Let’s just be honest. Everybody knows that Christmas is not Yeshua’s (Jesus) birthday and that it is laden with pagan traditions. Historically, Yeshua is NOT the reason for the season. Most Bible scholars, due to the conditions surrounding His birth, believe Yeshua was born in the fall. Even Wikipedia says, “As far as the month of Jesus’ birth, it can be inferred to be summer or fall. Combining inferences from when shepherds would likely be in the fields and working backward from Zechariah’s priestly service (John the Baptist’s father) and its connections to Jesus’ birth, one arrives at a likely date of mid-September to early October. This would suggest the conception of Jesus might have been in December, but not his birth.”
Scripture does not command us to celebrate Yeshua’s birthday. There are two birthday celebrations mentioned in the Bible: Pharaoh (Genesis 40:20) and King Herod (Matthew 14:6, Mark 6:21) – not the best examples. In fact, December 25 is well knows as a pagan god’s birthday (Nimrod, Tammuz, Apollo, Hercules, and more). All pagan gods were “born” on December 25 because that is the winter solstice – when the sun is “reborn.” (See this article.) In addition, many of the items that we use to decorate/celebrate are rooted in paganism and pagan god worship – the tree, the 12 Days of Christmas, Santa Claus, jingle bells, chimney, mistletoe, Easter bunny, dyed eggs and more. This article gives a brief description of some of the pagan symbolism in Christmas: https://holidappy.com/holidays/twelve-christmas-traditions-with-pagan-origins. The video, Truth and Tradition, by Jim Staley details the pagan practices and influences that have developed into what we currently celebrate as Christmas and Easter. I highly recommend you watch it.
So how did we transition from Biblical Feasts to Christmas and Easter? In the 300’s, Constantine – when he was trying to convert pagans to Christianity – took biblical figures and slapped them on pagan celebrations so that it would be easier to convince Rome’s pagan subjects to accept Christianity as the empire’s official religion. He called it Catholicism. (I highly recommend watching the video The Natsarim Documentary, which gives an overview of how this happened.) Dr. Michael Lake, in his book The Shinar Directive, states, “Constantine’s goal was to create a catholic (universal) religion based upon the power of Rome and its stream of the mystery religion. The outer wrap was a veneer of Christianity, but within, it was completely the Institutes of Nimrod. Therefore, the Feasts of the LORD (which are all about Messiah) and the commandments of God had to be replaced with new universally understood pagan holidays and new catholic commandments.” The Christian protestant church thinks they have broken away from Catholic doctrine, but little does it realize that most of its practices and doctrine, such as Christmas, Easter and the Sunday Sabbath come directly from the early Roman Catholic church system.
The early pilgrims realized the negative influence that Catholicism had on Christianity and came to America to separate themselves from Catholic oppression so that they could obey God and the Bible. Until the early 1836, Christmas was illegal because it was considered an evil pagan practice. The Protestants that didn’t fully separate enough from the Catholic Church and the Irish Catholics who started to immigrate in the early 1800’s, brought Christmas (and other holidays) with them. This article gives a great overview on how Christmas came to be celebrated as Yeshua’s birthday: https://www.history.com/topics/christmas/history-of-christmas
Revelation 18:4 states, we are to come out of Babylon. Praise Yahweh that there is a growing movement happening all around the world to do Bible things in Bible ways. A growing group of believers are being called out of the world (Babylon) and her ways – leaving the error of her fornication (false worship). According to the book of Ezekiel, Babylon, the Great Whore, will be destroyed for her fornication and whoring.
“…and the shame of your fornication shall be exposed: and your ungodliness and your fornication brought this upon you, in that you went a-whoring after the nations, and did defile yourself with their devices.” -Ezekiel 23:29-30
“lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and when they whore after their gods and sacrifice to their gods and you are invited, you eat of his sacrifice, and you take of their daughters for your sons, and their daughters whore after their gods and make your sons whore after their gods” -Exodus 34:15-16
“but they mixed with the nations and learned to do as they did. Thus they became unclean by their acts, and played the whore in their deeds.” -Psalm 106:35 & 39
A big part of coming out of Babylon, is no longer celebrating it’s pagan festivals, especially those under the guise of attempting to serve the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It’s time to drop man-made traditions that inherently serve other gods. Yahweh specifically tells us not to worship Him in the same way the nations worship their gods.
“You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the LORD hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods.” -Deuteronomy 12:31
“And you shall not walk in the customs of the nation that I am driving out before you, for they did all these things, and therefore I detested them.” -Leviticus 20:23
“When you come into the land that the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations.” -Deuteronomy 18:9
Satan is the deceiver and he has certainly done his job with the masses, leading them to disobeying the commandments of Yahweh, particularly His Sabbath and Biblical Feasts – part of the very core of our walk and our show of allegiance to The Most High. The enemy used it’s devices by planning a scheme to deceive the whole world, especially believers. We need to resemble the faith of Abraham, Moses and Paul and purge ourselves of the influence of the Great Whore and walk in the power of the covenant with Almighty God. We must carefully examine our ways and cleanse ourselves of the leaven of Babylon. We must adhere to a pure faith based on Yeshua and the WHOLE Word of God.
In the New Testament, Yeshua condemned the Pharisees for elevating their teachings/traditions above His Torah and considering them “doctrine.” Their worship was in vain because they did it their way instead of His way. When we choose to celebrate man-made holidays over His Feasts, are we worshiping Him in vain?
“This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” -Matthew 15:9
Many might say, “God knows my heart. He knows I’m not worshiping the Christmas tree, pagan gods and so on.” Unfortunately, this type of statement is thousands of years old. Consider the time when the children of Israel were impatient with Moses being gone 40-days on Mt. Sinai. In making the golden calf, they weren’t trying to abandon Yahweh. They were trying to put an image to Him. They thought Moses was dead and wanted a mediator. They were worshiping Yahweh the way they learned in Egypt – the way the society they came from honored their gods. They felt justified in doing so because they did it to honor Yahweh – even though He had just told them not to. It did not go very well for them to honor Yahweh according to Egypt’s way.
When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, “Up, make us elohim who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” So Aaron said to them, “Take off the rings of gold that are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” So all the people took off the rings of gold that were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. And he received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden calf. And they said, “These are your elohim, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the LORD.” -Exodus 32:1-5
Come out of her my people! It is time we start serving Him the way He commanded – not with our traditions of man. Yahweh wants His people to be set-apart (holy) and serve Him the way He outlines in the Bible. The Biblical Feasts are part of His rules for LIFE and BLESSING. Unfortunately, dispensation and replacement theology have taught the masses that the Sabbath and Feast Days are just for the “Jews.” (See the videos below: The Natsarim and The Great Bible Heist for more information.) Dispensation and Replacement theologies have robbed millions of experiencing the joy that comes from celebrating God His way. Whether we are blood descendants or not, we are branches of the vine of Israel and the seed of Abraham through belief in Yeshua. Abraham was a gentile until Yahweh chose him – then He was called a Hebrew, which means “crossed over.” From Abraham came Israel. Romans 11:11-24 explains how the Gentiles are grafted in and become part of Israel. Gentiles don’t stay gentiles once they believe in Yeshua. They are now part of Israel and are expected to follow the same rules that Yahweh outlined for Israel – just as those that came of out Egypt with Israel were expected to follow the same rules as Israel. (Watch the Identity Crisis videos below for more information on how believers in Messiah are Israel.)
“And if you are Messiah’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, heirs according to promise.” -Galatians 3:29
“One ordinance shall be both for you of the assembly, and also for the stranger that sojourns with you, an ordinance forever in your generations: as you are, so shall the stranger be before Yahweh. One Torah and one manner of law shall be for you, and for the stranger that sojourns with you.” –Numbers 15:15-16
The Sabbath and Biblical Feast Days are Yahweh’s special days and were given to ALL of Israel, not just the Jews. In Leviticus 23, Yahweh spoke directly to Moses His feast day instructions. Notice how many times Yahweh says that they are HIS appointed feasts. These are what He desires us to celebrate in His honor. (For the sake of space I highlighted only a few verses.)
The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, These are the appointed feasts of the LORD that you shall proclaim as holy convocations; they are My appointed feasts. 3 “Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work. It is a Sabbath to the LORD in all your dwelling places. 4 “These are the appointed feasts of the LORD, the holy convocations, which you shall proclaim at the time appointed for them.” -Leviticus 23:1-4
“These are the appointed feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim as times of holy convocation, for presenting to the Lord food offerings, burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings, each on its proper day, 38 besides the Lord’s Sabbaths and besides your gifts and besides all your vow offerings and besides all your freewill offerings, which you give to the Lord.” -Leviticus 23:37-38
Thus Moses declared to the people of Israel the appointed feasts of the LORD. -Leviticus 23:44
You cannot have a clear understanding of the New Testament without the foundation of the Old Testament. If you don’t know the Old Testament, you are missing the beginning of the story and will misinterpret the New Testament. Yeshua, the disciples and Paul all quote and teach from the Old Testament. New Testament authors refer to approximately sixteen hundred scriptures from the Old Testament in their writings. Jesus’ own teachings reflect His intimate knowledge of both the oral and written Law. His top four quoted books were Exodus, Deuteronomy, Isaiah and Psalms. The Old and New Testaments are interdependent and part of the same story of Israel and our Messiah.
But didn’t Yeshua do away with the Torah, including the Feast days? Yeshua said himself he did not come to do away with the Torah, but he came to fulfill it – which means live it out to its fullest. He said that not a dot would pass from the Law until Heaven and Earth pass away. Last I looked, Heaven and Earth were still here! Further down in Matthew 5, he not only affirms the Torah, but actually makes the Torah harder! He explains that it’s not enough to not kill your brother, but that you shouldn’t even hate your brother! He came to get their hearts in line with the mechanics of the Torah – Spirit and Truth.
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” –Matthew 5:17-18
Dr, Michael Lake in his book, The Shinar Directive, clears up the confusion about this verse. He quotes from noted scholars Dr. David Bivin and Dr. Roy Blizzard Jr. and their book, Understanding the Difficult Words of Jesus: New Insights from am Hebraic Perspective:
Undoubtedly, in trying to understand this passage, everything hinges on the meaning of the words “destroy” and “fulfill” in verse 17. What does Jesus mean by “destroy the Law” and “fulfill the Law”?
“Destroy” and “fulfill” are technical terms used in rabbinic argumentation. When a rabbi felt that a colleague has misinterpreted a passage of Scripture, he would say, “You are destroying the Law!” Needless to say, in most cases his colleague strongly disagreed. What was “destroying the Law” for one rabbi, was “fulfilling the Law” (correctly interpreting Scripture) for another.
What we see in Matthew 5:17 is a rabbinic discussion. Someone had accused Jesus of “destroying” the Law. Of course, neither Jesus nor his accuser would even think of literally destroying the Law. Furthermore, it would never enter the accuser’s mind to charge Jesus with the intent to abolish part or all of the Mosaic Law. What is being called into question is Jesus’ system of interpretation, the way he interprets Scripture.
When accused, Jesus strongly denies that his method of interpreting Scripture “destroys” or weakens its meaning. He claims on the contrary, to be more orthodox than his accuser. For Jesus, a light commandment (“Do not bear hated in your heart”) is as important as a “heavy” commandment (“Do not murder”). And a disciple who breaks even a “light” commandment will be considered “light” (have an inferior position) in Jesus’ movement (Matt. 5:19)
“Never imagine for a moment,” Jesus says, “that I intend to abrogate (do away with) the Law by misinterpreting it. My intent is not to weaken or negate the Law, but by properly interpreting God’s written Word I aim to establish it, that is, make it even more lasting. I would never invalidate the Law by effectively removing something from it through misinterpretation. Heaven and earth would sooner disappear than something from the Law. Not the smallest letter in the alphabet, the yod, nor even its decorative spur, will ever disappear from the Law.”
Believing the Torah was done away with is a deception of the devil to keep people from walking in Yahweh’s ways. Yahweh never changes, so if Yahweh says His laws are right and good, they can never be wrong and bad. Paul says in 2 Timothy 3:16 says “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,” The only Scripture they had at the time that Paul wrote this were the Old Testament writings. The New Testament wasn’t written until 50-66 AD and not canonized into the Bible until the 300’s. Paul also tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:6,11 that the Old Testament was written down as an example for us so that we do not fall into the same kind of sin (lawlessness) the Israelites did! How do we know what sins they committed if we don’t study their story? How do we know what sin is without knowing the Torah? It is the Torah that defines sin! John, disciple of Yeshua, tells us in 1 John 3:4 exactly what sin is… “Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.” So technically, NOT celebrating the feasts of Yahweh is a sin just like murder, adultery, idolatry, etc.
Consider these words of Yeshua very carefully, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in Heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ (Matthew 7:21-23) I think we can all agree that these people all thought they were going to make it to Heaven. In other words, they were followers of Yeshua. They were, however, involved in lawless activities or not following the law of God. I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t want to hear Him say that to me!
Encoded within the stories and commandments of the Torah are both the instructions and anointing to separate the workings of Babylon from the things of God. Without the foundation of the Torah, nearly anything from Satan’s camp can be accepted – if it is given a proper spin and produces a crowd or a bigger offering. No wonder Constantine wanted to separate Christianity from the Torah and anything remotely Jewish!
A.W. Tozer said regarding the Word: “The Word of God well understood and religiously obeyed is the shortest route to spiritual perfection. Nothing less than a whole Bible can make a whole Christian.” We need to become a people of “the entire Word of God” once again. Using 30% of your Bible in your walk and in your spiritual warfare will prove ineffective when the enemy brings 100% of his battle to your doorstep.
This is not a call to make all Christians culturally Jewish. This is a call for the body of Messiah to thoroughly examine its doctrines and practices to make sure they are based solely on Scripture that flows from Genesis all the way to Revelation. Somewhere along the line, we have forgotten that to love God means that we need to hate sin (lawlessness), unrighteousness, and the spirit of this world. We must be diligent to rediscover and maintain the faith that was once delivered to the disciples and saints.
One last verse to sum up our walk – spoken by the wisest man that ever lived.
“The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” -Ecclesiastes 12:13
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