Should a Christian Celebrate Christmas?*

There is no Biblical warrant, precedent, nor precept for remembrance of the day of Christ’s birth as a day of special religious celebration. This is not to say that we shouldn’t remember Christ’s birth and its significance, but for religious commemorations or celebrations, we must have Biblical command or precedent! The fact of the matter is this — the early church did not celebrate Christ’s birth, but such celebration only came into the church with the “Christianization” of pagan rites as Catholicism was made the state religion by Constantine in the fourth century A.D. Since the Word of God does not support the tradition of Christmas, a Christian’s conscience ought not and must not be bound.

The following outline describes the origin of Christmas (with its associated pagan customs, symbols, and terminology), details the Scriptural support against celebrating Christmas, attempts to show that celebrating Christmas violates the spirit of every one of the ten commandments, attempts to demonstrate that celebrating Christmas does not fall in the realm of Christian liberty, and attempts to debunk eight of the major rationalizations Christians put forth for celebrating Christmas.

I. The Origin of Christmas

A. Long EvolutionChristmas customs are an evolution from times long before the Christian period — a descent from seasonal, pagan, religious, and national practices, hedged about with legend and tradition. Their seasonal connections with the pagan feasts of the winter solstice relate them to ancient times, when many of the earth’s inhabitants were sun worshippers. As the superstitious pagans observed the sun gradually moving south in the heavens and the days growing shorter, they believed the sun was departing never to return. To encourage the sun’s return north (i.e. to give the winter sun god strength and to bring him back to life again), the sun gods were worshipped with elaborate rituals and ceremonies, including the building of great bonfires, decorating with great evergreen plants such as holly, ivy, and mistletoe, and making representations of summer birds as house decorations. The winter solstice, then, was the shortest day of the year, when the sun seemingly stood still in the southern sky. Observing the slowdown in the sun’s southward movement, and its stop, the heathen believed that their petitions to it had been successful. A time of unrestrained rejoicing broke out, with revelry, drinking, and gluttonous feasts. Then, when the pagans observed the sun moving again northward, and a week later were able to determine that the days were growing longer, a new year was proclaimed.

B. Not Among the Earliest Christian FestivalsChristmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church. It was not celebrated, commemorated, or observed, neither by the apostles nor in the apostolic church — not for at least the first 300 years of church history! History reveals that about 440 A.D., the Church at Jerusalem commenced the celebration of Christmas, following the lead of Roman Catholicism (see I.C.). [It was sufficient for the early Christians that Jesus, their Lord and saviour, had been born. They praised God that Jesus Christ had, indeed, come in the flesh. The day and the time of His birth had no relevance to them, because Jesus was no longer physically on earth. He had returned to heaven. And it was the risen, exalted Christ whom they looked to, and that by faith — not a babe laid in a manger. Jesus Christ is no longer a baby; no longer the “Christ-child,” but the exalted Lord of all. And He does NOT somehow return to earth as a baby every year at Christmas-time — though this is the impression given even in certain hymns sung in Protestant services.]

Statue of Emperor Constantine C. The Role of Religion in Ancient RomeSeemingly forgotten is the essential role religion played in the world of ancient Rome. But the Emperor Constantine understood. By giving official status to Christianity, he brought internal peace to the Empire. A brilliant military commander, he also had the genius to recognize that after declaring Christianity the “state” religion (Constantine forced all the pagans of his empire to be baptized into the Roman Church), there was need for true union between paganism and Christianity. The corrupt Roman Church was full of pagans now masquerading as Christians, all of which had to be pacified. What better way than to “Christianize” their pagan idolatries. Thus, the Babylonian mystery religions were introduced by Constantine beginning in 313 A.D. (and established a foothold with the holding of the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D.). The Constantine-led Roman Church was more than willing to adapt and adopt pagan practices in order to make Christianity palatable to the heathen. Constantine used religion as a political tool, totally devoid of any true spirituality:

– Pagan rituals and idols took on Christian names (e.g. Jesus Christ was presented as the Sun of Righteousness [Malachi 4:2] replacing the sun god, Sol Invictus ).

– Pagan holidays were reclassified as Christian holidays (holy-days).

Solstice Saturnalia Celebrations

– December 25th was the “Victory of the Sun-God” Festival in the pagan Babylonian world. In the ancient Roman Empire, the celebration can be traced back to the Roman festival Saturnalia, which honoured Saturn, the harvest god, and Mithras, the god of light; both were celebrated during or shortly after the winter solstice (17th – 23rd December). To all ancient pagan civilizations, December 25th was the birthday of the gods — the time of year when the days began to lengthen and man was blessed with a “regeneration of nature.” All of December 25th’s Babylonian and Roman festivals were characterized by 5-7 day celebration periods of unrestrained or orgiastic revelry and licentiousness.

Mithras slaying a bull December 25th was particularly important in the cult of Mithras, a popular deity in the Old Roman Empire. Robert Myers (a proponent for celebrating Christmas) in his book Celebrations says, “Prior to the celebration of Christmas, December 25th in the Roman world was the Natalis Solis Invicti, the Birthday of the Unconquerable Sun. This feast, which took place just after the winter solstice of the Julian calendar, was in honour of the Sun god, Mithras, originally a Persian deity whose cult penetrated the Roman world in the first century B.C. . . . Besides the Mithraic influence, other pagan forces were at work. From the seventeenth of December until the twenty-third, Romans celebrated the ancient feast of the Saturnalia. . . . It was commemorative of the Golden Age of Saturn, the god of sowing and husbandry.”

Pope Julius I In order to make Christianity palatable to the heathen, the Roman Church simply took Saturnalia, adopted it into Christianity, and then eventually many of the associated pagan symbols, forms, customs, and traditions were reinterpreted (i.e. “Christianized”)  in ways “acceptable” to Christian faith and practice. (In fact, in 375 A.D., the Church of Rome under Pope Julius I merely announced that the birth date of Christ had been “discovered” to be December 25th, and was accepted as such by the “faithful.” The festival of Saturnalia and the birthday of Mithras could now be celebrated as the birthday of Christ!) The pagans flocked into the Catholic places of worship, because they were still able to worship their old gods, but merely under different names.  It mattered not to them whether they worshiped the Isis and Horus / Mary and the "child"Egyptian goddess mother and her child under the old names (Isis and Horus), or under the names of the “Virgin Mary” and the “Christ-child.” Either way, it was the same old idol-religion (cf. 1 Thes. 1:8-10, 5:22 — Paul says to turn from idols, not rename them and Christianize them). Roman Catholicism’s Christmas Day is nothing but “baptized” paganism, having come along much too late to be part of “the faith once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3).

Isis nursing Horus D. “Christianization” of Pagan Customs, Symbols, and TerminologyChristianity had to undergo a transformation so that pagan Rome could “convert” without giving up its old beliefs and rituals. The actual effect was to paganize official Christianity. “‘A compound religion had been manufactured, of which . . .  Christianity furnished the nomenclature, and Paganism the doctrines and rights.’ The idolatry of the Roman world, though deposed from its ancient pre-eminence, had by no means been demolished. Instead of this, its pagan nakedness had been covered with the garb of a deformed Christianity” (W.E. Vine). Pagan customs involving vestments, candles, incense, images, and processions were all incorporated into church worship and continue today.

The following customs and traditions associated with Xmas all have pagan/heathen origins. (“Xmas” is the more preferable form for the day, since it at least leaves the name of our saviour out of the heathen observance.) Naturally, Christians would not keep these customs for such evil and perverse reasons, but the fact of their origins remain — “the customs of the people are vain” (Jer. 10:3), and should be carefully considered by all who know and love the Lord:

The blasphemous sacrifice of the mass 1. The blasphemous “Christ’s Mass” shortened to “Christ-mas” — The Roman Catholic “Christ’s Mass” is a special mass performed in celebration of Christ’s birth. In this mass, Jesus is considered both the priest and the victim, represented by the Catholic priest who offers Him as a sacrifice each time the mass is performed. In offering this “sacrifice,” the priest believes he has the power to change the bread and the wine of the Communion into Jesus’ literal flesh and blood, requiring the people to worship these elements as they do God Himself. This is obviously a denial of the gospel, and thereby, a false gospel (a re-doing of the sacrifice for sin — Heb. 9:12,24-26; 10:10,12,14). Yet, many who cry out all year long against the blasphemous Roman Catholic system, at year-end embrace Rome’s most blasphemous abomination of them all — Christmas!

A Nativity Scene 2. Nativity Scenes (tainted with paganism) — Nearly every form of pagan worship descended from the Babylonian mysteries, which focus attention on the “mother-goddess” and the birth of her child. This was adapted to “Mary-Jesus” worship, which then easily accommodated the multitude of pagans “converted” to Christianity inside Constantine’s Roman Catholic Church. [If anyone were to erect statues (i.e., images) of Mary and Joseph by themselves, many within Protestant circles would cry “Idolatry!” But at Xmas time, an image of a little baby is placed with the images of Mary and Joseph, and it’s called a “nativity scene.” Somehow, the baby-idol “sanctifies” the scene, and it is no longer considered idolatry!] (cf. Exo. 20:4-5a; 32:1-5; 9-10a)

An evergreen christmas tree 3. Christmas TreeEvergreen trees, because of their ability to remain green throughout the winter season, have long symbolized immortality, fertility, sexual potency, and reproduction, and were often brought into homes and set up as idols. The full mystical significance of the evergreen can only be understood when one considers the profound reverence the ancient pagans had for all natural phenomena — “To them, Nature was everywhere alive. Every fountain had its spirit, every mountain its deity, and every water, grove, and meadow, its supernatural association. The whispering of the trees . . . was the subtle speech of the gods who dwelt within” (W.M. Auld, Christmas Traditions). This is nothing but nature worship or Animism.

Adonis - Mazarin Louvre MR239 The custom of bringing the tree into the home and decorating it as is done today has legendarily been attributed to Martin Luther. In truth, the modern custom has been lost in obscurity, but almost every culture has some such tradition. For ages, evergreen trees would be brought into the house during the winter as magic symbols of luck and hope for a fruitful year to come, It may also be that the star with which many of today’s trees are topped did not originate as a representation of the star that the wise men followed, but rather a representation of the stars to which the ancient Chaldean astrologers looked for guidance.

Aesculapius snake The first decorating of an evergreen was done by pagans in honour of their god Adonis, who after being slain was brought to life by the serpent Aesculapius. The representation of the slain Adonis was a dead stump of a tree. Around this stump coiled the snake — Aesculapius, symbol of life restoring. From the roots of the dead tree, then comes forth another and different tree — an evergreen tree, symbolic to pagans of a god who cannot  die! In Babylon, the evergreen tree came to represent the rebirth/reincarnationAsherah of Nimrod as his new son (Sun), Tammuz. In Egypt, this god was worshiped in a palm tree as Baal-Tamar. (Heathen people in the land of Canaan also adopted tree worship, calling it the Asherah — a tree with its branches cut off was carved into a phallic symbol.) The fir tree was worshiped in Rome as the same new-born god, named Baal- Berith, who was restored to life by the same serpent. A feast was held in honour of him on December 25th, observed as the day on which the god reappeared on earth — he had Semiramis Nimrod Tammuzbeen killed, and was “reborn” on that day, victorious over death! It was called the “Birthday of the Unconquered Sun.” Thus, the annual custom of erecting and decorating evergreen trees was brought down to us through the centuries by the pagan Roman Catholic Church — the paganism of Tammuz and Baal, or the worship of the sun, mingled with the worship of Aesculapius the serpent. Whether erected in private homes or churches, decorated or not, the evergreen tree is a glaring symbol of this false god.

The Old Testament warns at least ten times against the practice of decorating evergreen trees for purposes of idolatry and false worship.

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. ~ Jeremiah 10:3,4

Wreath 4. Christmas WreathsIn pagan mythology, evergreen means eternal life and a never-dying existence. Made from evergreens, Christmas wreaths were most frequently round, which symbolized the sun (just as do halos in most religious art). Hence, the round Xmas wreaths stand for an eternal sun, a never-dying or self-renewing sun. In addition, the round form can also relate to the sign of the female, which stands for the regeneration of life. Because of these pagan associations, the Christian church was initially hostile towards the use of wreaths and other evergreen derivatives. But in the same way it  Christianized other pagan traditions, the South African wreathchurch soon found a way to confer its own symbolic meanings. For example, the sharp pointed leaves of the “male” holly came to represent Christ’s crown of thorns and the red berries His blood, while the “female” ivy symbolized immortality (Sulgrave Manor, “A Tudor Christmas,” p. 6). Such wreaths now not only adorn churches at Christmas time, but are also appearing during the Easter season.

Mistletoe 5. MistletoeThe use of the mistletoe plant (which is poisonous to man and animals) can be traced back to the ancient Druids. (The Druids were pagan Celtic priests who were considered magicians and wizards.) It represented the false “messiah,” considered by the Druids to be a divine branch that had dropped from heaven and grew upon a tree on earth. This is an obvious corruption of God’s prophetic Word concerning Christ, “the Man the Branch,” coming from heaven. The mistletoe symbolized the reconciliation between God and man. And since a kiss is the well known symbol of reconciliation, that is how “kissing under the mistletoe” became a custom — both were tokens of reconciliation. The mistletoe, being a sacred plant and a symbol of fertility, was also believed to contain certain magical powers, having been brought to earth from heaven by a mistle thrush carrying it in its toes (hence the name). It was once known as the “plant of peace,” and in ancient Scandinavia, enemies were reconciled under it (yet another reason why people came to “kiss under the mistletoe”). It was supposed to bring “good luck” and fertility, and even to protect the house in which it hung from witchcraft.

Victorian couples kissing under the mistletoe (Getty Images) A kiss is also something which is, at times, associated with lust. So the practice of “kissing under the mistletoe” also had roots in the orgiastic celebrations in connection with the Celtic Midsummer Eve ceremony. At the time the mistletoe was gathered, the men would kiss each other as a display of their homosexuality. (The custom was later broadened to include both men and women.) Kissing under the mistletoe is also reminiscent of the temple prostitution and sexual license proliferating during Roman Saturnalia.

St Nicholas of Myra6. Santa ClausSanta Claus or “Father Christmas” is a corruption of the Dutch “Sant Nikolaas.” (“Saint Nicholas” was the 4th century Catholic bishop of Myra in Asia Minor, who gave treats to children; he was canonized by the Roman Catholic Church, “regarded as a special friend and protector of children.”  The red suit comes from the fact that Catholic bishops and cardinals in Italy wear red.) Santa Claus was also known as “Kriss Kringle,” a corruption of the GermanChrist Kindl— Christ Child. This has to be one of the most subtle of Satan’s blasphemies, yet most Christians are unaware of it.

Originally, the Santa Claus concept came from the pagan Egyptian god, Bes, a rotund, gnome-like personage who was the patron of little children. Bes god at Dendera Temple in Egypt Bes was said to live at the North Pole, working year-round to produce toys for children who had been good and obedient to their parents. In Dutch, he was called “Sinter Klaas.” Dutch settlers brought the custom to America. In Holland and other European countries, the original Santa Claus was actually a grim personage who traversed the countryside, determined to find out who really had been “naughty or nice.” Those who had been acting up were summarily switched. The association of Santa Claus with snow, reindeer, and the North Pole suggests Scandinavian or Norse traditions of the Yuletide season. [In Babylonia, also, the stag (reindeer) was a symbol of the mighty one, Nimrod. The symbolism of antlers worn on the head of a noble leader would demonstrate his prowess as a hunter, and thereby, influence people to follow him.]

Santa is the blasphemous substitute for God! He is routinely given supernatural powers and divine attributes which only GOD has. He is made out to be omniscient — he knows when every child sleeps, awakes, has been bad or good, knows exactly what every child wants (cf. Psa. 139:1-4). He is made out to be omnipresent — on one night of the year he visits all the “good” children in the world and leaves them gifts, seemingly being everywhere at the same time. He is made out to be omnipotent — he has power to give each child what each one wants. He is made out to be a sovereign judge — he answers to no one and no one has authority over him, and when he “comes to town,” he comes with a full bag of rewards for those whose behaviour has been acceptable in his eyes.

santa-claus-04

Santa Claus a.k.a. Satan Claws

Santa Claus has become one of the most popular and widely accepted and unopposed myths ever to be successfully interwoven into the fabric and framework of Christianity. It is a fact that Christ was born, and that truth should greatly rejoice the heart of every Christian. But the Santa Claus myth distorts the truth of Christ’s birth by subtly blending truth with the myth of Santa Claus. When Christian parents lie to their children about Santa Claus, they are taking the attention of their children away from God and causing them to focus on a fat man in a red suit with god-like qualities. All of this teaches the child to believe that, just like Santa, God can be pleased with “good works,” done in order to earn His favour. Also, they teach that no matter how bad the child has been, he will still be rewarded by God — just as Santa never failed to bring gifts. Even in homes of professing Christians, Santa Claus has clearly displaced Jesus in the awareness and affections of children, becoming the undisputed spirit, symbol, and centrepiece of Christmas.

7. Christmas Eve“Yule” is a Chaldean word meaning “infant.” Long before the coming of Christianity, the heathen Anglo-Saxons called the 25th of December “Yule day” — in other words, “infant day” or “child’s day” — the day they celebrated the birth of the false “messiah”! The night before “Yule day” was called “Mother night.” Today it is called “Christmas Eve.” And it wasn’t called “Mother night” after Mary, the mother of our Lord — “Mother night” was observed centuries before Jesus was born. Semiramis (Nimrod’s wife) was the inspiration for “Mother night,” and “Child’s day” was the birthday of her son (Tammuz), the sun-god!

Yule log fire 8. Yule LogThe Yule log was considered by the ancient Celts a sacred log to be used in their religious festivals during the winter solstice; the fire provided promises of good luck and long life. Each year’s Yule log had to be selected in the forest on Christmas Eve by the family using it, and could not be bought, or the superstitions associated with it would not apply. In Babylonian paganism, the log placed in the fireplace represented the dead Nimrod, and the tree which appeared the next morning (which today is called the “Christmas tree”) was Nimrod alive again (reincarnated) in his new son (sun), Tammuz. (Still today in some places, the Yule log is placed in the fireplace on Christmas Eve, and the next morning there is a Christmas tree!)

Today’s Yule log tradition comes to us from Scandinavia, where the pagan sex-and-fertility god, Jule, was honoured in a twelve-day celebration in December. A large, single log was kept with a fire against it for twelve days, and each day for twelve days a different sacrifice was offered. The period now counted as the twelve days between Christmas and Epiphany was originally the twelve days of daily sacrifices offered to the Yule log. (What, then, are we really doing when we send “Yuletide greetings”? Are we really honouring Christ by sending greetings in the name of a Scandinavian fertility god? These are the same customs being practiced today as in ancient paganism! Only the names have changed.)

o-CHRISTMAS-CANDLES-facebook-1400x700 9. Candles Candles were lit by the ancient Babylonians in honour of their god, and his altars had candles on them. And as is well known, candles are also a major part of the ritualism of Roman Catholicism, which adopted the custom from heathenism. Candles approached the Yule log in ritual importance. Like the Yule log, they had to be a gift, never a purchase, and were lighted and extinguished only by the head of the household. Such candles stood burning steadily in the middle of the table, never to be moved or snuffed, lest death follow. The Yule candle, wreathed in greenery, was to burn through Christmas night until the sun rose or the Christmas service began (Sulgrave Manor, “A Tudor Christmas,”p. 9). Obviously, candles should have no part in Christian worship, for nowhere in the New Testament is their use sanctioned.

10. Giving of Gifts The tradition of exchanging gifts has nothing to do with a re-enactment of the Magi giving gifts to Jesus, but has many superstitious, pagan origins instead. One prominent tradition was the Roman custom of exchanging food, trinkets, candles, or statutes of gods during the mid-winter Kalends (the first day of the month in the ancient Roman calendar). This custom was transferred to December 25th by the Roman Church in keeping with the Saturnalian festival and in celebration of the benevolent St. Nicholas. [Is it not the height of ridiculousness to claim that giving one another presents properly celebrates Jesus’ “birthday” (not that there is anything necessarily wrong in giving each other presents)? But what are we giving Him, if indeed we are specifically celebrating His incarnation?]

Cooked goose 11. Christmas GooseThe “Christmas goose” and “Christmas cakes” were both used in the worship of the Babylonian “messiah.” The goose was considered to be sacred in many ancient lands, such as Rome, Asia Minor, India, and Chaldea. In Egypt, the goose was a symbol for a child, ready to die! In other words, a symbol of the pagan “messiah,” ready to give his life (supposedly) for the world. This is obviously a satanic mockery of the truth.

Cooked ham 12. Christmas HamHogs were slaughtered and the eating of the carcass was one of the central festivities of the Saturnalia. Each man would offer a pig as a sacrifice because superstition held that a boar had killed the sun deity Adonis. Hence, the tradition of the Christmas ham on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Stockings 13. Christmas StockingAccording to tradition, a poor widower of Myra, Turkey, had three daughters, for whom he could not provide a dowry. On Xmas-Eve, “Saint Nicholas” threw three bags of gold down the chimney, thereby saving the daughters from having to enter into prostitution. One bag rolled into a shoe, and the others fell into some stockings that had been hung to dry by the fire. Hence, the beginning of the tradition of the “Christmas stocking” or “boot.”

Cards 14. Christmas Cards The first British Xmas card can be dated back to 1843. The first cards featured pictures of dead birds! Evidently, the popularity of hunting robin and wren on Christmas Day made the dead bird image an appropriate one for “holiday” cards. Often the text of the cards would also have a morbid tone. Later, the cards displayed dancing insects, playful children, pink-cheeked young women, and festively decorated Christmas trees. The first actual Xmas cards were really Valentine’s Day cards (with different messages) sent in December. Mass production of Xmas cards in the United States can be traced back to 1875. Initially, the manufacturers thought of Xmas cards as a sideline to their already successful business in playing cards. But the “tradition” of sending cards soon caught on, leading to a very profitable business by itself.

Carol songsheet 15. Christmas Carols What do you suppose the reaction would be by a church’s leaders if its pastor were to propose that the following hymns be introduced into the church to commemorate the birth of Christ? The tunes are quite lovely.

Hymn #1 A hymn by a Unitarian (rejects the Trinity and full deity of Christ) minister that does not mention Jesus Christ and reflects the liberal social gospel theology of the 19th century.

Hymn #2A hymn by an American Episcopal priest, the fourth verse of which teaches Roman Catholic superstition about Christ coming to be born in people during the Advent season.

Hymn #3 A song, the words by an Austrian Roman Catholic priest, the music by a Roman Catholic school teacher, containing the Roman Catholic superstition about halos emanating from holy people, with no gospel message.

Perhaps you would expect the church’s leaders to be very upset. It might surprise you to learn that they were upset when they suspected that the pastor might somehow prevent them from singing them. You see, those three hymns were already in the church’s hymnals! The pastor did not have to introduce them. The three theologically incorrect “Christmas carols” referred to above are It Came Upon the Midnight Clear, O Little Town of Bethlehem, and Silent Night.

O Little Town of Bethlehem lyrics Silent Night lyrics

E. European Xmas Traditions In the early days of Christianity, as it moved north and west into Europe, many pagan celebrations were encountered. For example, in the late-6th century in England, the Angles and Saxons were found celebrating Yule. The Christian evangelists thought they would fail in any attempt to rival, suppress, or stamp out such long held customs, so they simply adopted popular dates for their own “special rituals and hallowed services.” In other words, it was easier to establish a festival celebrating the birth of Christ if it conveniently coincided with an existing popular feast day. In this way, the pagan peoples (albeit potential converts to Christianity), could continue with their usual celebrations at this time of year, but the reason for the merrymaking could be redefined and attributed to Christ’s birth rather than to pagan rituals. As paganism eventually died out and Christianity became widespread, Christmas became more associated with its religious foundations than any others (Sulgrave Manor, “A Tudor Christmas,” p. 2).

Christmas 1644 Rushwortha It was left to the Puritans to denounce everything. For them, Christmas was rightfully part popish, part pagan, and was forbidden to be kept as a holiday or feast day. The attack began in 1644 when the Puritans controlled the Parliament; December 25th was changed to a Fast Day. By 1647, even the Fast Day was abolished as a relic of superstition, synonymous with the Church of Rome. No observation on December 25th was any longer permitted, but the day was to be observed as a normal market-day. Christmas was accurately depicted by such names as the “Profane Man’s Ranting Day”, the “Superstitious Man’s Idol Day”, the “Papist’s Massing Day”, the “Old Heathen’s Feasting Day”, the “Multitude’s Idle Day”, and “Satan-that Adversary’s-Working Day”. In those days, any Christmas celebrations would be broken up by troops, who would tear down decorations and arrest anyone holding a service. Some who celebrated it in Europe were also thrown into prison. Because of the riots that broke out following the banning of Christmas, the celebrations and revelry were restored in 1660 by King Charles II, a Catholic (Sulgrave Manor, “A Tudor Christmas,” p. 3).

F. American Xmas Traditions America’s settlers (the “founding fathers” of so-called “Protestant America”) rightfully considered Christmas a “popish” holiday. In fact, it was only in the early 1800s that several founding members of the New York Historical Society “invented” Christmas. Before then, it was illegal in colonial Massachusetts to even take December 25th off work. Christmas was forbidden as “unseemly to ye spiritual welfare of ye community.” (It was banned in Massachusetts in 1659, and this law remained on the books for 22 years. In Boston, public schools stayed open on December 25th until as late as 1870!) It wasn’t until 1836 that any state declared Christmas a holiday (Alabama), and then there were no more state declarations until the Civil War. It was not until 1885 that all federal workers were given Christmas Day off. The so-called Xmas customs and traditions were later concocted more for commercial purposes than for religious.

Quoting from a 12/23/83 USA TODAY article about Christmas: “A broad element of English Christianity still considered Christmas celebration a pagan blasphemy. The Puritans, Baptists, Quakers, Presbyterians, Calvinists and other denominations brought this opposition to early New England and strong opposition to the holiday lasted in America until the middle of the 18th century.” Henry Ward Beecher, a Congregationalist, wrote in 1874 of his New England boyhood:

“To me Christmas is a foreign day, and I shall die so. When I was a boy I wondered what Christmas was. I knew there was such a time, because we had an Episcopal church in our town, and I saw them dressing it with evergreens, and wondered what they were taking the woods in the church for; but I got no satisfactory explanation. A little later I understood it was a Romish institution, kept by the Romish Church.”

II. Scriptural Support Against Celebrating Christmas — Unacceptable Worship

A. 2 Chronicles 33:15-17

5  And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD. 
6  And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger. 
7  And he set a carved image, the idol which he had made, in the house of God, of which God had said to David and to Solomon his son, In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen before all the tribes of Israel, will I put my name for ever: ~ 2 Chronicles 33:15-17

The Israelites had kept the old pagan form (the high places of Baal), but had merely introduced the worship of God into that form — a refusal to let go of pagan worship forms (i.e. God was to be worshiped in the Temple, not on the high places). This was unacceptable worship because the right object of worship was mixed with wrong forms of worship; i.e. the mixing of godly worship with ungodly form. [Likewise, is not the celebration of Christmas the taking of a celebration established by pagans and for pagans, and then introducing the worship of Christ into that pagan form?]

B. Deuteronomy 12:29-32

29  When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land; 
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. 
32  What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it. ~ Deuteronomy 12:29-32

God warned His people Israel to destroy all vestiges of pagan worship that they found in the “Promised Land.” Not only did God want to prevent His people from being enticed to worship false gods, but He specifically revealed that He did not want His people to worship Him in the same manner in which the heathen worshiped their gods. We know, therefore, that our Lord is displeased by practices which profess to honour Him, but which are copied from the tradition of false religions. The command here was to worship God only in His way, i.e. do only what God commands — not adding to God’s commands nor taking away from them. [Is not “putting Christ back into Christmas,” worshiping “the Lord your God their way”? Is there any command in the Bible to give special reverence to the Scriptural account of Christ’s birth more so than to any other Scripture, let alone even a suggestion to celebrate or commemorate His birth in any way whatsoever? God never intended for His people to be imitators of the pagan customs of the world, but has called us to be separate and set apart.]

C. Leviticus 10:1,2

1  And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. 
2  And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD. ~ Leviticus 10:1,2

Nadab and Abihu offered strange fire to the Lord. [Is not the celebration of Christmas, with all its pagan symbols and forms, a “strange fire” unto the Lord, and is not this form of worship contrary to God’s commands?]

D. 1 Samuel 15:1-3,7-9,21-23

1  Samuel also said unto Saul, The LORD sent me to anoint thee to be king over his people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the LORD. 
2  Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. 
3  Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. ~ 1 Samuel 15:1-3

7  And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah until thou comest to Shur, that is over against Egypt. 
8  And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. 
9  But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly. ~ 1 Samuel 15:7-9

21  But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal. 
22  And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. 
23  For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. ~ 1 Samuel 15:21-23

Saul disobeyed God’s prophet in order to worship God in his way. [Is not the celebration of Christmas one of man’s ways of worshiping Christ? There is no Biblical command to offer worship in this manner.]

E. 2 Samuel 6:2-7

2  And David arose, and went with all the people that were with him from Baale of Judah, to bring up from thence the ark of God, whose name is called by the name of the LORD of hosts that dwelleth between the cherubims. 
3  And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that was in Gibeah: and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drave the new cart. 
4  And they brought it out of the house of Abinadab which was at Gibeah, accompanying the ark of God: and Ahio went before the ark. 
5  And David and all the house of Israel played before the LORD on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals. 
6  And when they came to Nachon’s threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it. 
7  And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God. ~ 2 Samuel 6:2-7

David attempts to transport the ark on a “new cart” instead of using the rings and poles as the Law required (Exo. 25:12-15). Additionally, the “transporters” of the ark were not even authorized to carry it (1 Chron. 15:2,13-15); i.e. the ark was not only transported in the wrong way, but was transported by the wrong people! [Is not the celebration of Christmas the wrong way (pagan forms and tradition) with the wrong people (the heathen of the world join right in with the professing Christians)?]

F. 1 Kings 12:26-33

26  And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David: 
27  If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah. 
28  Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 
29  And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan. 
30  And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan. 
31  And he made an house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi. 
32  And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in Bethel, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made: and he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made. 
33  So he offered upon the altar which he had made in Bethel the fifteenth day of the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, and burnt incense. ~ 1 Kings 12:26-33

In order to unify the northern ten tribes of Israel, ungodly King Jeroboam set up pagan idols, not in place of God, but as new focal points for directing worship to God. He even instituted a new festival on a new day; i.e. a new religious holiday of his own choosing. Even though the true God of Israel was still to be the object of worship in the new religious holiday, both the holiday and the worship were not authorized by God nor accepted by Him (1 Ki. 13:1-3, 15:29,30). Why? Because the concocted mixture of error with truth constituted false religion! [Is not the celebration of Christmas a religious holiday of man’s own choosing, replete with pagan symbols and forms, all under the guise (by sincere Christians at least) of worshiping the one true God and Saviour? But does not this worship form and system still constitute false religion, and thereby, make it unacceptable to God? And besides, where in the Bible do Christians have the right to add a new holy day to the so-called Christian calendar, any more than King Jeroboam had the right to add a new holy day to God’s theocratic calendar?]

G. 1 Corinthians 8:4-13; Romans 14:1-13; 1 Corinthians 10:14,18-21

4  As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. 
5  For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) 
6  But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. 
7  Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. 
8  But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. 
9  But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. 
10  For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; 
11  And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 
12  But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. 
13  Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend. ~ 1 Corinthians 8:4-13

1  Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. 
2  For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. 
3  Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. 
4  Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. 
5  One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. 
6  He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. 
7  For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. 
8  For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s. 
9  For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. 
10  But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 
11  For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. 
12  So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. 
13  Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way. ~ Romans 14:1-13

14  Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry. . . .  
18  Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? 
19  What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? 
20  But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. 
21  Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:14,18-21

These passages concerning Christian liberty are discussed in more detail under Roman numeral IV. [Christian liberty can best be defined Biblically as “the freedom to engage in practices not prohibited by the Scriptures or denying oneself what is permitted (i.e. a moral choice of self-discipline) in order to be a more effective witness for God.” So the question must first be answered, “Is Christmas permitted?”] Briefly, some claim that Paul is teaching that the participation in pagan forms condemns no one, and therefore, participation in Christmas and its forms, even though arising out of pagan idolatry, is inconsequential. Paul nowhere approves participation in acts of idolatry, of which the participation in the pagan forms of Christmas comes dangerously close to doing. Instead, Paul is speaking of the liberty to continue in Jewish days of worship/festival that had been previously ordained under the Jewish law. There is certainly no liberty to bring outside pagan forms into the church’s worship services. Likewise, there is no liberty to Christianize Babylonian/Roman pagan holy days as special days.

Christians in the first century churches had the liberty to observe Old Testament holy days and feasts (days that had previously been revealed by God) if they were so immature as to do so. The weaker brother, Paul wrote, was at that time not to be censured for continuing to attach some importance to the Old Testament holy days, as a clear knowledge of their abolition in Christ was not yet given to him (the weaker brother). But to observe a pagan holy day is something this passage does not sanction. They certainly did not have the liberty to regard Babylonian/Roman pagan holy days (days that were invented by the devil) as special days. Again, that would have been idolatry, worldliness, and perhaps even a form of Satan worship on their part. Therefore, how can the observance of Christmas Day, or any other Babylonian/Roman Catholic holy day, be a matter of Christian liberty?

Yet when some of us refuse to regard the pagan holy days as special days, we are the ones often referred to as the “weaker brother” in this matter! Are we opposed to such days because we are “weak in faith”? Faith would be defined as believing what the Word of God says about a matter and acting upon it. It was by faith that we stopped regarding pagan holy days as special days. Would we be more mature Christians if we would start regarding such days again? It would certainly be much easier on us and our families.

III. Christmas and Violation of the Ten Commandments (reverse order)

10. Do Not Covet Children learn to covet the gifts of others, to drool over the Christmas catalogue, to drag their parents endlessly through toy stores, all in the name of “the Christmas spirit.”

9. Do Not Bear False Witness — “Jesus is the reason for the season!” is the Christian battle cry to “put Christ back in Christmas,” when in actuality, there is not only no Biblical warrant for Christmas, but its roots are in pagan worship systems. Nevertheless, professing Christians lie to their children about Santa Claus, the supernatural, sorcerous false “god” of Christmas, whose “gospel” is one of works salvation along with unconditional acceptance and rewards. Parents lie to their children for years about the god-like character of Santa Claus, in effect asking them to trust in a false god and a lie, and then don’t understand why later in life their children won’t believe and trust in the true God, Jesus Christ.

8. Do Not Steal Christmas spending patterns could never stand the test of Biblical stewardship; Christians “steal” the Lord’s resources by lavishly spending money on worthless and useless trinkets (in many cases); and withhold resources from those in need, while at the same time claiming to never have enough money to buy good Christian books, pay for home schooling, or buy Bible helps for their children. (Christians could also be helping the spiritually needy by giving them tracts, books, etc.) We “steal” from our families what they need and what we owe them in order to buy gifts for those who don’t need them.

7. Do Not Commit AdulteryAt this “special” time of the year, lustful thoughts are actually encouraged; e.g. teens are allowed to go to parties and stay out later, thereby having temptations put in front of them that otherwise wouldn’t be there. Christmas parties for adults also encourage evil thoughts through the use of the mistletoe, etc. (According to Matt. 5, such thoughts constitute adultery. At the very least, spiritual adultery is encouraged by the “season.”)

6. Do Not MurderEnvy and hate of my brother (which, according to Matt. 5, is equal to murder) because he has more than me or because he receives a larger Christmas bonus than me, is encouraged at Christmas time. We also tend to spiritually sacrifice our children to the “god of Christmas” via greed, selfishness, etc.

5. Honour Father & Mother Christmas gift-giving is not an honour to parents; the term “exchanging” gifts (i.e. giving in expectation of a return) is a dead give-away of the mockery associated with this tradition.

4. Remember the Sabbath & Keep It Holy Although we recognize that the Lord’s Day is not the “Christian Sabbath,” clearly the Lord’s Day is to be kept for worship and observed as such. Yet when Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, or the day after Christ-mas falls on a Sunday, most churches adjust the Lord’s Day to accommodate Christ-mas, usually by cancelling the regularly scheduled Sunday evening service. Most of its members are too busy or too tired to attend services anyway.

3. Do Not Take the Lord’s Name in Vain “Christ” and “mass” are two words that are totally opposite from one another, and to connect the two is to blaspheme the name of Christ. By taking a pagan celebration, “Christianizing” it, and calling it a celebration of the birth of Christ, is most certainly taking the Lord’s name in vain. (A good example of the willingness of the professing church to profane the name of the Lord would be the title of a popular children’s Christmas concert production — The Divine Ornament. Imagine, identifying our Lord with a pagan ornament to hang on a pagan tree! What insult! What blasphemy!) In addition, some professing Christians use religion (“Christ’s birthday”) as a cloak to cover the evils of covetousness, idolatry, greed, immorality, etc. — all excuses to give vent to evil lusts.

2. Do Not Make Yourself Any Carved ImageNativity scenes, “pictures” of Christ, Christmas cards with “pictures” of Jesus, etc., all violate this command. God has given us His Word, not images, to teach us about Christ (1 Pe. 1:23; Dt. 4:12,15-19).

1. Have No Other gods Before MeThe “god of Christmas” is an idol! Looking to Christmas season for happiness, joy, and fulfilment, rather than through a pure, personal, and Biblical relationship with Jesus Christ, is idolatry.

IV. A Christian’s Decision to Celebrate Christmas – is it Christian Liberty?

A. Romans 14:1-13 (see II.G. above) This passage is speaking of Jews who were observing the Old Testament Jewish holy days/festivals and dietary laws even though they were now believers in Christ; but they were also judging their Gentile brothers-in-the-Lord who did not observe the Jewish customs. Likewise, the Gentile Christians were judging their Jewish brothers who were seemingly caught-up in ceremonial law. Paul was thusly saying, “To you Gentile Christians — leave the Jewish Christians alone, because they are not violating any Scriptural commands by their actions (i.e. it’s a “disputable” matter [doubtful or grey area] and not a moral issue). To you Jewish Christians — it’s okay for you to observe the Jewish festivals and dietary laws because they were given by God in the Old Testament, and thereby, are considered to be previously approved worship forms, but don’t judge your Gentile brothers because there is no Biblical command for either of you to continue to observe these things.” (Actually, it wasn’t “okay” [see IV.C. below], but Paul allowed it as an act of an immature/weaker brother [see II.G. above].) If a moral issue is involved (i.e. a practice that is covered in Scripture), then this passage and its application to Christian liberty (i.e. the freedom to engage in practices not prohibited by Scripture) would obviously not apply. The celebration of Christmas appears to be such a moral issue, because it is not only not from God, but is from ancient paganism itself!

B. 1 Corinthians 8:4-13 (see II.G. above) The Gentile Christians, who had been raised in an idolatrous system, were having a problem with the their Jewish brothers who were eating meat that had been sacrificed to idols. (Apparently, this was the only “healthy” meat available.) Similar to the Romans 14 passage above, Paul says that eating meat that had been sacrificed to idols is not a moral issue, and thereby, is not prohibited. However, Paul does not say that it is okay to go into the pagan temple itself; in fact, in other passages (1 Cor. 10:14,18-21), Paul specifically prohibits getting involved with the pagan feasts. In other words, it’s not a moral issue to partake in the by-products of a pagan religious system (note, however, that there is no indication here that the Jewish Christians were using the “idol meat” as part of their worship), but it is not okay to partake in the religious system itself (because the corrupt character of the participants would be harmful for believers). Rather, we must be separate from the worldly system (2 Cor. 6:14-7:1). Therefore, when items (by-products) associated with a pagan religious system not only develop religious associations of their own, but have been integrated into what would otherwise be true Christian worship (as the celebration of Christmas has clearly become in our culture), then we should pull away from them so that there is no confusion over our allegiances.

C. Galatians 4:9-10; Colossians 2:16-17

9  But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? 
10  Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. ~ Galatians 4:9,10 

16  Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 
17  Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. ~ Colossians 2:16,17

Both these passages of Scripture refer to the Jewish holy days under Old Testament law. If Christians were not even to observe the Old Testament holy days — days which did have divine sanction, for a time — they certainly don’t have the liberty to observe pagan holy days!

D. James 4:11

11  Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. ~ James 4:11

James is saying that Christians may only judge a brother on matters determined in God’s Word (i.e. moral issues). If a matter is not covered in the Word, then these are matters of Christian liberty (Rom. 14:1-13; 1 Cor. 8:4-13). He who judges in these areas of Christian liberty is judging and condemning the Word of God as being an imperfect standard to which the judge, thereby, refuses to submit. Since we have clear Scriptural precept that condemns the things that go on around December 25th in the name of Christ, the celebration of Christmas does not appear to be a matter of liberty, but one of moral conduct.

V. The Right Response

A. Quench Not the Holy Spirit (1 Thes 5:19-22)

19  Quench not the Spirit. 
20  Despise not prophesyings. 
21  Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 
22  Abstain from all appearance of evil. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22

Test all things against the Scripture and line-up beliefs and actions with what is true (i.e. do not treat with contempt the Word of God). If one is convinced that to celebrate Christmas is sin, then he and his family must not compromise with the world or the church by participating in any Christmas celebrations (Rom. 14:23).

B. Avoid Traps of the Devil:

1. Lack of ZealOne who never considers why he does certain things, but he just does them because he always has or because his parents always have; one who acts on emotions rather than on facts.

2. Lack of TruthOne who does things for good reasons and right motives (i.e., plenty of zeal), but not in truth.

C. Realize that Christians Celebrating Christmas as the Day of Christ’s Birth Makes No More Sense than Adding Any of the Following Days as Special Days of Christian Celebration:(Remember, The Bible’s focus on the birth of Christ is for the sole purpose of documenting his virgin birth, his incarnation, and the fulfilment of His prophetic Messiahship. Like the tongue-in-cheek suggestions below, one must also remember that there is no Biblical warrant, precedent, nor precept for the remembrance of the day of Christ’s birth as a day of special religious celebration.)

1. Baptism CelebrationWhy not have three days of swimming parties in the summer in order to celebrate/symbolize Christ’s three days in the grave? We could even pick a time based upon our speculation of when John the Baptist baptized Jesus!

2. Ascension Celebration Why not have one day set aside every year for hot-air balloon rides in order to celebrate Christ’s ascension to heaven?

3. Miracle Celebration There is considerable Biblical focus on Jesus’ miracles (even more than on his birth), so why not have one day set aside every year to celebrate the first of Christ’s miracles? And since that was the turning of water into wine (Jn. 2), why not have “Christian” wine-tasting parties?!

D. Avoid the Rationalizations that:

1. “Christmas Provides a Festive Time to Share the Gospel” One cannot take something condemned in God’s Word and “use it” to spread the Gospel; neither will God bless it to spread His Word. Unacceptable worship and the “mixing-in” of unholy/pagan forms is surely not the normal means through which God blesses the faithful. Satan works to blend together his system with God’s system, because when unacceptable worship (paganism) is blended with true worship (God’s truth), true worship is destroyed.

In fact, any time one mixes pagan ideas and practices with the pure religion of Christ, it is condemned in Scripture as the heinous sin of idolatry! God has always detested taking those things dedicated to idols and using them to worship Him. [In fact, this “special time of the year” is probably more a hindrance to the receptiveness of the gospel message than a help. Much of the celebration observed by our contemporary society deludes people into assuming that God is pleased, when in reality, He is offended by false religion, pseudo-worship, and alien philosophies. The ecumenical spirit and counterfeit “love” under the guise of “peace and goodwill among men,” dulls one’s sensitivity to his desperate need to repent of sin and be reconciled to a holy God.]

2. “Christmas is Merely the Honouring of Christ’s Birth” Someone says, “I know Christmas is of pagan origin, but I still think it’s not wrong for a church to have a special time for honouring Christ’s birth.” But since when did Protestants believe that Christians have the right to add to the Bible? Is the church a legislative body? Are we to follow the Bible in our faith and practice, or the thinking of fallible men? If we have the right to add a special holy day to the Christian economy, then we can add 10,000 other things. Then we will be no better than the false cults and the Roman Catholics who follow heathen traditions! [Celebrating Christ’s birth is a form of worship. But since Christmas is a lie, those who celebrate it are not worshiping in “spirit and truth” (Jn. 4:24).]

3. “All I’m Doing is Putting Christ Back into Christmas” The modern conservative cry to put Christ back into Christmas is absurd. As detailed earlier in this report, Jesus Christ was never in Christmas. It’s a lie to say He was. He has no part in a lie. When anyone takes the truth and mixes a lie with it, they no longer have the truth. They have changed the truth into a lie. Neither is it possible to take a lie and mix enough truth with it to change the lie into the truth. You still come out with a lie. One may say, “Well, I know it’s not the truth, but I’ll put Christ back in Christmas and glorify God in it then.” No, you won’t. Christ never was in Christmas. You cannot change a lie into the truth. It should in reality be Baal-mass, Nimrod-mass, Tammuz-mass, Mithras-mass, or Mary-mass. Christ-mass is a lie. Why use a lie as a good time for a cardinal truth (the incarnation) of the Christian faith?

4. “I’m Using Christmas to Witness for Christ, Just Like the Apostle Paul Did”Some say that all they are doing is taking the “truth” from Christmas (i.e. the incarnation of Christ) and “cultivating” it as the Apostle Paul did (Acts 17/Mars Hill), taking the opportunity of the season to witness to a lost world. This would be fine if these Christians were actually doing only as Paul did. Paul, in addressing the Greek philosophers on Mars Hill, proclaimed to them that their “unknown god” to whom they had erected an altar, was none other than “the God who made the world and all the things therein.” Paul was not intimidated by the pagan surroundings and symbolisms, nor did he berate the Greeks for their error, but merely showed them the truth of the gospel of Christ.

But do Christians really use the “opportunity presented by the season” in the same way as Paul used the opportunity of the pagan altar? Do Christians personally stand in front of their home-town public displays of Xmas (Nativity scenes, etc.) and preach the gospel? To paraphrase Paul, do they say: “Men of Indianapolis, I see that in every way you are very religious; what you worship as something unknown, I am going to proclaim to you”? Do they come out of the public schools where they have just attended their children’s Xmas programs and preach to the attendees about the true God who has been grossly misrepresented in the program they have witnessed? Hardly. Even to most of those who understand the true origin of Xmas, this “unique time of year” means inviting unbelievers into their homes to gather around the Xmas tree, are only using pagan forms and the pagan festival season as an opportunity to witness. If Paul meant this in Acts 17, he would have met the people in the Athenian temple or in his or their homes, gathering around their idols which he had Christianized and was now using as a part of his worship.

Most of the people who decorate their homes and churches with Xmas trees, holly wreaths, Nativity scenes, etc., all supposedly to be used as “opportunities” via “Xmas coffees,” neighbourhood “grab bag” gift exchanges, Xmas concerts, etc., are convinced that they’re doing God a service. And since they are not involved in the crass secular “commercialization” that the world revels in, but have instead “put Christ back in Xmas”, they reason that all is Biblical and pleasing to God.

5. “It Doesn’t Mean Anything to Me”Many Christians who routinely make a habit of picking-and-choosing which Biblical commands they will obey or not obey, have likewise carried this practice over into a justification for celebrating Christmas. They claim, “but the Christmas tree, mistletoe, Santa Claus, etc., don’t mean anything pagan to me, so I’ll exercise my Christian liberty and partake in all of it.” Obviously, if one were to take such a cavalier approach to the physical world (i.e. “I can drink rat poison because I choose not to regard it as poison”), it would likely lead to a quick physical death. Why then do Christians think they can avoid spiritual harm by ignoring God’s spiritual warnings?

6. “The ‘Connection’ Has Been Broken” There are those who clearly recognize the pagan nature of the various Christmas worship forms and practices. Nevertheless, many of these Christians claim that because of the long passage of time from their pagan inception to the present (6000 years?), the “connection” to paganism has been sufficiently diminished to allow the adoption of these forms and practices into our Christian worship and celebration. While it may be true that most symbols have lost their original demonic meaning and significance in a modern society, it is strangely bizarre and ironic that Christendom seeks to commemorate Christ’s birth with the faded symbols of Satan. And even though some of God’s people may be naive and ignorant about the source of these things, surely God is not. Can such things please Him? And think about this — if it were possible to “disconnect” current practices from their pagan/occultic roots, why does Scripture not provide us any guidelines as to:

(a) how much time is necessary for the “neutralization” / disassociation process to occur; and

(b) which of the hundreds of ancient pagan rites would then be acceptable for adaptation into Christian worship (since some are obviously much more pagan/occultic than others)?

7. “There Are Hundreds of Other Items of Daily Life that Have a Pagan Origin”It is said, “Such things as the wedding ring, certain clothing customs, the modern division of time into hours and minutes, the names of the days of the week, etc., all have pagan connections in their origins, so isn’t it a contradiction on your part to say that their meanings have sufficiently changed while Christmas’s meanings have not?”

That’s not what we’re saying. We would ask the question back, “Which of these pagan items do we focus on to celebrate the birth of Christ? Or which of these is ‘Christianized’ and brought into our weekly worship of, or our daily devotion to, Christ, as you do with the pagan forms and traditions of Xmas?” The origin and meaning of a custom, tradition, or form does not take on significance unless it is somehow specifically incorporated into, or lined up with, our worship. As we have already detailed in the section on Christian liberty (Section IV.B.), these rings, clothing customs, etc. would be merely the by-products of paganism, not paganism itself, and they have developed no religious connotations or associations of their own, as have the Xmas customs and traditions.

8. “Baptism (and Circumcision) Have Pagan Origins and God Still Gave Their Use in Scripture, So What’s Wrong With Using the Pagan Forms of Christmas?” This argument is frequently made by pastors who say that to be consistent, those who would have us forbid the forms, symbols, and traditions of Christmas should also be calling for us to abandon believer’s baptism; i.e. shouldn’t the would-be banners of Christmas be saying, “Since the ancient mystery religions practiced forms of baptism, therefore baptism is a pagan custom and should be outlawed for the believer in Christ”? This is a strange argument for anyone to make (and, in our opinion, reveals a low view of Scriptural admonitions). If baptism were absent from the Bible, as using pagan forms and traditions to celebrate or commemorate Christ’s birthday are absent, there would then be no Biblical justification for baptism. God has not commanded us to celebrate or commemorate Christ’s birth. He has commanded us to baptize (Matt. 28:19).

E. Abstain From the Observance of ChristmasWhat, then, ought to be the Christian’s response to this and other pagan and Roman inventions? It cannot be denied that they are pagan pure and simple, from beginning to end. God gives us specific instructions in His Holy Word: Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen . . . (Jer. 10:2). These words are perfectly clear. What rational options does a Bible believing Christian have?

VI. Conclusion

The very popularity of Christmas should cause the Christian to question it. Anyone and everyone can celebrate Christmas without question — outright pagans, nominal Christians, and even Buddhists and Hindus. If, in reality, December 25th was a date set by God to remember the birth of Jesus, you could be sure that the world would have nothing to do with it. After all, God has commanded one day in seven — the Lord’s Day — to worship Him. Does the world observe it? Of course not. As expected, the world loves Christmas, but hates the Lord Jesus Christ (Jn. 15:18,23-25). It shuns anything pertaining to true religion. Shouldn’t the Christian be just a little suspicious of a celebration in which the whole sinful world can join without qualms?

One way to test the Scripturalness of our practices is to reflect on what we would expect missionaries to teach new converts in a foreign culture. With the Bible as their guide book they could start new local churches without importing American culture encumbered with Roman Catholicism, liberal Protestantism, and crass commercialism. Missionaries who have urged new converts to forsake all pagan superstitious relics have later been questioned about the apparent inconsistency of their own American Christmas customs. Nationals perceived them as idolatrous even though the missionaries were oblivious to that possibility!

When Christmas is exposed for what it really is, this angers people. It angers Protestant people! And there is reason why it does so. When the pagan celebration of Christmas is rooted up, and rejected, then what has become a Protestant tradition is, in effect, being rejected! And that is why people become angry. It began as a Roman Catholic holy day, and then it became a Protestant holy day. And if anyone dares show it up for what it really is, they face the wrath of the Protestant religious machine.

Christmas is a thoroughly pagan holiday — in its origin, in its trappings, and in all its traditions. Perhaps we should contemplate the words of the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon, delivered in a Lord’s Day sermon on December 24, 1871:

“We have no superstitious regard for times and seasons. Certainly we do not believe in the present ecclesiastical arrangement called Christmas: first, because we do not believe in the mass at all, but abhor it, whether it be said or sung in Latin or in English; and secondly, because we find no Scriptural warrant whatever for observing any day as the birthday of the Saviour; and consequently, its observance is a superstition, because [it’s] not of divine authority. Superstition has fixed most positively the day of our Saviour’s birth, although there is no possibility of discovering when it occurred. . . .

“It was not till the middle of the third century that any part of the church celebrated the nativity of our Lord; and it was not till very long after the Western church had set the example, that the Eastern adopted it. Because the day is not known, therefore superstition has fixed it; . . . Where is the method in the madness of the superstitious? Probably the fact is that the holy days were arranged to fit in with the heathen festivals. . . . We venture to assert that if there be any day in the year of which we may be pretty sure that it was not the day on which the Saviour was born, it is the twenty-fifth of December. . . . regarding not the day, let us, nevertheless, give God thanks for the gift of His dear Son.”

And from Dr. H.A. Ironside’s Lectures on the Book of Revelation (1920: p. 301):

“It is a lamentable fact that Babylon’s principles and practices are rapidly but surely pervading the churches that escaped from Rome at the time of the Reformation. We may see evidences of it in the wide use of high-sounding ecclesiastical titles, once unknown in the reformed churches, in the revival of holy days and church feasts such as Lent, Good Friday, Easter, and Christ’s Mass, or, as it is generally written, Christmas. . . . some of these festivals . . . when they are turned into church festivals, they certainly come under the condemnation of Galatians 4:9-11, where the Holy Spirit warns against the observance of days and months and times and seasons. All of them, and many more that might be added, are Babylonish in their origin, and were at one time linked with the Ashtoreth and Tammuz mystery-worship. It is through Rome that they have come down to us; and we do well to remember that Babylon is a mother, with daughters who are likely to partake of their mother’s characteristics . . . ”

And, finally, from Alexander Hislop’s The Two Babylons: Or the Papal Worship:

“Upright men strove 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. The time of the year, and the ceremonies with which it is celebrated, prove its origin.”

We can summarize by saying that nowhere in Scripture are we commanded to commemorate the birth of our Lord, and God the Father evidently deemed it unwise to make the date known. Hence, it will always remain unknown and is not to be ceremoniously remembered and celebrated. (In fact, God has warned us about getting entangled with any special days [Gal. 4:10]). Notice though, that we are commanded to remember Him in His death (but no special day was specified for this either):

“Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; this DO in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:18,19; 1 Cor. 11:23-26).

To commemorate His death is Scriptural. Any day of the year will do. To commemorate His birth is non-Scriptural, even extra-Scriptural (Deut. 4:2, 12:32; Prov. 30:6; Rev. 22:19), whether one chooses December 25th or any other day. If God had desired us to remember Christ’s birthday, He could have left us the precise date. But if He had, He would have vindicated every astrologer in the past 2,000 years. In occult circles, the anniversary of a person’s birth is the most important metaphysical day of the year. The Bible recognizes no such significance. It is intriguing that there are only two birthday celebrations recorded in the entire Bible and they were both those of ungodly kings — and both resulted in an execution (Gen. 40:16-22 and Matt. 14:6-10/Mark 6:21-27)!

The Apostle Paul says: “God forbid that I should glory in anything except in the cross [not the manger] of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Gal. 6:14). We find no salvation in the birth of the Lord Jesus by itself, for salvation was only made possible through His death (i.e., His shed blood) and resurrection. Our focus should be on the cross and our ascended Saviour, not in a cradle.

Those who love Jesus should certainly rejoice that He was born and lived amongst us as a man. But if we truly want to glorify Him and bear testimony of who He is, we must stop marrying that blessed gift with the debauchery of paganism. If we want to honour His birth, let it be done as He would have done it: year-round unselfishly serving our fellow man as an unending act of love for our God. Let us put away all of the mixture of pagan customs and take up His mantle and His pure worship, and show the confused world that there is a difference.

D.B. Dicks

Soli Deo Gloria

_______________________

BIBLIOGRAPHY/SOURCES:

1. Assemblies of Yahweh. The Case Against Christmas. Sacred Name Broadcaster, Bethel, PA,23pp.
2. Becker, R.F. The Truth About Christmas. Chapel Library, Venice, FL, 36 pp.
3. Blanton, Raymond. The Christmas Lie. Highways & Hedges Tracts, Liberty, SC, 13 pp.
4. Buday, George. The History of the Christmas Card. Putman Pub., New York, 1954, 304pp.
5. Dager, Albert James. “The Origins of Christmas Traditions,” Media Spotlight Special Report Redmond, WA, 1985..
6. Dickey, D.J. & Shetler, Earl. “Should A Christian Celebrate Christmas?” Grace Reformed Baptist Church, Vernonia, OR, 10/89: three-part sermon series — each on a 90-minute audio cassette tape.
7. Dossey, Donald. Holiday Folklore, Phobias and Fun: Mythical Origins, Scientific Treatments & Superstitious “Cures.” Outcomes Unltd. Press, Asheville, NC, 1995 (paper ed.), 232pp.
8. Elwell, W. A. (Ed.). Evangelical Dictionary of Theology. Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1984, pp. 218-221.
9. Halff, Charles. The Truth About Christmas. The Christian-Jew Foundation, San Antonio, TX, 13 pp.
10. Halff, Charles. “Is Christmas a Jewish Holiday?” Message Of The Christian Jew. November-December 1993, pp. cover, 1,2 & 7.
11. Helgerson, John C. Considering the Christmas Issue. The Church of the Open Bible, Burlington, MA, 12/31/90.
12. Hislop, Alexander. The Two Babylons: Or The Papal Worship. Loizeaux Bros., Neptune, NJ, 1959:Second Edition, 330 pp.
13. Kohler, John. Our Baptist Heritage. Heritage Baptist Church, Salem, IN, Vol. 2, No. 3, 11/92, 8 pp.
14. McCurry, Robert. The God Man Has Made. Heritage Press, Sharpsburg, GA, 8pp.
15. Pink, A.W. Xmas . Chapel Library, Venice, FL, 6 pp.
16. Schneider, Michael. Is Christmas Christian? Chapel Library, Venice, FL, 15 pp.
17. Spurlin, Ed. Where Is The Christ In Christmas. Voice in the Wilderness, Milford, NH, 11/92, 8pp.
18. Spurgeon, C.H. “Joy Born At Bethlehem,” A Sermon: Delivered on Lord’s Day Morning, December 24th, 1871. Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, pp. 697-698.
19. Unknown. My Lord Has Not Told Me To Do It: The Christian andChristmas. ” Chapel Library, Venice, FL, 4 pp.
20. Unknown. 10 Reasons Why Christmas Is Unscriptural. Chapel Library, Venice, FL, 8 pp.
21. (Vine, W.E.), Gospel Tract Publications. The Collected Writings of W.E. Vine, Volume 5. Glasgow, Scotland, 1986, pp. 436-439.
22. Willcock, Shaun. The Pagan Festivals of Christmas and Easter. Bible Based Ministries, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, 1992, 76 pp.
23. Wilson, Greg. Let’s Keep Christ Out of Xmas. Landmark Independent Baptist Church, Homestead, FL, 4 pp.

_______________________

FOOTNOTE:

* This blog post first appeared on 26 November 2011, which now has been updated with images and insertion of Authorised Version (King James Bible) scriptures.

RELATED LINKS:

What’s With Christmas?

Heathen tradition ~ Jeremiah 10:1-4 It is that time of year again when heathens and “hardcore” Christians “celebrate” in much the same way and where both camps will attempt to ratify the ‘reason for the season’ to fit with their own worldview! It would be understandable if only the heathen and the “wishy-washy deceived christians” were those who were being hoodwinked into believing the lie – just as many regard the fables given to their children when they lie about the “Tooth fairy” and “Santa Claus and his little helpers” – but it is tragic that those who purport to be theologically and biblically sound in their Christian doctrine are also going along with the lie and are partaking at the table of devils,

21  Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.
22  Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he? ~ 1 Corinthians 10:21,22

We can read in the Matthew Henry commentary,

The apostle applies this to feasting with idolaters. Eating food as part of a heathen sacrifice, was worshipping the idol to whom it was made, and having fellowship or communion with it; just as he who eats the Lord’s supper, is accounted to partake in the Christian sacrifice, or as they who ate the Jewish sacrifices partook of what was offered on their altar. It was denying Christianity; for communion with Christ, and communion with devils, could never be had at once. If Christians venture into places, and join in sacrifices to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, they will provoke God.

We are to continue steadfast and follow the apostles’ doctrine (Acts 2:42) “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;” (Ephesians 2:20) – we are not commanded to follow after man’s customs and traditions for they make the word of God of none effect (see Matthew 15:6; Mark 7:13). We see Christians following after men and worldly traditions when GOD has NOT given those commands. The apostle Paul confirms our Lord Jesus Christ’s commands of His remembrance,

23  For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
24  And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
25  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
26  For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. ~ 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

The word “shew” in verse 26 here above is,

G2605 καταγγέλλω, kataggellō, kat-ang-gel’-lo; from G2596 and the base of G32; to proclaim, promulgate: – declare, preach, shew, speak of, teach.

Therefore, “ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come” NOT His birth! It is therefore safer and an act of obedience to continue proclaiming the death of our risen Lord Jesus Christ who through His death purchased a believer’s redemption, than be found to be “celebrating with strange fire” when our GOD has NOT commanded us to do so! If you could, go and confirm with Nadab and Abihu about offering strange fire in an act of worship before the LORD Who changes not – there is no freedom to worship as you please before a Holy, Perfect and Righteous GOD Who hates idolatry! It is an abomination in GOD’s sight! We Christians – ALL, not some, are to worship GOD in “spirit and truth” (see John 4:24) as said GOD’s only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Any action other than in “spirit and truth” is to commit spiritual adultery against the bridegroom our Lord Jesus Christ.

002 So, why are “Christmas trees” found as central decorations in houses during the 25th of December’s “Christmas” celebrations? When GOD manifest Himself and took on human form in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, was a “Christmas tree” put up by Mary and Joseph to “commemorate” His birth? And every year is there a “Christmas tree” in Heaven before the Throne of GOD to “celebrate” the birth of GOD’s only begotten Son? If you think the two latter questions are so ridiculous and would be answered in the negative, then why would a “Christmas tree” be erected and decorated in a place of prominence where gifts – not for Christ – will be placed under them? If no gifts are placed under them, then why are “Christmas trees” erected in homes in the first place? How does “Christmas trees” glorify our King of kings and Lord of lords? And where in the Scriptures does the Lord Jesus Christ or His apostles command us to do so?

A German-inspired carol “O Tannenbaum” that has a whole host of English variant translations, reads as follows:

O Christmas tree!*

O Christmas tree! O Christmas tree!

Thy leaves are so unchanging;

O Christmas tree! O Christmas tree!

Thy leaves are so unchanging;

Not only green when summer’s here,

But also when ‘tis cold and drear.

O Christmas tree! O Christmas tree!

Thy leaves are so unchanging!

O Christmas tree! O Christmas tree!

Much pleasure thou canst give me;

O Christmas tree! O Christmas tree!

Much pleasure thou canst give me;

How often has the Christmas tree,

Afforded me the greatest glee!

O Christmas tree! O Christmas tree!

Much pleasure thou canst give me!

O Christmas tree! O Christmas tree!

Thy candles shine so brightly!

O Christmas tree! O Christmas tree!

Thy candles shine so brightly!

From base to summit, gay and brightly,

There’s only splendour for the sight.

O Christmas tree! O Christmas tree!

Thy candles shine so brightly!

O Christmas tree! O Christmas tree!

How richly God has decked thee!

O Christmas tree! O Christmas tree!

How richly God has decked thee!

Thou bidst us true and faithful be,

And trust in God unchangingly.

O Christmas tree! O Christmas tree!

How richly God has decked thee!

–ooo–

Not only are the above lyrics pandering to the lust of man’s flesh, the lyrics should read in its simplest form:

O Christmas tree! O Christmas tree! Thou art idolatry!

GOD’s Holy Word will have the final say concerning this day and all its heathen traditions, as we read,

1  Hear ye the word which the LORD speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: 
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. ~ Jeremiah 10:1-4

Click on the Birth of Christ Chart to open in new window The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ** can surely be known! Just trust His Word! To not do so is unbelief which is sin, as we read,

12  Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
13  But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. ~ Hebrews 3:12,13

Soli Deo Gloria

___________

Footnotes:

* Do a Google search of “O Christmas tree” to see the many English variances of the carol.

** Various links hereunder of previous blogposts dealing with the Nativity of the Lord Jesus Christ –

The following 120 Reasons Against Christmas are as they appear at the website LetGodBeTrue.com. We at Repent and Believe South Africa ministries agree!

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We Don’t Celebrate Christmas Because . . .

. . . the LORD condemns using pagan religious practices in His worship (Deut 12:29-31).

. . . the LORD condemns adding to or taking away from His commandments (Deut 12:32).

. . . the LORD condemns doing anything under green trees in His worship (Deut 12:1-4).

. . . the LORD condemns the heathen use of decorated trees at a solstice (Jeremiah 10:1-4).

. . . the LORD commands us to separate from and not touch pagan religion (II Cor 6:14-18).

. . . the LORD commands us to come out of Roman Catholicism and her sins (Rev 18:4).

. . . the LORD condemns turning to the left or right from His commandments (Deut 5:32-33).

. . . the LORD told the apostles to teach us to observe only His commandments (Matt 28:20).

. . . the LORD rejected David’s worship for a small detail and killed Uzzah (II Sam 6:1-10).

. . . the LORD rejected and killed Nadab and Abihu for offering different fire (Lev 10:1-7).

. . . the LORD rejected Moses from seeing Canaan for a slight modification (Num 20:12).

. . . the LORD rejected Cain’s worship simply for bringing an alternative sacrifice (Gen 4:7).

. . . the LORD rejected Saul forever for noble intentions in a modification (I Sam 15:22-23).

. . . the LORD rejected Uzziah and gave him facial leprosy for a new idea (II Chr 26:16-21).

. . . the LORD rejected and killed Ananias and his wife for fudging a large gift (Acts 5:1-11).

. . . the LORD requires reverence and godly fear in worship to avoid His fire (Heb 12:28-29).

. . . the LORD seeks true worshippers to worship Him in truth, not superstition (John 4:23-24).

. . . the LORD commands us to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered (Jude 1:3).

. . . the LORD requires us to esteem all His precepts but to hate all other ideas (Ps 119:128).

. . . the LORD commands us to prove all things by Scripture and reject the bad (I Thes 5:21).

. . . the LORD expects us to be noble and search Scripture to know true worship (Acts 17:11).

. . . the LORD gave Scripture to perfect us, which does not mention Xmas (II Tim 3:16-17).

. . . the LORD curses any gospel different than Paul’s, and he didn’t preach xmas (Gal 1:8-9).

. . . the LORD condemns fellowship with men having only a form of godliness (II Tim 3:5).

. . . the LORD condemns loving pleasure more than God as perilous times (II Timothy 3:4).

. . . the LORD condemns anything different from His Word as dark ignorance (Isaiah 8:20).

. . . the LORD abominates anything popular with the world and esteemed by it (Luke 16:15).

. . . the LORD condemns friendship with the world as becoming His enemy (James 4:4).

. . . the LORD condemns traditions in His worship as evil and vain hypocrisy (Mark 7:5-13).

. . . the LORD hates the polluting of His glorious name with pagan idolatry (Ezekiel 20:39).

. . . the LORD condemns the superstitious idolatry and blasphemy of the Mass (I Cor 11:26).

. . . the LORD condemns bringing any item of false religion into our houses (Deut 7:25-26).

. . . the LORD commands us not to set up any image, which He hates (Deut 16:22; Ex 20:4-6).

. . . the LORD hates religion that goes under green trees (I Kings 14:23; Isaiah 57:5; Jer 3:6).

. . . the LORD condemns adopting any practices of the pagans around us (Leviticus 18:1-4).

. . . the LORD condemns sun worship (Deut 4:19; 17:3; II Kgs 23:5; Job 31:26-28; Eze 8:16).

. . . the LORD endorses only apostolic traditions, and they never celebrated it (II Thes 2:15).

. . . the LORD is honored by gifts to Him rather than a selfish exchange of gifts (Matt 2:11).

. . . the LORD teaches us to remember His death rather than His birth (Phil 3:10; I Cor 15:3).

. . . the LORD gave baptism and His supper to remember His death (Rom 6:3-5; I Co 11:26).

. . . the LORD resents the hatred of pagans who exchange gifts against His men (Rev 11:10).

. . . the LORD condemns "the spirit of Christmas" as another spirit He hates (II Cor 11:1-4).

. . . the LORD condemns a mother and child wearing halos as another jesus (II Cor 11:1-4).

. . . the LORD condemns a tradition glorifying sun worship as another gospel (II Co 11:1-4).

. . . the LORD loves us to give up dear things as proof of our love to Him (Matt 10:37-39).

. . . the LORD did not come to bring peace on earth but rather a dividing sword (Mat 10:34).

. . . the LORD blessed giving over receiving, but Xmas is selfish exchanging (Acts 20:35).

. . . the LORD calls Jewish holy days matters of liberty, but not pagan holidays (Col 2:16).

. . . the LORD calls Jewish holy days matters of liberty, but not pagan holidays (Rom 14:6).

. . . the LORD considers the birth of His Son worthy of honor rather than folly (Heb 1:6).

. . . the two chief New Testament ordinances – baptism and the Lord’s supper – pertain to His death, not His birth.

. . . celebrating Christmas sincerely is identical to Jeroboam’s two calves (I Kings 12:26-33).

. . . Aaron led Israel to worship the LORD with a golden calf to their judgment (Ex 32:1-5).

. . . it breaks the first commandment by having other gods – the sun god Mithra (Ex 20:3).

. . . it breaks the second commandment by having images – a Christmas tree (Ex 20:4-6).

. . . it breaks the third commandment by taking His name in vain – "Christmas" (Ex 20:7).

. . . it breaks the fifth commandment by promoting children’s greed over parents (Ex 20:12).

. . . it breaks the tenth commandment by promoting covetousness to children (Ex 20:17).

. . . many Baptist martyrs gave their lives to oppose Catholic superstitions and traditions.

. . . it was a crime to observe Christmas in America, when our country truly feared God.

. . . it was a crime to observe Christmas in England, when that country truly feared God.

. . . all the God-hating, Christ-denying, and sin-loving pagans get excited about this day.

. . . Santa Claus is a pagan mockery of God the Father with white hair, grandfatherly image, eternal, lives in the North, unlimited resources, omniscient of children’s behavior, omnipresent for a night, hears confessions, comes as a thief, blesses children, and distributes judgment for works.

. . . the name Christmas came from "Mass of Christ," and Christians hate the Catholic mass.

. . . every sincere birthday party honors the one born that day rather than all the mere guests.

. . . a gift exchange dictated by a calendar is not a message of love but a ritual of obligation.

. . . a gift exchange at the winter solstice was invented by pagans to celebrate the sun god.

. . . Christianity is giving gifts unexpected without obligation to reciprocate (Luke 14:12-14).

. . . secular encyclopaedias will gladly tell you that Christmas came from pagan sun worship.

. . . the first state in our Bible-oriented country to make it a holiday was Alabama in 1836.

. . . a little drummer boy did not travel to the manger to play his drum for the infant Jesus.

. . . for the two centuries following the Pilgrims, Christians in America called it "popish."

. . . English parliament under Oliver Cromwell outlawed it in 1644 and punished violators.

. . . loving Jesus Christ is keeping His commandments, not decorating a tree (John 14:15).

. . . you cannot do unto the LORD what the LORD has condemned (Deut 12:1-4; 12:29-32).

. . . Christmas is not a matter of liberty left up to our consciences and/or heart preferences.

. . . true followers of God will not follow a multitude or majority to false worship (Ex 23:2).

. . . Xmas is most adored by women, whom God calls silly and weak (II Tim 3:6; I Pet 3:7).

. . . a time of unbridled greed, covetousness, and materialism cannot honor Jesus Christ.

. . . this unique holy day in the Roman Catholic calendar is exalted by three profane masses.

. . . the world loves a ‘jesus’ helpless in a manger, but God’s Christ is the LORD and Judge.

. . . on Christmas Eve the Pope of Rome conducts a special mass seen by much of the earth.

. . . godly parents don’t lie to their children about a Roman Catholic myth named Nicholas.

. . . the Bible is totally silent about using this day or any such celebration to honor Christ.

. . . the gospel according to Christmas tradition, cards, and plays corrupts the Bible facts.

. . . the Pilgrims in 1620, seeking to worship God in truth, formally banned the holiday.

. . . the Puritans in 1659, seeking to worship God in truth, set a 5 shillings fine for keeping it.

. . . the modern Christmas tree was not introduced to this country by Germans until 1821.

. . . Jesus was not born in December, for one-half year back from Passover is rather October.

. . . Jesus was not born in December, for shepherds did not stay in the fields during winter.

. . . Jesus was not born in December, for taxation would not have been in the dead of winter.

. . . Jesus was not born in December, for wise taxation would have been shortly after harvest.

. . . Jesus was not born in December, for careful calculation of the priest’s courses exclude it.

. . . the Roman feast at the winter solstice was to the sun god Mithras from the Persians.

. . . the Roman, extended feast prior to the winter solstice was to Saturn, god of agriculture.

. . . so many consider Christmas a "sacred cow" and beyond questioning or condemning.

. . . our past lives suffice us for lusts, excess of wine, revellings, and banquetings (I Pet 4:3).

. . . Emperor Aurelian picked December 25 for this holiday in 274 to worship the sun god.

. . . pagan sun worshippers had a great festival to the sun at the winter solstice before Jesus.

. . . it would be wrong to have a golden calf with candles to worship the Lord our Strength.

. . . the public schools in Boston were still open for classes on December 25 as late as 1870.

. . . the "birthday of the invincible sun" (dies natalis Solis invicti) was this date in Rome.

. . . December 25 was chosen by being the date of the winter solstice in the Julian calendar.

. . . Satan uses this pagan feast to steal glory from the Son of God for ignorant sun worship.

. . . Christmas American-style is oppression of parents by greedy children (Isaiah 3:1-5, 12).

. . . Jesus promised that the majority are on the wrong road leading to death (Matt 7:13-14).

. . . Charles Spurgeon, the most popular Baptist minister, preached against it as late as 1871.

. . . all the unique customs of Christmas may be traced individually to pagan religious rites.

. . . Hindus, Jews, Mormons, Pagans, and other cults celebrate it while despising Jesus.

. . . using Scripture’s silence to justify anything not expressly forbidden will lead to Coke and chips for the Lord’s supper and ouija boards for difficult decisions.

. . . it creates the most foolish, hectic, stressful, guilt-ridden, and unproductive time of year.

. . . the LORD is a jealous God and will judge any playing with other gods (Ex 34:12-16).

. . . New Testament charity may accommodate weakness, but it cannot error (Romans 14:1).

. . . the moderation taught in the New Testament is temperance or self-discipline (Phil 4:5).

. . . it would be identical to offering incense to the brasen serpent of Moses (II Kings 18:4).

. . . the only day observed by the apostles was the Lord’s day (Rev 1:10; Acts 20:7; I Cor 16:2).

. . . we choose to emulate Jacob, who put away family idols to worship God (Gen 35:1-5).

. . . we choose to emulate Jehu, who defiled Baal worship to please God (II Kings 10:26-28).

. . . we choose to emulate Josiah, who defiled all pagan worship to please God (II Kings 23:1-37).

. . . we choose to emulate Asa, who defiled his mother’s favorite idol (II Chron 15:12-16).

See Also …

Christmas is Spiritual Adultery

Doctrines, Dogmas and Denominations cause Divisions!

Doctrines, Dogmas and Denominations cause Divisions!

There is nothing in Scripture which says, “Endeavouring to keep up your ecclesiastical arrangements for centralization;” but the exhortation runs thus: “Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit.” ~ Charles H. Spurgeon

A plague upon denominationalism! There should be but one denomination: we should be denominated by the name of Christ, as the wife is named by her husband’s name. As long as the church of Christ has to say, “My right arm is Episcopalian, and my left arm is Wesleyan, and my right foot is Baptist, and my left foot is Presbyterian or Congregational,” she is not ready for the marriage. She will be ready when she has washed out these stains, when all her members have “one Lord, one faith, one baptism.” ~ Charles H. Spurgeon

3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. ~ Ephesians 4:3-6

Jesus is NOT

9  God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. 
10  Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 
11  For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. 
12  Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. 
13  Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? ~ 1 Corinthians 1:9-13

Soli Deo Gloria

The Woman Caught in Adultery

I shared with a Seventh-day Adventist recently regarding John 8:1-11 and it is clear that SDA’s – but not only SDA’s – approach the Scriptures of the Bible from the stand point of eisegesis (that is to read into the Scriptures one’s own belief systems and dogma) and that is where they interpret and teach scripture from their own view point which brings about error, but we are to receive from the Scriptures by exegesis (that is allowing Scripture to confirm Scripture) and “. . . the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things . . .” (see John 14:26).

This post will deal with two issues that many believers misinterpret – or miss altogether – with regards to this portion of Scripture where often it is said that this story merely shows the Lord Jesus’ mercy and grace to the woman caught in adultery. It however goes a lot deeper from a legal perspective than just “seeing the mercy and grace of Jesus.” The two issues, are,

1. Why? and for what reasons did Jesus write on the ground with His finger the two times? and

2. Would Jesus have had to give the command to stone the woman if all the requirements of the law were fulfilled?

Here is the portion of Scripture under discussion:

1  Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. 
2  And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. 
3  And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 
4  They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 
5  Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? 
6  This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. 
7  So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 
8  And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 
9  And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
10  When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
11  She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. ~ John 8:1-11

I will now give an exegesis account on John 8:1-11, starting with the first issue,

1. Why? and for what reasons did Jesus write on the ground with His finger the two times? 

Firstly, the Pharisees knew the law, but they also added to, diminished from and even broke the law of Moses. While many would overlook that Jesus would have to remind the Pharisees what the law required, by writing on the ground, we can learn much from what Jesus said, as it is recorded in the words of Jesus, as we hear His teaching, as He berates the doings and teachings of the scribes and Pharisees, as it is written,

1  Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, 
2  Saying,
The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: 
3  All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. 
4  For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. 
5  But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, 
6  And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, 
7  And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. 
8  But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.
~ Matthew 23:1-8

Now to exegete the John portion of Scripture under discussion, in John 8:3 we read that the scribes and Pharisees brought unto Jesus a woman taken in adultery, and they confirm in verse 4 that it was “in the very act.” If it was “in the very act” then they had broken the law of Moses by letting the male adulterer go free and by only bringing the female adulteress to Jesus for judgment. They “knew” what the law commanded as they say in verse 5 “Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned:”, but their whole modus operandi was to tempt Jesus so that they could accuse Him for at the end of verse 5 they say, “but what sayest thou?” In verse 6 it confirms that they wanted to accuse Jesus and the only way to do that was to see how Jesus would react to the law of Moses that they were referring to. On the Pharisees’ part they were being deceitful and wanting to make a show of Jesus’ reaction before the scribes, who would have most certainly recorded the events, and before the people whom Jesus were teaching. In essence they were trying to “catch-out” Jesus by seeing if He would keep the law. The law of Moses commanded the following:

10  And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. ~ Leviticus 20:10

22  If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel. ~ Deuteronomy 22:22

I believe that when “. . . Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not” He was bringing to their attention what the law actually said, bringing an indictment against them as to where the adulterer was that was caught “in the very act.” He wrote the applicable law with His finger, and we can go to the Old Testament Scriptures and see Who is referred to as writing the law with His finger, as we read, for it is written,

18  And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God. ~ Exodus 31:18 (My emphasis in bold and throughout)

10  And the LORD delivered unto me two tables of stone written with the finger of God; and on them was written according to all the words, which the LORD spake with you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly. ~ Deuteronomy 9:10

Since Jesus was being tested by the Pharisees in the law, it would be expected that Jesus was probably writing concerning the law. Why else would He stoop done and write? We are speaking about a Righteous GOD in human flesh! And if the Pharisees knew the Scriptures they would have understood Jesus’ writing with His finger, too. The Pharisees continued with their badgering of the Lord Jesus, and He lifted up Himself from the stooped position, as we read,

7  So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. ~ John 8:7

Jesus’ statement of “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her” is referring to them breaking the law that He has just made known to them for they could not sin unless they had violated the law. You cannot bring an indictment against someone before showing them the error of their ways, or else it could be a false accusation if it were not true! For in 1 John 3:4 it reads: “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” In this instance, Jesus could not make reference to “sin” in the absence of the “law” being mentioned, for He would have no basis to make that statement. Where there is no law there can be no transgression and indictment. Therefore, Jesus had to make known the law before saying, that if there is no transgression of the law (sin) among you then that person can then cast a stone at her. No righteous judgment can be executed without a person being shown the law they have violated. In a court of law you cannot be sued and be found guilty unless you are told which law you have transgressed. For we read, as it is written,

15  Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. ~ Romans 4:15

2. Would Jesus have had to give the command to stone the woman if all the requirements of the law were fulfilled?

It should also be noted that if the Pharisees had also brought the male adulterer to Jesus with the present adulteress, Jesus would have had to teach and show that He was a keeper of the law and have them both stoned according to the law given to Moses by GOD! However, this was not the intentions of the Pharisees to uphold the law, but to discredit and find reasons to accuse Jesus (see John 8:6). They were not law abiding, but deceivers in their actions!

When Jesus stooped down again the second time and wrote on the ground, it is possible that He was writing their indictments as lawbreakers for we read that they were being convicted by their own consciences; for we also read, as it is written,

11  For there is no respect of persons with God.
12  For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;
13  (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
14  For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
15  Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another; )
16  In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel. ~ Romans 2:11-16

In context Jew and Gentile have the law written in their hearts and all have a conscience, for a ‘Jew’ is one inwardly, as we read,

28  For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
29  But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. ~ Romans 2:28,29

One’s conscience can only bring about conviction when the righteous requirements of the law is brought to one’s attention. In John 8:9 the Pharisees’ consciences were convicted – their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts accusing one another. Have you heard the saying: “Have you got a guilty conscience?” How can a conscience be guilty if it has never been shown what it is guilty of? We read that the law is a schoolmaster, as it is written,

24  Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. ~ Galatians 3:24

Once they were convicted by their consciences they started leaving from the eldest to the last for they were not innocent from transgressing the laws of Moses which the Pharisees bragged about keeping! Therefore, Jesus could also not condemn the woman as the requirements of the law had not fully been fulfilled, in two parts:

(i) The male adulterer was also not present to stand “trial”; and

(ii) The “witnesses” were no longer present having departed due to their own convictions, as we read what the law required from witnesses:

6  At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death. 
7  The hands of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So thou shalt put the evil away from among you. ~ Deuteronomy 17:6,7

The answer to the second issue would then be a resounding YES! If the male adulterer had also been brought to Him, the witnesses who caught the adulterer and the adulteress “in the very act” would have had to be the first to cast stones at the lawbreakers and then afterward the hands of all the people which would probably have included Jesus’ own hand! Therefore, in light of the fact that the transgressing of the law was not fulfilled in all its requirements, Jesus showed the adulterous woman mercy “Neither do I condemn thee:”, but gave her a stern warning to “go, and sin no more.

Jesus Christ is merciful and gracious, but He is also a righteous Judge that passes righteous judgments! Christians must not be as the Pharisees, whom Christ berated:

15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. ~ Matthew 23:15

Jesus said the just shall live by faith, for the letter of the law kills, as we read:

16  Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
17  But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.
18  For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.
19  For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. 
20  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 
21  I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. ~ Galatians 2:16-21

We therefore cannot come to the Scriptures as we think fit, wanting it to say what we want it to say to fit one’s own doctrines, dogma and religious denomination, but we must always allow Scripture to confirm Scripture! Our Lord Jesus Christ is the living Word of the written Word Who is “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” (Hebrews 13:8). And He changes not, neither will He ever contradict Himself!Soli Deo Gloria

Christian, Are You Playing Church?

In Imbali Township Here is a teaching that was in part preached by writer on the evening of Thursday October 15, 2015 at Imbali Township upon invitation by Brother Lungisa Joctrey. The transcript has been expanded upon and the audio is a later private recording Internet Archivedone today. Please press the icon to the right to listen while you can  read the transcript simultaneously. (Duration 49:49) > > >

— OOO —

Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. I come to you in humility and believe that this is a teaching from our Lord Jesus as we will deal with our responsibilities as Christians – more precisely as disciples of our risen Saviour our Lord Jesus Christ; those who follow after His Way!

We will look briefly at the three times the word Christian appears in the Holy Bible, before we will look at what is required of a disciple of our Lord Jesus Christ. A Christian is a Christ-follower.

Firstly, we read in the Book of Acts, that “. . . the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch” (Acts 11:26). During that time we read that Barnabas had departed to Tarsus to seek Saul (who is Paul),

26  And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch. ~ Acts 11:26

The questions to be asked, are: a] Are you not neglecting the assembling of yourselves with the ekklesia, the assembly of believers? (see Hebrews 10:25) and b] Are you teaching much people? (see Matthew 28:20)

Secondly, we also read in Acts 26:28 of another account where the word “Christian” is used and that is when the apostle Paul is laying his case before Festus and king Agrippa, as we read:

28  Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. ~ Acts 26:28

Christian, are you persuading non-believers to become Christians through your witness to them?

And Thirdly, we read in context the following portion of Scripture, in 1 Peter 4:14-16,

14  If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
15  But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.
16  Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. ~ 1 Peter 4:14-16

Christian, are you being reproached for the name of Christ and experiencing His sufferings for the glory of GOD? (see Matthew 5:10,11)

In modern church circles much learned men will tell us we must have an outline and possibly three or four points when presenting a sermon. This teaching has an outline and i will be drawing an example from the greatest sermon every preached, by the greatest preacher who ever walked this earth, when He preached the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5 through 7). Our Lord Jesus raised 10 points alone in the Beatitudes from what we read as verses 3 to 12! So go do the math in your study time for there are 111 verses! The point is, we will hear many Scriptures, for we will allow GOD to speak from HIS Word!

To reiterate, here is the question again: Christian, Are You Playing Church?

As a Christian, what is required of you? To be a Christian, a disciple of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, you have to be born again. We read in John 3:3,

3  Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Are you born again by the Spirit of GOD? There are many who say, they said a prayer one time and now they are “born again”. But are you truly born again by the Spirit of GOD? You see there is an account of Nicodemus, a man of the Pharisees, a ruler of the Jews, who came to Jesus by night, and Jesus deals with the main issue straight away, “. . . Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” We then read further from the Scriptures in John 3:4-8,

4  Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
5  Jesus answered,
Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 
6  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 
7  Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 
8  The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. ~ John 3:4-8

A Christian is born twice – first by water, a natural birth in the flesh, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh;” and secondly by a spiritual rebirth “and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” In John 1:11 to 13 we read that this rebirth is all of GOD and that power is given by Him to those who received Him to become sons of GOD in believing upon the name of Jesus Christ, not by men’s devices, customs and traditions or by their schemes,

11  He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. ~ John 1:11-13

Scripture further tells us,

12  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. ~ Acts 4:12

Dear friends, have you truly called upon the name of Jesus Christ and by faith believed upon Him? And if you have, have you counted the cost of following Jesus Christ, not just any “Jesus”, but the LORD JESUS CHRIST of the Holy Bible. The One Who is Yeshua haMeshiach, the Messiah, the anointed of GOD, the One Who is the Son of GOD.

You see dear friends, our LORD JESUS CHRIST even posed the question to His immediate twelve disciples as we read the historical account in Matthew 16:13-17,

13  When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
14  And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
15  He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. ~ Matthew 16:13-17

You see the LORD JESUS CHRIST whom we speak of here is the One Who always existed from the beginning, as we read in John 1:1-3,

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. ~ John 1:1-3

And in verse 14 of John 1, we read,

14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. ~ John 1:14

The One Who spoke of Himself, and said,

13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. ~ John 3:13

We are speaking and exalting and glorifying the One and Only True and Living GOD: a Good GOD, a Righteous GOD, a Holy GOD, a Perfect GOD, a Just GOD, a Merciful GOD and a Gracious GOD who is a Saving GOD, the Elohym manifest in human form, the man Christ Jesus who openly stated: “Before Abraham was I am” and because of this statement of fact the Jews wanted to stone Him (see John 8:58,59). He uses the very Name of YEHOVAH (the English spelling = JEHOVAH, see Exodus 6:3; Psalm 83:18; Isaiah 12:2, 26:4), YHVH (Hebrew Yod Hey Vav Hey ~ the Tetragrammaton YHVH), and when GOD met with Moses and spoke to him out of a burning bush before GOD sent Moses to deliver Israel from out of the bondage of Egypt, He says “I AM”, as we read in Exodus 3:13-15,

13  And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?
14  And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
15  And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations. ~ Exodus 3:13-15

Do you know this LORD JESUS CHRIST? where GOD’s Word says in 1 Timothy 3:16,

16  And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. ~ 1 Timothy 3:16

And in Philippians 2:6-11, for it is written,

6  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 
7  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 
8  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 
9  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 
10  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 
11  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ~ Philippians 2:6-11

Dear friends, now that we have established the LORD JESUS CHRIST that GOD the Father speaks of, and Who we know, He also warns us to beware of what you hear and from what source, for our LORD JESUS CHRIST said that there would be many deceivers, false prophets, false apostles, false teachers and a false gospel. There would even be those that would come in His Name and say they are Christ! Do not be deceived Christian!

Do you know the true Gospel – the Good News of the LORD JESUS CHRIST? And are you following this True LORD JESUS CHRIST?

In Luke 9:18-22 we read a parallel portion of Scripture that we dealt with earlier in Matthew 16:13-17, where Jesus asks His disciples, “Whom say the people that I am?” Luke goes on and records that the apostle Peter said Jesus is, “The Christ of God” (Luke 9:20), and Jesus Christ continues,

22  Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day. ~ Luke 9:22

Immediately after this verse Jesus Christ goes on to lay down what is required of being a follower of Him, as it is written in Luke 9:23-27,

23  And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
24  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
25  For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?
26  For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.
27  But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.
~ Luke 9:23-27

Have you counted the cost of your life as a Christian? If not, are you busy weighing up what it will cost you to follow Jesus Christ? You see, to follow Jesus Christ will cost you everything . . . yes, EVERYTHING! Have you counted the cost of your discipleship? Now here comes the hard sayings of the LORD JESUS CHRIST. In Luke 14:26-33 Jesus tells us the conditions to being His disciple and who are disqualified:

Luke 14:26  If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

Does your love for GOD the LORD JESUS CHRIST far exceed the love for your earthly family, and all your earthly affections? The ‘love’ you have for them will appear as hatred as Jesus confirms in Matthew 10:34-37,

34  Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
35  For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 
36  And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.
37  He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
~ Matthew 10:34-36
 

Our love for GOD must be first and foremost (see Exodus 20:3; Deuteronomy 5:7). Nothing else, even including family must take precedence to the love for our Creator GOD! Anything that takes our affections, our heart and our mind from the love and worship of GOD is idolatry! (see Exodus 20:4-6; Deuteronomy 5:8-10). Or,

Luke 14:27  And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

The cross is one of death. Do we consider the cost of it requiring us to mortify our sins and that it will even possibly cost you your life. Today preaching the cross might be foolishness to them that are perishing, but unto us which are saved it is the power of God unto salvation (see 1 Corinthians 1:18 and Romans 1:16). However, in the second epistle of Paul the apostle, to Timothy, he writes,

11  Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.
12  Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. ~ 2 Timothy 3:11,12

We might not be experiencing persecution here in South Africa to the extent of what the apostle Paul and the disciples went through, but our Brethren in the Middle East in countries like Israel, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, on the African continent, in Asia, South America, in Australasia, are being persecuted and even martyred, and yes, persecution and violence has even come to neighbourhoods in Europe and in North America. A case in point was the recent shootings at Umpqua Community College in the USA where a shooter asked who was Christian and those that answered in the affirmative were shot in their heads. Students who remained silent or answered not as Christians were shot in their legs. We are living in an evil and wicked time when Christians are being beheaded and taking bullets for being disciples of our LORD JESUS CHRIST! Have you counted this cost?

The remainder of Luke 14:28-33 deals with two examples of how it will cost you to follow Christ and it ends with Luke 14:33 which reads as follows,

33  So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. ~ Luke 14:33

Have you forsaken all to follow Jesus Christ? Have you given up on the things of this world which makes you an enemy of GOD? (see James 4:4). In other words are you holding to the things of this world that are spiritually meaningless. Our LORD JESUS CHRIST said, for it is written,

26  For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? ~ Matthew 16:26

Or as we read in Proverbs 11:4,

4  Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death. ~ Proverbs 11:4

Are you being rich toward GOD as to where you are storing up your treasures? as we read,

19  Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 
20  But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 
21  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. ~ Matthew 6:19-21

Further, as a disciple of Jesus Christ, are you keeping His commandments and forsaking all else? For He said in John 14:21,

21  He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. ~ John 14:21

Are you keeping GOD’s commandments? Or are you continuing in your sin, grieving and quenching the Holy Spirit? Go to the Scriptures that deal with personal sin that can also affect the organic Body of Christ. We can examine them, and bear in mind these Scripture portions were written to the Churches of believers:

In 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 we see a whole host of sins. Do you find yourself in the following list, as we read,

9  Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10  Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
11  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. ~ 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Or are there still sin in your life as contained in Colossians 3:5 to 10, as we read,

5  Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 
6  For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 
7  In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. 
8  But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 
9  Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 
10  And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: ~ Colossians 3:5-10

To mortify is to utterly destroy. To put to death. Christian, be killing sin, or sin will be killing you! There are so many more Scripture portions where you can go and examine yourself, like the following two Scriptures,

2 Timothy 2:22  Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

1 Thessalonians 5:22  Abstain from all appearance of evil.

Are you dead to sin? In the great doctrine Book of the Bible, Romans, in chapter 6 verses 6 to 13, we read,

6  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 
7  For he that is dead is freed from sin. 
8  Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 
9  Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. 
10  For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
11  Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
12  Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
13  Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. ~ Romans 6:6-13

Then in Romans 6:18, we read,

18  Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. ~ Romans 6:18

Dear friends, if you know GOD, you will not sin! Live in victory, for in 1 John 2:29, we read,

29  If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him. ~ 1 John 2:29

The enemy Satan loves to twist Scripture. Know this, you can live a sin free righteous life. Hear these stern warnings in 1 John 3:8-11, as it is written,

8  He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 
9  Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 
10  In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. 
11  For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. ~ 1 John 3:8-11

You see, our reasonable service to GOD is found in Romans 12:1 and 2,

1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. ~ Romans 12:1,2 

You see if you have sin it also affects the other believers in the assembly. That is why Church discipline is so important. That is why the Lord’s Day meeting – any day that you esteem unto the Lord (see Romans 14:5,6) – should be for believers only. Allow our Lord to add to His Bride and let us not get ahead of ourselves for the filling of seats. Is the “tithe” the reason for growth in the meeting? then pastors and teachers you need to repent! Are man-made programs being implemented to increase growth in the assembly? then there must be repentance! GOD adds to His Church! We are not saved by works. Works righteousness is found in the Roman Catholic movement, by Muslims and Hindus, and the 37,000+ denominations and cults that men have made. Our faith certainly must be active with works, but we do not work to obtain our salvation. Works are ordained by GOD and will be a result of salvation!

In the general epistle of James, chapter 2 verses 17 and 18, we read,

17  Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18  Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. ~ James 2:17,18

We also read in Ephesians 2:8-10,

8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 
9  Not of works, lest any man should boast. 
10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. ~ Ephesians 2:8-10

Are you about GOD’s business here on earth? Those who do the will of the Father are His children. We are even told to walk as Christ walked.

The early ekklesia – which is the assembly of believers which we know as “church” – turned the world upside down. Through persecution they went everywhere preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ (see Acts 8:4). Are you sharing Christ Jesus with this evil and wicked world? Or are you keeping Him to yourself? You see, if you have the true Jesus Christ, and He is Lord and Saviour of your life, you wouldn’t be able to remain silent whilst your neighbours, colleagues and family walk headlong towards Hell! Do you understand the gravity of this issue? If not, then you need to search for GOD! Or maybe, certain practices that are unbiblical have crept in to the assembly, like women pastors and those who usurp authority over men in meetings, as we read,

11  Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
12  But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
13  For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
14  And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
15  Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety. ~ 1 Timothy 2:11-15

The assembly of believers is not to be a P.C.S.C., i.e. Politically Correct Social Club! It is not about pandering to ‘women-libbers’ and their fleshly wants! It is all about what GOD ordains for His Bride, for a woman cannot be the “husband of one wife” (see 1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6), not even in the evil and wicked practice of lesbianism! Look, women find their place in the Church teaching younger women, as we learn from Titus 2:3-5,

3  The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 
4  That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 
5  To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. ~ Titus 2:3-5

Or maybe it is the dumb-downed Bible translations that are a plethora (i.e. overabundance) of ‘butter-knives’ that are perverse and contradict one another. Corrupt men have corrupted GOD’s Word for the love of filthy lucre! We need to stand upon the infallible, inerrant, inspired and preserved Word of GOD which is the sword of the Spirit (see Ephesians 6:17)! The LORD commands us neither to add to nor take away from HIS Word – which is the Holy Bible. We see this in Deuteronomy 4:2, 12:32; Proverbs 4:20,21; and Revelation 22:19. We also read in Proverbs 30:5 and 6,

5  Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. 
6  Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. ~ Proverbs 30:5,6

And in a Psalm of David, we read, as it is written,

6  The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
7  Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. ~ Psalm 12:6,7

In Psalm 119 we read, for it is written,

Psa 119:140  Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.

Psa 119:160  Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.

And in Psalm 138 A Psalm of David, we read, for it is written, that the LORD GOD’s Word is magnified above all His name,

Psa 138:2  I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

It is for this reason that we should agree with GOD’s Holy Word in all points and echo what the Scriptures declare: “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” (Psalm 119:11).

This is where the modern ecumenical church has lost its way with humanism, abortions, homosexuality including gay-clergy infiltrating GOD’s assembly. These practices are an abomination to GOD and we must defend our Christian liberties! Do you contend for the faith and warn against the practice of these evils?

Further, do you evangelise the lost with a Biblical message? Or do you peddle a man-centred gospel that has absolutely no power what-so-ever? Or do you leave it up to the evangelist to do all the work in our LORD’s harvest field. Jesus Christ summed it up clearly,

2  Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. ~ Luke 10:2

Sadly, many inside the churchianity system do exactly that, and only that. They pray – for “others” to “go”! You see it is easier to speak to GOD about men, than to speak to men about GOD! At this hour, at this day, we need real men – soldiers of the cross – who will report for duty and “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 3). Charles Haddon Spurgeon, a 19th century English preacher, said: “Every Christian is either a missionary or an imposter.” Dear friends, where do you stand on this quote?

Have you read and understood Ephesians 4:11 through 16,

11  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14  That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
16  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. ~ Ephesians 4:11-16

Is there unity in your faith with the ministry of reconciliation, by the word of reconciliation where the members are ambassadors for Christ? (see 2 Corinthians 5:18-20). Or has the assembly where you attend rather become more concerned about getting ‘fat’ on the Word, than exercising your faith and putting feet to it by going and sharing the Living Word with this heathen and pagan generation? The “church” of today – not to be confused with the pristine and beautiful remnant Bride of Christ – the “church” of today is lukewarm and asleep and very much heretic and apostate! A “holy huddle” up on the hill, and not as our LORD JESUS CHRIST declares in Matthew 5:14-16,

14  Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. ~ Matthew 5:14-16 

If you have truly been saved through “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21), then brethren you will be urgent about the will and purpose of our Heavenly Father!

There is so much more that can be said, but in closing we will look at what the Church really is! The problem is, is that people in general have a wrong understanding of what “Church” is. Here is the deal – you cannot go to something that you are! The ekklesia – assembly, congregation of believers – are the Church! We are lively stones. In Scripture there is a beautiful revelation of the Bride of Christ. She is living, praising, praying, active, worshipping, glorifying and organic, where fellowship is had with the Father and Son by the moving of the Holy Spirit! No discussing the latest fashions and fads, ipads and technologies, or sporting and entertainment events! It is organic and alive. GOD does not live in buildings made with hands. Nor in idols of silver and gold, wood and stone. He lives in people! In 1 Peter 2 and Ephesians 2, we read, and i will explain the “spiritual house”, that is reliant on every member part as a living body, this is the Judeo-Christian meeting of the first century – and why should it be different today? – as we read,

42  And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. ~ Acts 2:42

26  How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. ~ 1 Corinthians 14:26

1  Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, 
2  As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: 
3  If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. 
4  To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, 
5  Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. . . . 
9  But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
10  Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. ~ 1 Peter 2:1-5 and 9,10

18  For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
19  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 
20  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 
21  In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 
22  In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. ~ Ephesians 2:18-22

As with any building being built, a cornerstone needs to be laid perfectly and then the foundation will be also sure and perfectly laid. However, if the cornerstone is askew then the foundation will also be askew because of its alignment and as a result all the walls built from the askew cornerstone and the askew foundation will also be askew! The same principle applies with the spiritual house of GOD. As Jesus Christ is the Chief Cornerstone who is a Perfect Foundation and the Rock upon which we need to stand, and as He is Upright, Sure and Perfect, we as the lively stones – living stones – are joined to our Chief Cornerstone “In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit”, this is the spiritual house that is made not with hands, not a brick and mortar building, but this spiritual house is the true ekklesia – assembly, congregation, Church – of GOD! As the living stones (spiritual walls) we Christians will be upright, erect and perfect being aligned with the Chief Cornerstone and Foundation of our LORD JESUS CHRIST!

Therefore, as the Body of Jesus Christ, we need the Spirit of GOD to move mightily in each of us in unity! And if we want to see the power of GOD’s revival, it must start with us by humbling ourselves in repentance of sins! Before we can get the community in order our spiritual house must be in order!

17  For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
18  And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
19  Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator. ~ 1 Peter 4:17-19

Christian, Are You Playing Church? And Church, Are You Missing What Church Really Is?

May we urgently examine where we have been derailed and get back on track to the Glory of GOD Alone!

Soli Deo Gloria! Amen!

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