as much as MENTIONED anywhere in the New Testament. It was never OBserved by Paul, the apostles, or the early true Christian Church! We are never told to OBserve the birth of Christ as a holiday, or even a religious day. As a matter of fact, by contrast we are commanded to OBserve His death as a continual memorial.
1Cor 11:26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.

b. Few realize and would be shocked to know, that Christmas was not officially celebrated by the first church at Jerusalem, Baptists, or Pilgrims, Puritans, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and other Protestant denominations until the second half of the 19th Century.

Until the recent era you would not be able to find a Baptist who would have anything to do with this pagan feast. It has now become a “sacred cow” in many “Baptist” churches, and woe be to the one who speaks a word against any of them.

The Puritans, Baptists, Quakers, Presbyterians, Calvinists and other denominations brought the opposition to Christmas to early New England and strong opposition to the holiday lasted in America until the middle of the 18th century.

2. In many of our churches today, those who preach what they call a Christmas message will readily admit that Dec. 25th. is not the birthday of Jesus. They will rightly tell the church that no one actually knows the date of His birth because the Bible does not tell us. This alone should give pause to the celebration of Christmas. Why OBserve unscriptural fables, or worse something that has its roots in the worship of the Babylonian god Baal? We teach of the birth of Christ, for it is Scriptural, but nowhere are we told to celebrate it.

a. How is it then, that up until 150 years ago the truth of Christmas was known among Baptists, but now, 150 years later we accept it like it was Gospel? The answer is that Satan has instituted a master piece of deception. He has succeeded in convincing Christians that Christmas is a holy day. Every successive generation has grown up with this thinking. The church no longer condemns it; the world has even bought into this great deception, so it is all around us on every side.

Jesus said that the church is the pillar and ground of the truth, and so it is. But if the truth is not preached or reinforced Scripturally, then how are the generations that follow to recognize truth from error? God told us how to deal with this sort of heresy. But in these last days before Jesus returns we have become complacent. 2Pe 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

b. The Bible tells us in no uncertain terms how men of God are to deal with things of this nature: Isa 58:1 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of JacOB their sins.
If we couple this verse with our original verse in the beginning of this lesson, we will be a long way down the road to being the pillar and ground of the truth. 2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

We cannot possibly cry aloud and show God’s people their sins until we first see them as sins. In order to do this our eyes must be opened and we must not be a part of those very sins. We cannot be a part of this present evil world and also condemn it at the some time, this is hypocrisy. The Scripture commands us to “come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” 2Cor 6:17

I would like to show you the real historical facts concerning Christmas, like where it came from, how it came to be and how it became entrenched in our churches. You can find lots of information regarding Christmas and its origin in any encyclopedia.

c. Of course we can trace this custom back even further than the Pagans. We can trace it all the way back to Babylon. In ancient Babylon, the feast of the Son of Isis (Goddess of Nature) was celebrated on December 25. Raucous partying, gluttonous eating and drinking, and gift-giving were traditions of this feast. This is where the modern OBservance of Christmas on the 25th. of December comes from originally.

The word "Christmas" literally means "Mass of Christ" or, as it later became shortened, "Christ-Mass." Ironically, in the Roman Catholic Church the word, “Mass” means “death”. It came to us as a Roman Catholic mass. And where did they get it? From the HEATHEN celebration of December 25th, as the birthday of Sol Invictus the SUN GOD! It is, actually, an ancient rite of BAALISM, which the Bible condemns as the most abominable of all idolatrous worship!

There are many other things that go along with Christmas that are unquestionably Pagan in origin and can be traced back to Babylon and the worship of the Sun God Sol Invictus. We don’t have the time in one lesson to deal with all of them, but to simply name a few they are; The Christmas Tree, Holly, The Yule Log, Mistle Toe and even Santa Clause.
Jer 10:2 Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
3 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.
4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.

3. Someone may say, “but we are not really worshiping Pagan Gods and their customs, we are just following the customs we have been brought up with from childhood.” But Scripture is very clear regarding God’s people following the ways of the heathen.
Deut. 12:30 Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? Even so will I do likewise.
31 Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.

When God’s people went into the lands that God gave them, they were instructed to utterly destroy anything to do with the worship of the people of those lands.
This is why God told Israel to cut down the groves, destroy the idols and altars of the heathen and not take their daughters to wife. It is all too easy to fall into the ways of the heathen if everything was left in place just because it was expedient. We see this time and time again in the history of Israel; The Bible tells us that the people did evil in the sight of the Lord again. They were continually drawing away from God and toward false gods simply because the false gods and false religion was starkly “in their face”, so to speak.

a. The plain truth is that Christmas is NOT Christ's birthday at all! And this festival, important as it seems to so many, is not Christian. Even secular history records this holiday as Pagan.

There is not one word in the New Testament, or anywhere in the Bible, telling us to OBserve Christmas. The Christians of the first century, under the inspired teachings of Peter and Paul and the other apostles, never OBserved it. There is NO BIBLE AUTHORITY for its OBservance, strange as it may seem. Christmas was not among the earliest teaching of the church. It was not instituted by Christ or the apostles, or by Bible authority — it was picked up by the Roman Catholic Church afterward from Paganism.

This is what the bible calls another gospel: Gal 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

b. Recognized historic authorities show Christmas was NOT OBserved by Christians for the first two or three hundred years — a period longer than the entire history of the United States as a nation! It got into the Western, or Roman Church, by the FOURTH century A.D. It was not until the FIFTH century that the Roman Church ordered it to be celebrated as an official "Christian" festival! But if Christmas is really a Christian holiday, then why isn't it even mentioned ONCE in the entire Bible, especially the New Testament? Why are the apostles totally silent about OBservance of this day? Where did it really come from, and how and when did it enter the professing Church?

c. The answer to this question is much the same as for many of the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church. In their quest to convert the pagans and bring them into the church, they found it convenient to allow the Pagans to bring in their customs and festivals. Consequently the Roman church officially sanctioned these and made them their own.

And that is how "Christmas" got into our so-called Christianity! We may call it by another NAME, but it's the same old pagan sun-worshipping festival still! The only CHANGE is in what we CALL IT! You can call a rabbit a "LION," but it's a RABBIT, just the same.
Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

d. Now it is true that most Christians have bought into this lie through ignorance, there is another great Bible truth to be realized in this respect. There are sins of ignorance and there are also presumptuous sins. A person sins through ignorance when he simply doesn’t know that what he is doing is a sin. But a presumptuous sin comes about once a person knows the truth and chooses to continue on in what God has revealed as sin.
Here are two examples of this truth.

Num 15:27 And if any soul sin through ignorance, then he shall bring a she goat of the first year for a sin offering.
28 And the priest shall make an atonement for the soul that sinneth ignorantly, when he sinneth by ignorance before the LORD, to make an atonement for him; and it shall be forgiven him.

Num 15:30 But the soul that doeth ought presumptuously, whether he be born in the land, or a stranger, the same reproacheth the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people.
31 Because he hath despised the word of the LORD, and hath broken his commandment, that soul shall utterly be cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him.
God is serious about sin among His people. But He is also loving, just and righteous. We see in these two verses both a provision for sins of ignorance, as well as righteous condemnation for sins committed when a person knows better.

Although many churches and pastors may be ignorant of the origins of Christmas, they may be guilty of a presumptuous sin if they continue in it once they have known the truth. Some continue to OBserve this holiday out of expedience and a sense of not wanting to make people uncomfortable.

Some even justify OBserving Christmas by saying that this is one of only a couple of days that unbelievers flock to churches to hear a Christmas message. God does not compromise His Word in this manner and a church that will give in to this compromise is in danger of losing its place as a church. Jesus said this to the church at Ephesus:
Rev 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

When God removes the candlestick from a church it has lost its power. The candlestick is symbolic of the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. In Revelation we see seven candlesticks that represent the seven churches of Asia. To remove one of the candlesticks is to remove that church.

e. There is nothing wrong with preaching the Gospel on this pagan holiday, just don’t call it a Christmas message. After all, the Gospel includes the birth of the Savior as well as His substitutionary death for our sins. But make it clear that we are not preaching this on this day because it is the birthday of Christ, we are preaching it because it is the Gospel. Do away with all the trappings of Christmas; wreaths, ribbons, bows, Christmas trees, ornaments, manger scenes and all the things that go to make up a traditional Christmas scene. They are all idols and the Bible speaks expressly about making idols, or images of anything in heaven or earth. The manger scenes set up at Christmas time are not only an abomination as idols; they are also inaccurate. The wise men pictured did not find Jesus in a manger; they found him three years later in a house. Mat 2:11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

Exo 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:

These things have no place in the church of The Living God. To incorporate elements of Pagan idolatry into the worship of our God “is to change the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.”

 

 


Source: What Ever Happened To Christmas?

 

 



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    • "Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts" (Proverbs 21:2 KJV). The Bible is written to God's people. The message is primarily directed to the believer, but from time-to-time, God points to the unbeliever and says, "This is for you." Verse 2 seems to be one of those verses, though it can certainly also be applied to a disobedient believer, whether Old Testament saint or New Testament Blood-washed believer. Ask almost any man and he will tell you that he is a decent fellow. Often when asked if they know they are going to heaven they will answer, "Of course!" When pushed for the reason they are sure, they respond with, "Well, I'm a good person. I go to church, I donate to charity, I follow the golden rule in my life." The basis of their belief is that being good is the only requirement for gaining God's presence. This verse takes that man's belief and shreds it to pieces. He thinks he is good in his own eyes, because he has only himself to compare with. God's Word sets up Jesus Christ as the One to Whom we are to judge our own life against, and when we do that, we must admit that we fall far, far short of His perfection. The Lord ponders our heart . . . He can see it just as it is, and He can see us just as we are. The truth is, though, that even a man knows his own heart and knows that if the truth were known--he would be ashamed of what folks would see. The Old Testament Law can only reveal the justice and judgment of God. God gave us the whole Bible to find His grace and love as well. God's greatest expression of love is found at a hill that looked very much like a human skull where Jesus Christ died a cruel death to exchange the vileness of our own heart for the beauty of a new creature in Him. Come to the cross, and let God give you a new heart! "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh" (Ezekiel 36:26 KJV). Lord, let us love the lost in the same way that you loved us. Amen.
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      In His arms He'll take and shield thee-Thou wilt find a solace there. -Joseph Scriven, written 1855 Joseph Scriven knew heartache and devastation first hand. As a young man his hopes and dreams vanished on the day before his wedding when he watched in horror as the lifeless body of his beloved was pulled from the water where she had drowned. Sorrow overwhelmed him, yet in the months and years that followed, Scriven turned repeatedly to the only Friend who would never leave him. Although he battled loneliness and depression for the rest of his life, he never let go of the hand of his Savior. Scriven knew that Jesus cared and that He was acquainted with loneliness and sorrow. This man knew that he could take his grief to Jesus and find strength and peace that no one else could give. Years later Scriven took what he had learned through his pain and put it into the words of a poem that we now sing as "What A Friend We Have In Jesus." Lord, I have had friends in the past that have led me far from Your purpose and will for my life, but I thank You that You have become my personal friend and have led me into all riches and honour and grace through You. You gave all You had in order to give me all that I have, and I thank You. Amen.
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    • "By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil" (Proverbs 16:6 KJV). Is not Jesus Himself called Mercy, and that mercy promised? Doesn’t He say that He is truth? Those attributes have met together at the Cross, where we first saw the light, and the burden of our sin fell away. It was there that He became “our righteousness.” And that rises or falls on “thus saith the Lord!” God has given us His Word! Titus tells us that our God "cannot lie," so we can depend on whatever He tells us, but sadly, many Christians claim to have faith in a Bible that doesn’t exist. They say they believe the “original autographs” were without error, but they don’t have them. We need a Bible we can trust that we can actually hold in our hands. We have such a Bible! Because it is such a Bible, we can appreciate what Titus adds to the believer's hope (which is assured faith, not wishful thinking). "But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost" (Titus 3:4-5 KJV). And, because we have confidence in such a book, we can know that we are saved and have an unique relationship with the Father, we are filled with a deep and abiding fear of His holiness, so that we would not dream of offending Him . . . though we do. I have given God a million reasons not to love me. None of them changed His mind. If we do not have a perfect Bible, how can we claim to have a perfect salvation? How can we trust that our iniquities have been purged? How can we truly claim to know that we have a home in heaven? An imperfect Bible speaks to me of an imperfect God, Who can do nothing more than make imperfect promises. "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity" (II Timothy 2:19 KJV). Lord, help us to love you even more than we do now. Let that love grow daily, and let our love teach us to avoid those things which offend you. We choose to keep these words in our Lord's prayer, "Lead us not into temptation!" Despite what the religious "leader" says.  Amen!
    • As we go through the life of Joseph in these devotions, I would like to express to all of you that God was with Joseph in all of the extreme trials that he went through. Joseph, as with all of God's saints, and the favoured nation of Israel, are led through the trials of life in order to know God,  His will, and experience the work of God through our lives for our good and the good of others; Romans 8:28 As we can see in the life of Joseph, and his love for God, and his trust in God, God has been with Joseph and God will work out all things for his good.The Chinese have a saying, a proverb, that may be a blessing to you as it has been to me. 「天理昭彰」Translated into English, it says that, "The law of heaven always prevails." The will of God will be performed in the life of Joseph as, "... the LORD was with Joseph." May God richly bless all of you  
    • "A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies" (Proverbs 14:25 KJV). Nowhere does this seem to be truer than in the realm of "religion." A faithful preacher speaking the truth is not very popular in this world, yet those that consider him their undershepherd are blessed and strengthened by his sermons. They know that when they listen to Him they are going to hear the Word of God in such a way that it applies to them personally and results in them becoming fully equipped to live the life that pleases the Lord. Unfortunately, the multitudes prefer to hear messages that tell them how wonderful they are and how sins are simply mistakes but that God loves them anyway and accepts them just the way they are. They prefer the lies that make them feel good and doesn't convict them of sin and hell, while the Bible-believer prefers the truth that makes them feel bad but points them to the Cross, the Blood, and the Saviour. After being convinced by the false witness that there is nothing to fear from God, that He is a loving grandfatherly-type being that loves all and accepts all, the lost continue to bear their sin under the false notion that God will excuse them, while the Word of God as a faithful witness says that they are “condemned already” and that they are “without Christ,” “without hope,” and “without God in the world.” The megachurches are filled with those that are wish to feel good in this world, but eternity is a long time to ponder their willful act of letting themselves be deceived, for they are without excuse. The lying and false preacher is only reinforcing what they themselves want to believe for the invisible things from the beginning of the world are clearly seen, but rejected. The believer clings to the cross where the Blood of Christ cleanses them from all sin and unrighteousness and makes it possible for them to serve the living and true God, as they await the day when their faith will become sight in the very presence of their Saviour. Paul strengthened many by his epistles, and still does in the written word, yet he had those that hated him and his message. At one point he asked, "Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?" (Galatians 4:16 KJV). Ever will it be true, that, “Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful” (Proverbs 27:5-6 KJV). Lord, help us to be honest and tell our friends what they need to hear, and not only what they want to hear. Give us stars for our crown as we share your precious gospel with our lost loved ones and friends. But above all, "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer" (Psalm 19:14 KJV). Amen!
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