THREAD OF FAITH -

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Sun, Dec 8, 2019 - 11:46pm
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The fight!

In the Chronicles of the Anabaptists in Austria-Hungary, one of them writes: “The foundations of the Christian faith were laid by the Apostles here and there in different countries, but through tyranny and false teaching, suffered many a blow and hindrance, the Church being often so diminished that it could scarcely be seen whether a Church existed at all. As Elias said, the altars were broken down, the prophets slain, and he remained alone; but God did not let His Church disappear altogether. Otherwise this article of the Christian faith would have been proved false: ‘I believe there is one Christian Church, one fellowship of the saints.’ If she could not be pointed out with the finger, if at times scarcely two or three could be found, yet the Lord, according to His promise, has been with them, and because they remained true to His Word, has never forsaken them, but has increased and added to them, but when they became careless, forgetful of Christ’s goodness, God withdrew from them the gifts with which He had endowed them and awakened true men in other places, giving gifts to them, with which they again built up a church to the Lord. So the kingdom of Christ, from the Apostles’ time until now, has wandered from one nation to another, until it has come to us." “In other lands", he continues, “a good beginning was made and sometimes a good end, when the witnesses laid down their lives, but the tyranny of the Romish Church blotted out almost everything. Only the Pickards and Waldenses kept something of the truth. In the beginning of the reign of Charles V the Lord sent His light again. Luther and Zwingli destroyed as with thunder-bolts the Babylonian evil, but they set up nothing better, for when they came to power they trusted more in man than in God. And therefore, though they had made a good beginning, the light of truth was darkened. It was as though one had patched a hole in the old boiler and it was only made worse. So they have brought up a people bold to sin. Many joined these two, Luther and Zwingli, holding their teaching to be true, and some gave their lives for the truth, and without any doubt are saved, for they fought a good fight." (This is part of the reformation, being of little value. There always has been a remnant Church, even now). Jim (The Pilgrim Church, p. 188-9)

NW VIEW >>>1 Cor. 1:18
Mon, Dec 9, 2019 - 10:36am
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Something to learn, something to remember!

1 Corinthians 1:10-17 King James Version (KJV)

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?

14 I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;

15 Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.

16 And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.

17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

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Mon, Dec 9, 2019 - 3:57pm
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Did we know and remember?

Similar conditions to those which on the Continent led many to see the wrong of the practices of the prevailing Church, and, further, to question the doctrines which gave rise to them, operated also in England, where the derisive name of Lollard (babbler) was given to many earnest people who spoke of a better way. Political and economic wrongs were mixed with religious questions, specially in the earlier days of the movement, and it was the wealth and corruption of the clergy which were first attacked, but as time went on it was seen that doctrine was at the root of practice, and the former came to be the centre of conflict. It had not been the habit in England to persecute what was deemed heresy so violently as on the Continent, but early in the reign of Henry IV, at the beginning of the 15th century, the progress of Lollardry was such that the sovereign, in order to please the clerical party, introduced death by burning as its punishment. John Wycliff, the most eminent scholar in Oxford, became prominent in this conflict. His attacks on the corrupt practices of the Church drew him at first into the political struggle then so fiercely raging; but those who thought to use him as an important ally for their own purposes, fell from him as they came to see the consequences of the principles he taught, and he became the leader of those who sought deliverance in a return to Scripture and in the following of Christ. In his treatise, “The Kingdom of God" and in other writings, he shows that “the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only source of true religion," and that “the Scripture alone is truth". The doctrine he called “Dominion" established the fact of the personal relation and direct responsibility of each man to God. All authority, he taught, is from God, and all who exercise authority are responsible to God for the use of what He has committed to them. Such doctrine, directly denying the prevailing ideas as to the irresponsible authority of Popes and Kings, and the necessity for the mediatory powers of the priesthood, aroused violent opposition, which was intensified when in 1381 Wycliff published his denial of the doctrine of Transubstantiation, thus striking at the root of that supposed miraculous power of the priests which had so long enabled them to dominate Christendom. Here his political supporters, and even his own University, forsook him. The Pilgrim Church, p. 137-8.

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Mon, Dec 9, 2019 - 4:09pm
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There they are, Tabernacled!

Revelation 21:3 “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” King James Version (KJV)
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Mon, Dec 9, 2019 - 7:15pm
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Still celebrating Christmas and acknowledging Baal's B-Day?

Bible verses about Christmas
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Using Christmas as an excuse, men have added foreign beliefs and practices to the worship of God the Father and Jesus Christ. They have combined pagan ideas, beliefs and practices with Christianity without examining whether God approves.

This implies presumption by the syncretizer. Presumption is "an attitude or belief dictated by probability." Facts play little part in presumption, just probability and likelihood. Its first synonym is "assumption," followed by "arrogance," "boldness," "impertinence" and "imprudence." Presume, its verb form, means "to undertake without leave or clear justification; to expect or assume especially with confidence; to suppose to be true without proof; to take for granted."

When combining the concepts of syncretism, presumption, and the Israelitish characteristic of misguided zeal for knowledge (Romans 10:1-3), it is easy to see why a holiday like Christmas could become and remain a practice in modern Israel. The Israelitish people—especially the sons of Joseph—seem to be imbued with a spirit of zeal that is both a blessing and a curse. It is almost paradoxical that Israel's zeal for God is often its greatest hindrance, as it retards true righteousness that comes by faith and submission to God. Virtually all of Israel's religious zeal is wasted because it stampedes in the wrong direction.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Christmas, Syncretism, and Presumption

Christmas is a vivid illustration of the world's power of attraction. It plays upon all of a person's senses with pleasant music, lights, colors, foods, clothes, gifts, and parties. Though it is a very attractive trap, it nonetheless ensnares the person into destruction. By itself, it does not destroy the person—it is the snare, the trap!

Anyone who has ever hunted a wild animal like a deer knows one cannot bag his prey by blundering through the woods making noise and leaving his scent everywhere. Instead, a hunter makes himself as invisible as possible so that the deer wanders under his stand where he can shoot it. The same holds true with trapping smaller animals. A successful trapper makes a trap that will entice the animal in without letting it know that it will be caught.

Christmas is a well-laid trap. In celebrating it, the people of the land honor, worship, and glorify a god, but not the God of the Bible. It is appealing and attractive with all the ornamentation and catchy music. There is also an appealing baby, born to be the King of kings, and his lovely mother radiant in her motherhood. In addition, what could be better than giving gifts? Certainly giving is Christian. And what about decorating evergreen trees, hanging mistletoe and holly boughs, caroling, stuffing stockings, and burning Yule logs? Everything just seems to go so well together. Nevertheless, it is a trap because it is not true.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Christmas, Syncretism, and Presumption

In all sincerity, men and women have gone to great lengths to try to please God. Without seeking His permission, they presume to add things to the worship of God because they are attractive and have a vague attachment to the One whom they look upon as their Savior. They think their sincerity in worship is more important than the truth.

But God thinks differently: "Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it" (Deuteronomy 12:32). Christmas is a festival that has been added. It is syncretism, blending a practice from paganism into the stream of Christianity. Only the revelation of God shows how He will be worshipped, and He will not be served in imitation of other gods. God's way cannot be "improved" by human sincerity.

Deuteronomy 13:1-18 defines the law regarding apostasy. Those who led others to worship other gods or adopt the practices of the nations around them were to be stoned! Cities that fell under the sway of corrupt individuals were to be attacked, burned to the ground, and left as rubble! God considers tampering with His truth to be evil that must be eradicated!

Apostasy begins with the perverse drive in man to push beyond the bounds of what has been revealed by God as the basis for His way of life. When God gives instruction, He frequently does so in broad generalities. Within the perimeters of those broad generalities, He expects us to explore and to apply them in their spirit and intent. Unfortunately, history reveals that that has not been mankind's approach. Man has consistently tried to "improve" upon God's revelation using his limited reason and logic.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Christmas, Syncretism, and Presumption

God nowhere speaks of making Christmas a part of Christianity, nor does He say to celebrate His Son's birth. He does tell us, though, not to add to His worship anything that is a tradition of the heathen. Such additions hinder rather than enhance our journey to God's Kingdom.

What are the fruits of keeping Christmas? Has Christmas helped to glorify God? Has it clarified and aided man's spiritual life? We have a record of the fruits of the Jews' additions. Their intent may have been better than those who accepted Christmas into Christianity, since they at least attempted to obey the law of God. Still, when Jesus walked among them, they did not recognize their own Messiah! Adding to and subtracting from God's Word changes God's intended focus.

Christmas is no better. When the so-called Christians added Christmas to Christianity, it had nothing to do with true Christianity at all. It was a ploy to win converts from paganism. It was a deliberate grab for power. From the beginning, Christmas, rather than promoting the true God and His way of life, has only led people away from the truth.

Peter writes that we are redeemed from these very traditions (I Peter 1:18). These traditions, inherited from our fathers, are a part of our culture. Jesus used His ministry to repudiate every addition, subtraction, and distortion that had attained any kind of specious, "divine" authority, and He did this by clarifying and magnifying the truth. Christmas seems to have "divine" authority because "Christians" are doing it, but it is part of a world that is anti-God, anti-Christ. It is not a part of what God has shown is true.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Christmas, Syncretism, and Presumption

No "Christian" holiday is as misleading as Christmas—except perhaps Easter. What do evergreen trees, Yule logs, holly wreaths, mistletoe, and Santa Claus have to do with our relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? Does the Nativity scene with its mother-and-child motif teach us anything about the relationship between God the Father and His Son?

Does Christmas teach us the truth? With so many falsehoods and deceptions surrounding and embedded in this holiday, we would be foolish to believe that God would approve of its celebration. Truth is very important to God. It is one of the names of Jesus Christ (John 14:6) and one of His ministry's themes: "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32; see 18:37). Conversely, lies bind us in spiritual slavery.

The celebration of Christmas flourishes today in the materialistic Western world. From its non-Christian background, we can see that it is a syncretistic blend of pagan rites and Christian themes that is abhorrent to God (Deuteronomy 12:29-32; see Exodus 32). Christmas is a quagmire of deceptive traditions.

Martin G. Collins
Syncretismas!

Two key figures in the origin of Christmas are Nimrod, a great grandson of Noah, and his mother and wife, Semiramis, also known as Ishtar and Isis. Nimrod, known in Egypt as Osiris, was the founder of the first world empire at Babel, later known as Babylon (Genesis 10:8-12; 11:1-9). From ancient sources such as the "Epic of Gilgamesh" and records unearthed by archeologists from long-ruined Mesopotamian and Egyptian cities, we can reconstruct subsequent events.

After Nimrod's death (c. 2167 BC), Semiramis promoted the belief that he was a god. She claimed that she saw a full-grown evergreen tree spring out of the roots of a dead tree stump, symbolizing the springing forth of new life for Nimrod. On the anniversary of his birth, she said, Nimrod would visit the evergreen tree and leave gifts under it. His birthday fell on the winter solstice at the end of December.

A few years later, Semiramis bore a son, Horus or Gilgamesh. She declared that she had been visited by the spirit of Nimrod, who left her pregnant with the boy. Horus, she maintained, was Nimrod reincarnated. With a father, mother, and son deified, a deceptive, perverted trinity was formed.

Semiramis and Horus were worshipped as "Madonna and child." As the generations passed, they were worshipped under other names in different countries and languages. Many of these are recognizable: Fortuna and Jupiter in Rome; Aphrodite and Adonis in Greece; and Ashtoreth/Astarte and Molech/Baal in Canaan.

During the time between Babel and Christ, pagans developed the belief that the days grew shorter in early winter because their sun-god was leaving them. When they saw the length of the day increasing, they celebrated by riotous, unrestrained feasting and orgies. This celebration, known as Saturnalia, was named after Saturn, another name for Nimrod.

Martin G. Collins
Syncretismas!

Many historical sources show that Christmas was not observed by Christians from Christ's time to about AD 300. Saturnalia (December 17-24) and Brumalia (December 25) continued as pagan celebrations by the Romans well into the fourth century. The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1911 edition, in the article "Natal Day," records that the early Catholic church father, Origen, acknowledged:

In the Scriptures, no one is recorded to have kept a feast or held a great banquet on his birthday. It is only sinners like Pharaoh and Herod who make great rejoicings over the day in which they were born into this world.

During the fourth century, the emperor Constantine "converted" to "Christianity" and changed Sabbath keeping from the seventh to the first day of the week. Sunday was the day he had worshipped the sun as his god. This made it easier for the Romans to call their pagan December 25th winter solstice festival, in which they had celebrated the birth of the sun god, the birthday of the "Son of God."

The New Catholic Encyclopedia, 1967, says:

According to the hypothesis . . . accepted by most scholars today, the birth of Christ was assigned the date of the winter solstice (December 25 in the Julian calendar, January 6 in the Egyptian), because on this day, as the sun began its return to northern skies, the pagan devotees of Mithra celebrated the dies natalis Solis Invicti (birthday of the Invincible Sun). On Dec. 25, 274, Aurelian had proclaimed the sun-god principal patron of the empire and dedicated a temple to him in the Campus Martius. Christmas originated at a time when the cult of the sun was particularly strong at Rome.

Only in the fifth century did the Roman Catholic Church order that the birth of Christ be observed on December 25, the day of the old Roman feast of the birth of Sol, the sun god. They renamed this day "Christmas."

Martin G. Collins
Syncretismas!

In AD 596, Pope Gregory I dispatched the monk Augustine to England as a missionary. The Pope had decreed that whatever pagan practices were not of themselves "evil" should be blended with Christianity. According to the 11th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, "Christmas":

In Britain, the 25th of December was a festival long before the conversion to Christianity, for Bede relates that "the ancient peoples of the Angli began the year on the 25th of December . . . ; and [Christmas eve] they called in their tongue "modranecht" (môdra niht), that is, the mother night, by reason we suspect of the ceremony which in that night-long vigil they performed."

When the Normans invaded England in 1066, they introduced other pagan ceremonies into the English celebration of Christmas. During the Reformation, the undisguised pagan elements in Christmas had often provoked criticism from conservative Protestants, but the festival was not really affected by their beliefs until the Puritans came to power in the early 1600s. Christmas was attacked as "the old heathens' feasting day to Saturn their god" and singing carols was forbidden.

In 1644, in protest against Christmas, the Church of England proclaimed December 25th as a fast day, and Parliament banned celebrating the festival. The new rule was enforced by the English army, which spent much of its time pulling down the greenery that festive "pagans" had attached to their doors. In Scotland, the prohibition was enforced with great rigor as well.

By the early nineteenth century, however, its popularity increased. Queen Caroline erected a tree at a royal Christmas celebration in 1821, and twenty years later, Albert, prince consort of Queen Victoria, provided one for a children's party at Windsor.

Martin G. Collins
Syncretismas!

In the seventeenth century, the English anti-Christmas attitude spread to her Puritan territories in America. In defiance of the Puritan attitude, the Catholic church established special Christmas services in Boston, Massachusetts, in the 1690s, but many civil authorities strongly opposed them.

By the early 1700s, German and Dutch settlers had brought the pagan custom of the gift-bringing St. Nicholas and the Christmas tree with them. Christmas was primarily celebrated in their settlements. German mercenaries, fighting on the British side in the War of Independence, raised Christmas trees in their camps.

In 1823 Santa Claus acquired national fame in the United States as a result of a poem. According to Man, Myth and Magic Encyclopedia:

St. Nicholas had become famous as a result of Clarke Moore's poem "The Night Before Christmas," published in 1823. By the 1890s the English Father Christmas, originally a minor character in a mummer's play, had been absorbed into the personality of his American counterpart, and become the jovial figure that he is today.

In 1836, Christmas first became an American legal holiday in the state of Alabama. Soon, one state after another legalized this pagan festival. Today, the U.S. celebrates this 4000-year-old festival as a national holiday with gift-giving and riotous, unrestrained feasting and drinking, in a manner similar to the celebrations in the ancient world.

Martin G. Collins
Syncretismas!

The date of December 25 to celebrate Christ's birth was chosen to conform to the old, pagan Roman holidays called "Saturnalia" and "Brumalia." The ancient Romans kept these holidays around the time of the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice. Here are some excerpts about this festival from The Book of the Bible by Riedel, Tracy & Moskwitz:

Because the Roman emperor Aurelian fixed December 25th for the winter solstice holiday in AD 274, it is thought that the early Christians adopted this day for their Christ-mass so that they would be less conspicuous in the observance of their holiday.

Most scholars believe that the birthday of Jesus was never known and that the December date was chosen solely for convenience.

The earliest known observance of Christmas on December 25th was the year AD 336 in Rome, as recorded in a calendar of the period.

Throughout antiquity other dates for the birth were advanced: March 25, April 19, November 17, among others, but there is no evidence, literary or historical, that supports any of these dates.

Almost everywhere in Europe, in both Roman and Teutonic [northern European] countries, the period around the winter solstice was celebrated with lights, to celebrate the increase of sunlight to come, and with greenery, usually evergreens, to represent the coming of spring and eternal cycles of growth. At the Saturnalia festival (December 17-24), Romans would present each other with sprigs of holly as gifts for the holiday. When Teutonic tribes began to usurp power from the Romans in Europe, they brought their Yule, or winter feast, traditions with them. The Yule log and wassailing (i.e., toasting each others' health with alcoholic drinks) are two of these traditions.

The origin of the Christmas tree is usually traced to Saint Boniface, who in the 8th century persuaded the Teutonic tribes to abandon worship of the sacred oak of Odin, a remnant of Druidism, and to confer it instead on the fir, a more appropriate symbol of Jesus and eternal life. [Trees, however, have been used in pagan, idolatrous worship for many thousands of years. Numerous references to this can be found throughout the Old Testament (I Kings 14:23; II Kings 16:2-4; 17:10; II Chronicles 28:4; I Samuel 40:18-20; 57:5; 66:17; Jeremiah 2:20; 3:6,13; 10:1-5; Ezekiel 6:13).]

Staff
'Tis the Season: Help for Our Young People


Is it not ironic that "Christians" celebrate Christmas? Christians are by name followers of Christ, and He says nothing in His Word about memorializing His birth year after year. The Bible is quite clear that the day of one's death is more important (Ecclesiastes 7:1), and certainly, Christ's death is particularly more important for our salvation and the fulfillment of God's plan than His birth (Romans 5:6-21). So how did Christians come to believe that God approves of them celebrating Christmas?

The answer is not as simple as one might think. It involves a minor controversy within today's scattered church of God: Who are the Nicolaitans? Believe it or not, the Nicolaitans are in part responsible for "Christianity's" acceptance of Christmas, Easter, Halloween, and other unbiblical practices. More importantly, Nicolaitanism, representative of a much broader philosophy, can be blamed for the organized and systematic removal of God's law as a central pillar of the Christian way of life. These things happened because of an attitude, an approach to the truth, found in the Nicolaitan heresy.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Nicolaitanism Today

The word "Christmas" means "Mass of Christ," or, as it came to be shortened, "Christ-Mass." It came to non-Christians and Protestants from the Roman Catholic Church. And where did they get it? Not from the New Testament—not from the Bible—not from the original apostles who were personally instructed from Christ—but it gravitated in the fourth century into the Roman Church from paganism.

Since the celebration of Christmas has come to the world from the Roman Catholic Church, and has no authority but that of the Roman Catholic Church, let us examine the Catholic Encyclopedia, 1911 edition, published by that church. Under the heading "Christmas," you will find:

"Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church . . . the first evidence of the feast is from Egypt." "Pagan customs centering around the January calends gravitated to Christmas."

And in the same encyclopedia, under the heading "Natal Day," we find that the early Catholic father, Origen, acknowledged this truth: "In the Scriptures, no one is recorded to have kept a feast or held a great banquet on his birthday. It is only sinners [like Pharaoh and Herod] who make great rejoicings over the day in which they were born into this world" (emphasis ours).

Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1946 edition, has this: "Christmas (i.e., the Mass of Christ). . . . Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the church." It was not instituted by Christ or the apostles, or by Bible authority. It was picked up afterward from paganism.

The Encyclopedia Americana, 1944 edition, says: "Christmas . . . was, according to many authorities, not celebrated in the first centuries of the Christian church, as the Christian usage in general was to celebrate the death of remarkable persons rather than their birth." (The "Communion," which is instituted by New Testament Bible authority, is a memorial of the death of Christ.) "A feast was established in memory of this event [Christ's birth] in the fourth century. In the fifth century the Western Church ordered it to be celebrated forever on the day of the old Roman feast of the birth of Sol, as no certain knowledge of the day of Christ's birth existed."

Now notice! These recognized historical authorities show Christmas was not observed by Christians for the first two or three hundred years—a period longer than the entire history of the United States as a nation! It got into the Western, or Roman, Church, by the fourth century AD. It was not until the fifth century that the Roman Church ordered it to be celebrated as an official Christian festival!

Herbert W. Armstrong (1892-1986)
The Plain Truth About Christmas

How did this pagan custom creep into the Western Christian world?

The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge explains clearly, in its article on "Christmas": "How much the date of the festival depended upon the pagan Brumalia (Dec. 25) following the Saturnalia (Dec. 17-24), and celebrating the shortest day in the year and the 'new sun,' . . . cannot be accurately determined. The pagan Saturnalia and Brumalia were too deeply entrenched in popular custom to be set aside by Christian influence. . . . The pagan festival with its riot and merrymaking was so popular that Christians were glad of an excuse to continue its celebration with little change in spirit and in manner. Christian preachers of the West and the Near East protested against the unseemly frivolity with which Christ's birthday was celebrated, while Christians of Mesopotamia accused their Western brethren of idolatry and sun worship for adopting as Christian this pagan festival."

Remember, the Roman world had been pagan. Prior to the fourth century, Christians were few in number, though increasing, and were persecuted by the government and by pagans. But, with the advent of Constantine as emperor, who made his profession of Christianity in the fourth century, placing Christianity on an equal footing with paganism, people of the Roman world began to accept this now-popular Christianity by the hundreds of thousands.

But remember, these people had grown up in pagan customs, chief of which was this idolatrous festival of December 25th. It was a festival of merrymaking, with its special spirit. They enjoyed it! They did not want to give it up! Now this same article in the New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge explains how the recognition by Constantine of Sunday, which had been the day of pagan sun worship, and how the influence of the pagan Manichaeism, which identified the SON of God with the physical SUN, gave these pagans of the fourth century, now turning over wholesale to "Christianity," their excuse for calling their pagan-festival date of December 25th (birthday of the SUN-god) the birthday of the SON of God.

And that is how "Christmas" became fastened on our Western world! We may call it by another name, but it is the same old pagan sun-worshipping festival still! The only change is in what we call it! You can call a rabbit a "lion," but it is still a rabbit, just the same.

Again from the Encyclopaedia Britannica: "Certain Latins, as early as 354, may have transferred the birthday from January 6th to December 25, which was then a Mithraic feast, the birthday of the unconquered SUN. . . . The Syrians and Armenians, who clung to January 6th, accused the Romans of sun worship and idolatry, contending . . . that the feast of December 25th, had been invented by disciples of Cerinthus. . . ."

Herbert W. Armstrong (1892-1986)
The Plain Truth About Christmas

If we got Christmas from the Roman Catholics, and they got it from paganism, where did the pagans get it? Where, when, and what was its real origin?

It is a chief custom of the corrupt system denounced all through Bible prophecies and teachings under the name of Babylon. And it started and originated in the original Babylon of ancient Nimrod! Yes, it stems from roots whose beginning was shortly this side of the Flood!

Nimrod, grandson of Ham, son of Noah, was the real founder of the Babylonish system that has gripped the world ever since—the system of organized competition—of man-ruled governments and empires, based upon the competitive and profit-making economic system. Nimrod built the Tower of Babel, the original Babylon, ancient Nineveh, many other cities. He organized the world's first kingdom. The name Nimrod, in Hebrew, is derived from "Marad," meaning "he rebelled."

From many ancient writings, considerable is learned of this man, who started the great organized worldly apostasy from God that has dominated this world until now. Nimrod was so evil, it is said he married his own mother, whose name was Semiramis. After Nimrod's untimely death, his so-called mother-wife, Semiramis, propagated the evil doctrine of the survival of Nimrod as a spirit being. She claimed a full-grown evergreen tree sprang overnight from a dead tree stump, which symbolized the springing forth unto new life of the dead Nimrod. On each anniversary of his birth, she claimed, Nimrod would visit the evergreen tree and leave gifts upon it. December 25th was the birthday of Nimrod. This is the real origin of the Christmas tree.

Through her scheming and designing, Semiramis became the Babylonian "Queen of Heaven," and Nimrod, under various names, became the "divine son of heaven." Through the generations, in this idolatrous worship, Nimrod became the false Messiah, son of Baal the Sun-god. In this false Babylonish system, the "Mother and Child" (Semiramis and Nimrod reborn), became chief objects of worship. This worship of "Mother and Child" spread over the world. The names varied in different countries and languages. In Egypt, it was Isis and Osiris. In Asia, Cybele and Deoius. In pagan Rome, Fortuna and Jupiterpuer. Even in Greece, China, Japan, Tibet is to be found the counterpart of the Madonna, long before the birth of Christ!

Thus, during the fourth and fifth centuries, when the pagans of the Roman world were "accepting" the new popular "Christianity" by hundreds of thousands, carrying their old pagan customs and beliefs along with them, merely cloaking them with Christian-sounding names, the Madonna and "Mother and Child" idea also became popularized, especially at Christmas time. Every Christmas season you will hear sung and chanted dozens of times the hymn "Silent Night, Holy Night," with its familiar "Mother and Child" theme. We, who have been born in such a Babylonish world, reared and steeped in these things all our lives, have been taught to revere these things as holy and sacred. We never questioned to see where they came from—whether they came from the Bible or from pagan idolatry!

We are shocked to learn the truth—some, unfortunately, take offense at the plain truth! But God commands His faithful ministers, "Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression" (Isaiah 58:1). Shocking as these facts are, they are the plain facts of history and the Bible!

The real origin of Christmas goes back to the ancient Babylon. It is bound up in the organized apostasy with which Satan has gripped a deceived world these many centuries! In Egypt, it was always believed that the son of Isis (Egyptian name for "Queen of Heaven") was born December 25th. Paganism celebrated this famous birthday over most of the known world for centuries before the birth of Christ.

December 25th is not the birthday of Jesus the true Christ! The apostles and early true Church never celebrated Christ's birthday at any time. There is no command or instruction to celebrate it in the Bible—rather, the celebrating of birthdays is a pagan, not a Christian custom, believe it or not!

Thus the ancient idolatrous "Chaldean Mysteries," founded by this wife of Nimrod, have been handed down through the pagan religions under new Christian-sounding names.

Herbert W. Armstrong (1892-1986)
The Plain Truth About Christmas

Where did we get this mistletoe custom? Among the ancient pagans the mistletoe was used at this festival of the winter solstice because it was considered sacred to the sun, because of its supposed miraculous healing power. The pagan custom of kissing under the mistletoe was an early step in the night of revelry and drunken debauchery—celebrating the death of the "old sun" and the birth of the new at the winter solstice. Mistletoe, sacred in pagan festivals, is a parasite!

Holly berries were also considered sacred to the sun-god. The Yulelog is in reality the "sun log." Yule means "wheel," a pagan symbol of the sun. Yet today professing Christians speak of the "sacred yule-tide season!"

Even the lighting of fires and candles as a Christmas ceremony is merely a continuation of the pagan custom, encouraging the waning sun-god as he reached the lowest place in the southern skies!

The Encyclopedia Americana says: "The holly, the mistletoe, the Yule log . . . are relics of pre-Christian times." Of paganism!

The book Answers to Questions, compiled by Frederick J. Haskins, found in public libraries, says: "The use of Christmas wreaths is believed by authorities to be traceable to the pagan customs of decorating buildings and places of worship at the feast which took place at the same time as Christmas. The Christmas tree is from Egypt, and its origin dates from a period long anterior to the Christian Era."

Herbert W. Armstrong (1892-1986)
The Plain Truth About Christmas

Exodus 20:2-6

God does care how we worship Him; He gives specific commands about how He wants to be glorified according to His standards and not our own. It does matter whether or not we share in the celebration of this world's pagan religious holidays. Though the Bible—the Word of God—makes no direct references to New Year's Eve, Lent, Easter, Halloween, or Christmas, the origins of these pagan holidays are mentioned as being abominations to God.

Martin G. Collins
Pagan Holidays

Exodus 32:1-8

They did this in their ignorance and their impatience to get things moving. Even though most of the people wanted it, and a renowned religious figure proclaimed it "a feast to the LORD," it did not make it so. God was definitely not positively impressed, nor was Moses. In one of the gravest acts of presumption shown in God's Word, and one of the largest in terms of the number involved, they took it on themselves to add this to the worship of God. What they did was very seriously disrespectful to God; they attempted to configure the nature of God according to their own desires.

Proverbs 14:12 says, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death." People say they keep Christmas and Easter to worship Christ, but they are also defining the nature of God according to their own ideas. Just as surely as the ancient Israelites blended paganism with what God truly revealed, so people do today. This is the basic principle of acts of presumption, and each of us has done this, not once, but sadly, repeatedly, even though we may know better.

Jesus says in John 4:24, "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth," meaning we must worship to the fullest of God's intent as revealed in His Word, with every act guided and determined by His revealed truth. Yet, how many corners do we cut when we feel it serves us better at the time?

John W. Ritenbaugh
Presumption and Divine Justice (Part Two)

Deuteronomy 12:29-31

Is it any wonder when the clergy—supposedly the guardians of religious purity—think so liberally, that the laity acts the way it does? The clergy shrug off the paganism in Christmas, claiming that it is harmless. Is it? Does it really make any difference whether we celebrate Christmas?

It certainly matters to God, the Lawgiver! It was because of these heathen practices that God drove out the inhabitants of the land. He did not—and does not—want His people to get caught in the process of judgment and punishment that results from broken law!

Notice that God says "that you are not ensnared." In the Bible, a snare is a figurative expression of destruction through deception. The snare itself does not destroy, but it leads to destruction. The Israelites heard these words in the last months before going into the Promised Land. God had set the land aside for them, but the people who inhabited it were still there. It was a ready-made nation for their use. The towns, fortifications, houses, farms, businesses—everything was ready for them to take over.

We too were born into an ready-made society. The world was already here when we came into it, and because we had no alternative, we accepted it without resistance. We absorbed the culture because our parents taught it to us. However, with our calling God now has us moving in the other direction, away from this world. We must reject the false practices of those who have inhabited the land before us.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Christmas, Syncretism, and Presumption

Deuteronomy 12:30-31

Two arguments are often used to justify Christmas observance.

1) Many will reason this way: "But, even though the exact date of Jesus' birth is unknown, should we not select some date to celebrate as His birthday?" The answer is positively no! Notice the statement quoted from the Catholic Encyclopedia: "Sinners alone, not saints, celebrate their birthdays." The celebration of birthdays is not a Christian, but a pagan custom, observed by sinners!

2) But, many still reason, "Even so—even though Christmas was a pagan custom, honoring the false sun-god, we don't observe it to honor the false god, we observe it to honor Christ."

But how does God answer in His Word? "Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them [the pagans in their customs] . . . that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the Eternal, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods" (Deuteronomy 12:30-31).

God says plainly in His Instruction Book to us, that He will not accept that kind of worship, even though intended in His honor. To Him, He says, it is offering what is abominable to Him, and therefore it honors, not Him, but false pagan gods. God says we must not worship Him according to the "dictates of our own conscience"—a term we often hear. But Jesus says plainly, "God is a spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24). And what is truth? God's Word—the Holy Bible—said Jesus, is truth (John 17:17); and the Bible says God will not accept worship when people take a pagan custom or manner of worship and try to honor Christ with it.

Again, Jesus said: "In vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men" (Matthew 15:9). Christmas observance is a tradition of men, and the commandments of God, as quoted, forbid it. Jesus said, further, "full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition."

That is precisely what the millions are doing today. They ignore the commandment of God. He commands, regarding taking the customs of the pagans and using them to honor or worship God: "Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God." Still, most people today take that command of God lightly, or as having no validity whatsoever, and follow the tradition of men in observing Christmas.

Make no mistake! God will allow you to defy and disobey Him. He will allow you to follow the crowd and the traditions of men. He will allow you to sin. But He also says there is a day of reckoning coming. As you sow, so shall you reap! Jesus was the living Word of God in Person, and the Bible is the written Word of God. And we shall be judged, for eternity, by these words! They should not be taken lightly or ignored.

Herbert W. Armstrong (1892-1986)
The Plain Truth About Christmas

Proverbs 4:14-17

A popular question during the Vietnam War was, "What if they threw a war and nobody came?" This illustrates that we condone and lend support to activities we attend. If everyone obeyed God by refusing to keep pagan holidays, one of Satan's ploys to obscure God's plan for mankind would be thwarted. The Bible is very clear that we should avoid, flee, or turn away from the ways of this world and beware of their entry into the church of God (II Timothy 3:1-5).

Martin G. Collins
Pagan Holidays

Proverbs 14:12

Not all presumption is careless drifting. Unfortunately, strong evidence exists to show that much of modern liberalism in religion was deliberately planned and executed. A Layman's Guide to Protestant Theology by William Hordern, p. 74, refers to this:

The method of liberalism includes the attempt to modernize Christianity. The world, liberals argue, has changed radically since the early creeds of Christendom were formulated; this makes the creeds sound archaic and unreal to modern man. We have to rethink Christianity in thought forms which the modern world can comprehend. Fosdick argued that we must express the essence of Christianity, its "abiding experiences," but that we must not identify these with the "changing categories" in which they have been expressed in the past. For example, says Fosdick, an abiding experience of Christianity has been its conviction that God will triumph over evil. This has been traditionally pictured in the category of Christ's second coming on the clouds to destroy evil and set up good. We can no longer retain the outworn category, but we can still believe the truth which this ancient thought form was trying to express. We can continue to work in the faith that, through His devoted followers, God is now building His Kingdom and that there will be a renewing of life, individual and social, to bring it into conformity with the will of God. The essence of the faith is thus retained, argues Fosdick, which the thought form in which it was once clothed has been abandoned.

A second aspect of the method of liberalism is its refusal to accept religious belief on authority alone. Instead, it insists that all beliefs must pass the bar of reason and experience. Man's mind is capable of thinking God's thoughts after Him. Man's intuitions and reason are the best clues that we have to the nature of God. The mind must be kept open to all truth regardless of from whence it comes. This means that the liberal must have an open mind; no questions are closed. New facts may change the convictions that have become hallowed by custom and time. The liberal will venture forth into the unknown, firmly believing that all truth must be God's truth. In this spirit, the liberal accepts the higher criticism of the Bible and the theory of evolution. He refuses to have a religion that is afraid of truth or that tries to protect itself from critical examination. (emphasis added)

Is it any wonder, when those who are supposed to be the primary protectors of religious purity think the way they do, that the laity behaves as they do? Does it really make any difference? Certainly, because the almighty God on high definitely thinks it makes a difference!

Hardly anything more clearly illustrates the self-deceived perverseness of human nature as its presumptuous additions of the observation of Christmas and Easter to the worship of the God of the Bible. That Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea is indisputable, but among other things, He was not born on December 25, nor did anybody exchange gifts on that date. Scripture nowhere says there were three wise men, and it is clear they gave gifts only to Christ as King.

Regarding Easter, Jesus was not resurrected on a Sunday morning, nor was He crucified on a Friday afternoon. It is impossible to squeeze three days and three nights, which Jesus Himself said would be the length of time He would spend in the tomb (Matthew 12:40), between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning. Even so, fantastically detailed and emotionally appealing traditions have presumptuously been built around both these events and have been taught to a deceived public as though they were true.

Beyond what has been already mentioned regarding these days, where in God's Word does He command that we believe and do these commonly accepted practices? Men have presumptuously taken them upon themselves.

The addition of Christmas and Easter to Christianity happened so long ago that they have come to be accepted as part of the Christian religion, and most people celebrate them without thought. Nevertheless, adding to so-called Christian beliefs has not ended—in fact, it is still happening.

The late Pope John Paul II was an ardent ecumenist. He circled the globe many times in his travels and embraced in conference many non-Catholics in his effort to bring all into one fold. His successor, Pope Benedict XVI, has pledged to continue that effort. Recently, their representatives achieved a decisive victory in forging a much closer alliance with the Anglican Church. However, Anglican leaders could take this step only by abandoning the firm foundation of a former doctrine and thus joining Catholics in accepting a presumptuous addition that the latter already believe.

A headline in the Seattle Post Intelligencer, May 17, 2005, reads, "Catholics, Anglicans reach accord on Mary: Statement closes big gap between churches." The article explains:

The historical separation between Roman Catholics and Anglicans has narrowed after both found common ground on the position of Mary, mother of Jesus, according to a document conceived at the highest church levels. . . . Anglicans, already close to Catholics because of liturgy and traditions, have moved even closer through their understanding of Mary as outlined in the joint statement, which took five years and an international committee to complete.

Bringing back the departed brethren has been a strong focus of the Catholic Church since the Counter-Reformation that followed the Protestant Reformation, which had dealt Catholicism a powerful blow in the sixteenth century. However, it was not until the "New Age Movement" began in earnest during the mid-1970s—with its strong, insistent call for a paradigm shift toward greater tolerance and radical thinking in religious beliefs and values—that the stage was set for ecumenical efforts to succeed.

The following quotation from the same article publicly undressed, as it were, the Anglican Church:

The document seeks to transcend past controversies on Catholic dogma, including the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption of Mary. While not spelled out specifically in the Bible, such beliefs can be interpreted through Scripture, according to the 80-paragraph document.

The result might be an elevation, or at least a heightened acknowledgment, of the place of Mary—particularly for Anglicans, the denomination born in England during the Reformation and called the Episcopal Church in the United States.

Anglicanism is considered closest to Catholicism because it gives Mary a pre-eminent place among the saints, includes her in Communion prayers and holds six Marian feast days.

Among other matters, Catholics and Protestants disagree over the Catholic dogmas of the Immaculate Conception—the assertion that Mary lived a life free from sin from the moment she was conceived—and the Assumption, the belief that her body and soul were taken into heaven when her earthly life ended.

Those dogmas have "created problems not only for Anglicans but also for other Christians," the document said, largely because they are not explicitly supported by Scripture.

But those dogmas also "can be said to be consonant with the teaching of the Scriptures and the ancient common traditions," said the document, titled "Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ." (emphasis added)

How can either of these two doctrines be biblically derived? They cannot! The Catholic Church has long acknowledged that the role they give Mary cannot be supported by Scripture alone, so now both the Catholic and Anglican churches have admitted through the publication of this document that these teachings are based upon mere human tradition.

In the distant past, someone decided that honoring Mary in this way would be "nice," or perhaps he used the word "appropriate," because she was chosen by God to bear His Son in her womb, and besides, she seems to be such a good woman. However, the Scriptures call for no such elevation in status, and they certainly never claim that she lived a perfect, sinless life! Now the Roman Catholic Church has gone so far as to claim she is co-savior with Christ!

Such presumption seems beyond the bounds of honest, spiritual reasoning, but the Catholic Church has similarly declared Sunday to be the day of worship, replacing God's Sabbath. They have published articles openly admitting that, if one uses the Bible alone, then the Sabbath is the only acceptable day of worship. In those same articles, they have also been honest in stating that they have made this change from Sabbath to Sunday on their own authority. On these issues, their presumption is not hidden!

But this is arrogant and bold hubris on a massive scale, enabled only because Satan has managed to deceive the whole world (Revelation 12:9). The overwhelming majority of people calling themselves Christian are so unconcerned—that is, tolerant and careless—they live thinking that it does not matter to God.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Presumption and Divine Justice

Ezekiel 9:4

In order to sigh and cry successfully, we must believe God. This is vital! In this context, it means that we need to believe how He defines sin. For instance, we must never come to think that "weeping for Tammuz" (Ezekiel 8:13-14) is really not all that bad. God calls it an abomination! If He calls it that, that is exactly what it is, and we need to accept His definition.

To use a more contemporary example, many "good" folk in the world observe Christmas, sincerely believing that they are worshipping God. They will actually say, "This is how I worship God," but we understand that how they worship God does not amount to a hill of beans! Only God can define how we are to worship Him, and it is for us to follow Him and act accordingly. We need, then, not just to know the law, but also to believe that it defines sin for all time.

Some people can see sin right before their eyes, they can hear it around them, they can live amidst it, but they can never sigh and cry over it because they refuse to allow God's law to be the standard of their behavior. History is replete with examples of this, but we will look only at one. Who of the Jewish leadership—except for Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus, and perhaps a few others—sighed and cried over the perpetration of an illegal trial that resulted in Christ's death?

In John 16:20, where He is speaking to His disciples on the evening before His crucifixion, Jesus says, "Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice." The world, rejecting God's standards, rejoices at injustice and sin. Human nature can and does rationalize large-scale sin and social injustice, such as the Holocaust, sin that fills the land with vast violence. It can simply rationalize such atrocities on racial, economic, and religious grounds.

We in God's church must come to avoid partiality, mentioned in Leviticus 19:15, as we interpret the news and the social injustices that we see around us. After all, God did not ask Ezekiel to identify Israel's sins in his tour of Jerusalem in Ezekiel 8. God identified the sin for him, even when it was committed in secret. God calls out the sins in His Word, defining the abominations in His law, and we need to know those laws and believe that they are indeed sin. And we need to cry and sigh.

Charles Whitaker
The Torment of the Godly (Part Two)

Daniel 9:24-27

What good is understanding the Seventy Weeks Prophecy? First, on chronological grounds, it destroys three of false Christianity's holidays surrounding Jesus: Christmas, Good Friday, and Easter. Second, it puts Christ's ministry and the founding of the church in their proper historical context, helping explain and vindicate the Bible. Third, it enhances our understanding of prophecy and helps us to watch for the correct world events as the end draws closer. Christ gave us the true signs of His coming, so we do not have to look for the false sign of Antichrist's treaty with the Jews.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
'Seventy Weeks Are Determined...'

Matthew 1:25

An anonymous quotation that made the rounds of the Internet last year runs, "Christmas is weird. What other time of year do you sit in front of a dead tree and eat candy out of your socks?" Though it may induce a chuckle from its readers, most people either miss or ignore the larger point: Christmas is a bundle of contradictions, inanities, and outright lies.

The astounding fact is that most people are aware of this. On a Christmas Eve radio show, a local preacher substituted for the regular host. His topic of discussion centered on the greeting "Merry Christmas!" and he asked if, in our multicultural, multi-religious society, this was offensive. One caller said, no, Christianity was still the majority religion in America, but what really troubled her was the fact that professing Christians promoted the traditional lie that Jesus was born on December 25.

Without missing a beat, the preacher/talk-show host then explained to the audience that his caller was correct, Jesus could not have been born around the winter solstice, and that, in the early fourth century, the Catholic Church had combined the Roman winter solstice festival, the Saturnalia, with a celebration of Jesus' birth to help new converts adjust to Christianity. He treated these facts as common knowledge.

His "resolution" to the conundrum, however, was revealing. The gist of his answer to the troubled caller was, "If Christians would live according to the teachings of Jesus, these contradictions would not matter." I had to shake my head. Neither the host nor the caller could see the self-contradictory nature of his answer. Did not Jesus teach that we are to be honest? Certainly, He did!

He tells the rich young ruler in Matthew 19:16-18 that, to have eternal life, he should not bear false witness, which is the ninth commandment (Exodus 20:16). In the Sermon on the Mount, He says, "But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No.' For whatever is more than these is from the evil one" (Matthew 5:37). We could say, then, that keeping a celebration to Christ on a day that is not His birthday—with customs and traditions that derive from paganism—is from the evil one. It is a lie, and the Devil is the father of it (John 8:44).

This is what makes the oft-heard phrase, "Let's put Christ back into Christmas!" so laughable. It is another self-contradictory statement. How can we put Christ back into something in which He never was in the first place? Search the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and no command—not even a suggestion—to commemorate the Savior's birth will be found. It is amazing to consider that professing Christians around the world keep days and festivals never once enjoined on them in God's Word (Sunday, Good Friday, Easter, Halloween, Christmas), yet the ones God tells them to keep (the Sabbath, Passover, God's holy days), they ignore!

What about the real central character of Christmas, Santa Claus? Today's jolly old elf—a roly-poly old man in a red suit trimmed in white; big, black boots; spectacles; long, white beard; and a "ho-ho-ho"—was the brainchild of Coca-Cola's marketing department early in the last century. He was based loosely on the English Father Christmas and the German Kris Kringle. This figure, in turn, has blended with the early "Christian" Saint Nicholas, a churchman who was known for spreading the wealth to needy members of his community, sometimes throwing sacks of coins through open windows and down chimneys. Where is the biblical basis for such a character? He may be present in the modern crèche, but no one like him appears in the gospel narratives of Jesus' birth.

Then there is the season's alternate name, Yule. Where does that come from? Check the origin in the dictionary: "a pagan midwinter festival." Another contradiction! The preacher/talk-show host made mention of this point too, chuckling about how so many people do not realize that their Yule log hearkens back to the heathen practice of driving away evil spirits with bonfires on the night of the winter solstice! Now, however, it is just another way to stir up Christmas cheer! No harm in that, right?

If these pagan, unbiblical elements are so commonly known, why does the Christmas tradition continue? Three reasons come to the fore:

» Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. (Romans 8:7)

» The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9)

» The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own power; and My people love to have it so. (Jeremiah 5:31)

Christmas continues because human nature deceives itself into practicing things that are not right because they are enjoyable. Human nature allows people to justify self-contradictory things because they appear to produce benefits for them. In such a case, truth does not matter; all that matters is that a person receives presents and has a good time. And if a religious significance—real or imagined—can be attached to it, all the better!

We should not expect people to give up Christmas anytime soon just because it has pagan origins. Human nature has a long history of explaining such pesky details away.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Cogitations on Christmas

Matthew 2:11

When it comes to the "most important" part of all in this Christmas observance—the Christmas shopping season—the buying and exchanging of gifts—many will exclaim triumphantly, "Well, at least the Bible tells us to do that! Didn't the wise men give gifts, when Christ was born?"

Again, we are due for some surprises, when we learn the plain truth. First, let us look at the historic origin of trading gifts back and forth, then see exactly what the Bible does say about it.

From the Bibliotheca Sacra, volume 12, pages 153-155, we quote, "The interchange of presents between friends is alike characteristic of Christmas and the Saturnalia, and must have been adopted by Christians from the Pagans, as the admonition of Tertullian plainly shows."

The fact is, this custom fastened upon people of exchanging gifts with friends and relatives at the Christmas season has not a single trace of Christianity about it, strange though that may seem! This does not celebrate Christ's birthday or honor it or Him! Suppose someone you love has a birthday. You want to honor that person on his or her birthday. Would you lavishly buy gifts for everyone else, trading gifts back and forth with all your other friends and loved ones, but ignore completely any gift for the one whose birthday you are honoring? Rather absurd, when viewed in that light, is it not?

Yet this is exactly what people the world over are doing! They honor a day that is not Christ's birthday by spending every dime they can scrape together—even spending what they cannot afford—in buying presents to trade back and forth among friends and relatives.

Now consider what the Bible says about giving gifts when Christ was born. It is in Matthew 2:1-11. "Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews?' . . . And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary His mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto HIM gifts; gold and frankincense, and myrrh."

Notice, they inquired for the child Jesus, who was born King of the Jews! Now why did they present gifts to Him? Because it was His birthday? Not at all, because they came several days or weeks after the date of His birth! Was it to set an example for us, today, to trade gifts back and forth among ourselves? No, notice carefully! They did not exchange gifts among themselves, but "they presented unto Him gifts." They gave their gifts to Christ, not to their friends, relatives, or one another!

Why? Let me quote from the Adam Clarke Commentary, volume 5, page 46: "Verse 11. (They presented unto him gifts.) The people of the East never approach the presence of kings and great personages, without a present in their hands. The custom is often noticed in the Old Testament, and still prevails in the East, and in some of the newly discovered South Sea Islands."

There it is! They were not instituting a new Christian custom of exchanging gifts with friends to honor Christ's birthday. They were following an old and ancient eastern custom of presenting gifts to a king when they come into his presence. They were approaching Him, born King of the Jews, in person. Therefore custom required they present gifts—even as the Queen of Sheba brought gifts to Solomon—even as many people today take a gift along when they visit the White House for an appointment with the President.

No, the custom of trading gifts back and forth does not stem from this scriptural incident at all, but rather, as quoted from history above, it is the continuance of an ancient pagan custom.

Herbert W. Armstrong (1892-1986)
The Plain Truth About Christmas

Mark 7:8

Like ancient Israel, we can easily fall back into our former ways. The Israelites rejected the law of God and relied on the traditions of Gentile nations. Elijah had to take drastic measures to prevent Baal worship from completely eradicating the worship of the true God (I Kings 18:20-40). Some of Judah's kings spent years tearing down shrines and high places to foreign gods (II Chronicles 34:1-7).

Christ warned the Pharisees: "For laying aside the commandments of God, you hold the traditions of men." For example, Christmas and Easter are traditions of men, but they are lies. What happens if a person, trying to establish a religion, mixes falsehood with the truth of God? Recall God's wrath when Aaron made a golden calf at the urging of the Israelites in the wilderness and proclaimed a feast to the Lord (Exodus 32:1-5). Observing Christmas and Easter in the name of Christ is no different.

Blending the lies of this world with the truth of God produces a foul mixture called syncretism (James 3:10-13). "Christian" religions of this world have mixed the traditions of paganism with some of the truth of God's Word. This is no different from what Israel was doing when Amos wrote back in 760 BC. Since their rejection of the house of David under Jeroboam I, the Israelites had practiced a syncretistic religion (Amos 5:21-26; 8:14; I Kings 12:25-33).

John W. Ritenbaugh
Prepare to Meet Your God! (The Book of Amos) (Part Two)

Luke 2:8

Since the shepherds were still in the fields with their flocks (verse 8), Jesus' birth could not have occurred during the cold-weather months of winter. Sheep were normally brought into centrally located pens or corrals as the weather turned colder and the rainy season began, especially at night. If this were not significant, it begs the question, "Why would Luke have mentioned it in such detail if not to convey a time reference?"

Notice what commentator Adam Clarke writes regarding this:

It was a custom among the Jews to send out their sheep to the deserts [wilderness], about the passover [sic], and bring them home at the commencement of the first rain: during the time they were out, the shepherds watched them night and day. As the passover [sic] occurred in the spring, and the first rain began early in the month of Marchesvan, which answers to part of our October and November, we find that the sheep were kept out in the open country during the whole of the summer. And as these shepherds had not yet brought home their flocks, it is a presumptive argument that October had not yet commenced, and that, consequently, our Lord was not born on the 25th of December, when no flocks were out in the fields; nor could He have been born later than September, as the flocks were still in the fields by night. On this very ground the nativity in December should be given up. The feeding of the flocks by night in the fields is a chronological fact, which casts considerable light on this disputed point. (Clarke's Commentary, vol. V, p. 370)

John O. Reid (1930-2016)
When Was Jesus Born?

Luke 2:8

It is evident this could not have been in late December! December nights, even in Israel, can be cold and wet with occasional snowfall. Shepherds in that area were known to have brought their sheep from the fields into the folds in the fall of the year. The evidence currently available indicates that Jesus was born in the autumn of the year 4 BC—perhaps on the Feast of Trumpets!

Staff
'Tis the Season: Help for Our Young People

Luke 2:8

Jesus was not born in the winter season! When the Christ-child was born "there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night" (Luke 2:8). This could never have occurred in Judea in the month of December. The shepherds always brought their flocks from the mountainsides and fields and corralled them not later than October 15, to protect them from the cold, rainy season that followed that date. Notice that the Bible itself proves, in Song of Solomon 2:11 and Ezra 10:9, 13, that winter was a rainy season not permitting shepherds to abide in open fields at night.

"It was ancient custom among Jews of those days to send out their sheep to the fields and deserts about the Passover (early spring), and bring them home at commencement of the first rain," says the Adam Clarke Commentary (vol. 5, p. 370, New York ed.).

Continuing, this authority states: "During the time they were out, the shepherds watched them night and day. As . . . the first rain began early in the month of Marchesvan, which answers to part of our October and November [begins sometime in October], we find that the sheep were kept out in the open country during the whole summer. And, as these shepherds had not yet brought home their flocks, it is a presumptive argument that October had not yet commenced, and that, consequently, our Lord was not born on the 25th of December, when no flocks were out in the fields; nor could He have been born later than September, as the flocks were still in the fields by night. On this very ground, the nativity in December should be given up. The feeding of the flocks by night in the fields is a chronological fact."

Any encyclopedia, or any other authority, will tell you that Christ was not born on December 25. The Catholic Encyclopedia frankly states this fact.

The exact date of Jesus' birth is entirely unknown, as all authorities acknowledge—though there are indications that it was in the early fall—probably September—approximately six months after Passover.

If God had wished us to observe and celebrate Christ's birthday, He would not have so completely hidden the exact date.

Herbert W. Armstrong (1892-1986)
The Plain Truth About Christmas

John 4:23-24

Several years ago, WorldNetDaily published a controversial exposé that spotlighted one of the more frequent skirmishes in our current culture war. Masterfully written by Joe Kovacs, "Christmas in America becomes battleground" reveals the pagan origins of this esteemed tradition and demonstrates why increasing numbers of "fundamentalist Christians" are realizing that one cannot "put Christ" back into something in which He never was.

Apologist C.S. Lewis, in his book Mere Christianity, asserts that one of Satan's most common ploys is to "send error into the world in pairs"—pairs of opposites—"and then he encourages us to spend a lot of time thinking, Which is the worst?" Satan persuades us to argue over two options, or two points of view, neither one of which is true. Regardless of which side carries the argument, Satan wins the day.

In the current war over Christmas and religious symbols, Satan has pitted the secular humanists, who want to blot out Christianity and encourage almost any other form of worship, against mainstream Christians, who are fighting for the right to worship as they see fit by putting evergreen trees in schools per Jeremiah 10:2-5. Atheists and agnostics arrayed against Christmas-bent "Christians"—for whom do we root?

The truth of the matter is that Satan is the real winner regardless of the outcome.

As Mr. Kovacs' article shows, the truth about the pagan origins of Christmas is easily researched. Any good encyclopedia will show that the timing and trappings of this celebration long predate Christianity. December 25 has been a focal point of sun-worship for millennia. The pagan origins of this day are so well-documented that the real question is, "What business do Christians have in trying to "Christianize" something that has been blatantly anti-God from the very beginning?" Is this worshipping God in spirit and in truth?

God was so concerned that ancient Israel would begin adopting the pagan ways of the Canaanites—even under the auspices of worshipping the true God—that He gave the children of Israel a categorical warning:

When the LORD your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land, take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, "How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise." You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it. (Deuteronomy 12:29-32)

God is very specific in the way that He wants to be worshipped! He has not given us permission to worship Him in just any way that seems right to us. He warns His people specifically in these verses, as well as in Revelation 22:18-19, not to add to His instructions, nor to take away from them, and this is clearly within the context of adopting pagan practices in conjunction with worshipping Him. Christmas may not involve physical child-sacrifice—although in spirit millions of children are being sacrificed on the altar of materialism—but the stench of this celebration is odious nonetheless because it is still idolatry: replacing the true worship of God with a false one.

The Bible does not specify when Jesus Christ was born (although the best deduction is that it was in the autumn—see "When Was Jesus Born?" Forerunner, December 1994). More importantly, the Bible does not give any instruction in celebrating His birth, nor any example of the first-century church doing so, nor any indication that the celebration of birthdays is pleasing to God at all! Even this idea has come from paganism, rather than from God's Instruction Book for mankind. Is this, then, worshipping God in spirit and in truth?

Is it any wonder that our Savior says, "These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men" (Matthew 15:8-9); and "All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition" (Mark 7:9); and "[you make] the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do" (Mark 7:13)? Human nature has the rebellious proclivity to do only what it wants to do, even when told by God Himself to do things differently (Romans 8:7)!

We see, then, that on one pole are the secularists, who believe the lie that God should not be a part of their lives. On the other pole are mainstream Christians, who believe the lie that syncretism is an acceptable form of worship. But in either case, the trail of lies indicates who the real "holiday spirit" is.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Cogitations on Christmas

Romans 10:1-3

Interestingly, a commentator writes that "they being ignorant of" (verse 3) could be translated into "for they ignoring," which puts a different sense on Paul's thought. When one is ignorant, he just does not know. Perhaps knowledge was withheld from him. On the other hand, when one ignores knowledge, it is readily available, but he turns his back on it.

Are modern Israelites who celebrate Christmas really deceived? Is the deception so strong that they cannot see it? A self-deceived person is ignoring truth rather than ignorant of it, and if that indeed is Paul's emphasis, it makes this Christmas question much more serious. It means that people are accountable for what they are doing, and therefore, they will pay more for it than if they acted in ignorance.

Most Americans are aware that many of the Christmas traditions have no connection with Christianity. Almost every year, articles on the origins of various Christmas customs appear in the newspapers, especially in the larger cities. The authors of these articles cannot trace any of the "modern" traditions back to the Bible because most of the customs came from pre-Christian traditions in Germany, Norway, Russia, Holland, and other nations. Thus, people cannot claim that such knowledge was withheld from them.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Christmas, Syncretism and Presumption (1994)

Romans 10:1-3

What we observe in the world around us confirms that end-time Israel is following the same spiritual pattern that our ancestors established anciently. Human nature does not change. These verses verify that some knowledge of God remains within the Israelitish nations.

However, theirs is not an enlightened, discerning, and intelligent zeal for God. Rather, God says in Hosea 4:6 that His people—in this case meaning ancient Israel—are destroyed for a lack of true knowledge. God then lays the greater blame on the teachers for their failure to teach truth. The Interpreter's Commentary says that "ignorant" in Romans 10:3 can correctly be translated as "ignoring," revealing a deliberate disregarding of God's righteousness.

The broader history of Old Testament Israel shows that God's Word was available, but the people did not access it to seek God. Thus, their ignorance was not completely the teacher's fault; the people should have studied the Bible on their own. Paul explains in Romans 1:18-21 that man is without excuse before Him because knowledge of God is available. The contrast Paul provides in Romans 10:1-3 indicates that the teaching the Israelites received produced at best a vague, superficial base of knowledge about God. This is not a foundation of true knowledge that will work to produce a good relationship between God and man.

We can see an example of this kind of teaching in our time. Most of us have seen what is happening in so many churches these days, most especially in the mega-churches. Their services come across as superficial entertainment that gives people an upbeat social experience that contains some religious instruction. They come up short in teaching high-quality biblical truths to enhance people's relationships with God. It has produced a people who believe that they are saved and going to heaven immediately after death, and who think God's laws are done away. They keep Christmas and Easter, which are obviously pagan holidays, and at the same time fail to keep the Sabbaths, which both Jesus and Paul clearly kept.

How can they be following Christ when they do not do what He did and in fact do what pagans do? Where is God in the minds of those who conduct their lives like this? In truth, what they think about Him is nowhere near the truth because neither they nor their teachers make the effort to know Him (John 17:3).

They know some things about Him, but they do not know Him. If they did, they would be seeking Him, and He would be revealing truth. Where should they be seeking Him? They must begin in the Scriptures. In them, two things are beyond dispute: first, that God is the Supreme Sovereign over His creation, His purpose for creating it, and His plan for fulfilling it; and second, that man is responsible to this awesome Creator.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Living By Faith and God's Sovereignty

Tue, Dec 10, 2019 - 3:44pm
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A woman to have known, 1607 - 1678:

Anna Maria van Schürman moved to Amsterdam, rented an apartment in the house, and threw in her lot with the new household. She was considered the most accomplished woman of her time. She corresponded in various languages with the most famous literary men in Europe, and her opinion and counsel were sought and valued by those who were themselves experts in the arts and sciences. She had been a devoted Christian from her childhood. In her book, “Eukleria", written in Latin, she relates, “as a child of scarcely four years old I sat with my nurse on the banks of a stream. She repeated to me the words, ‘I am not my own but belong to my truest Saviour, Jesus Christ.’ I was filled with such an inward sense of love to Christ that in all my following years nothing has ever been able to erase the vivid remembrance of that moment". In justifying her adhesion to the new company she wrote: “As I have now seen for a number of years, with pain, the departure of Christendom from its origins, and its almost entire unlikeness to the same ... and had lost any hope of its restoration in the usual course of things which is followed by our clergy (most of whom are themselves greatly in need of reformation), who can rightly object that I have, with a happy heart, chosen for my own those teachers fitted by God to bring about a reform of degenerate Christianity?" Her renown caused this step to be everywhere spoken of and she was overwhelmed with letters calling her back to the Reformed Church, but she rejoiced that she had now put aside the old man and chosen that good part that would not be taken away from her. She had formerly sought God’s honour, but her own also, now she sought none for herself but only for God. She sold what she had and gave it to Labadie and never seems to have regretted this. The Pilgrim Church P. 277-8.

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Tue, Dec 10, 2019 - 7:25pm
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The impeachment of Jesus!

From the beginning, the enemy, using the religious systems of men and demons, has tried to impeach the Lord. Some of the divided systems have tried to make Him just a prophet or just one of many godly beings. Some make him and angel or a brother to Satan.

John 1:11-13 King James Version (KJV)

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.

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However, to those who have been "called out", those who have repented and received Him within, they have become part of the Living Third Temple. While the blinded assemblies look for the Jews to construct a demonic third stone structure, the Lord continues to add to His Temple, His Church, daily. Jim

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1 Peter 2:5-9 King James Version (KJV)

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.

6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,

8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

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;

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1 Corinthians 3:16-17 King James Version (KJV)

16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

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Thu, Dec 12, 2019 - 10:03pm
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The court of "mixture" in action!

Barb sent me this link and I was not sure if I should even post it. It is a mess in several directions. The comment section shows where the people actually are parked in their spiritual lives. Was the pastor who spoke correct? Was he in error? Should he have stated things differently? Did he leave out too much of the real message? Will the Jews come to repentance before the end of days? Will the cults close down their divided systems of men and demons, and come to Christ fully?

Oh well, here is the link and a book could be written about it, both pro and con. jmo Jim

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https://www.yahoo.com/huffpost/robert-jeffress-white-house-hanukkah-0545...

NW VIEW >>>1 Cor. 1:18
Thu, Dec 12, 2019 - 11:05pm NW VIEW
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Well I think this part is true.......

“Not only do religions like Mormonism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, not only do they lead people away from the true God, they lead people to an eternity of separation from God in hell. You know, Jesus was very clear. Hell is not only going to be populated by murderers and drug dealers and child abusers. Hell is going to be filled with good religious people who have rejected the truth of Christ.”

Fri, Dec 13, 2019 - 12:29am Trail Trekker
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T. Trekker

There is some Truth in the pastor's quotes. The reality is that telling all of these religious groups that they are going to hell, will not convert them. They have heard that from their beginnings. However, we see converts, coming to Christ, from all of these groups. I have known Mormons, in the past, who left and became missionaries to Mormons. It is the same in many groupings. The Lord seems to be drawing many in Islam. Many testimonials of Jesus appearing to them and saving them directly. I do not know for sure, just the articles written.

I have known of those who left Islam, in Africa, and became public witnesses, leading many to Christ. I also have noted that it is a waste of time to tell any of these divisions that they are cults and going to hell. Yes, the Jews rejected Jesus, and still do to this day. Will we see all of Israel saved? What does that really mean? If they continue in their rejection of the Savior, thinking the laws of Moses will save them, they are in trouble.

We are not Jewish, not living under law, called out of darkness unto His Light, receiving Him within, aliens to the old corruptions of the fallen world, seated in Heavenly Places in Christ Jesus, and seekers of His Kingdom.

What the pastor said will only stir the pot. It is far better to present Jesus Christ as Lord, and let the Holy Spirit do His Work, on all of mankind. It is an amazing event, when presenting the Word of Life to a gathering of people. The Spirit will move upon the sinner, and draw them to repentance and to receiving Christ. That is the message of the New Testament Church, given by the Lord, to the early Church, and the pew setters are blinded to Church History. Ye must be "born again" has not been eliminated from the messages of the Kingdom. We must be born of the water and the Spirit if we want to "enter"! This is the dividing line, for all of mankind, including the blinded religions of the darkened world. Jim

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Fri, Dec 13, 2019 - 1:39pm
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Levels of Heaven

I'm looking for specific passages in the Bible that speak of the different levels of Heavens.

Fri, Dec 13, 2019 - 8:54pm Trail Trekker
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Levels T. Trekker?

The Book of Enoch is filled with the levels. Some believe that Enoch is scripture and the early Church also believed that it was the Word of God. We see this in Enoch:

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https://books-of-enoch.fandom.com/wiki/Ten_heavens

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We see that some saw the 3rd. level in the New Testament. Having several levels in Heaven does solve several problems. The area of the Kingdom will not be occupied by millions of Luke warm believers, and yet, only the Lord knows where or what He will do with the five foolish virgins. They were believers who did not have "enough" when the Lord came. All ten were waiting on the return of the Lord but five did not enter. Jim

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Fri, Dec 13, 2019 - 10:14pm
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3rd.

2 Corinthians 12:2 King James Version (KJV)

2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.

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Sat, Dec 14, 2019 - 1:47pm
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The Day the Angel Returned, a Daydream:

Yes, it had been almost 2000 years, since this messenger had been sent to earth, to give an account of the dealings of the believers.

He stood there, disappointment and worry, for his report was tragic. "Well Lord, I visited the many cities of all of the nations. There were buildings of worship everywhere. They actually call them the Church! I do not know what happened for the saved ones, the called out ones, they do not know that they are the Church.

They have set up thousands of divisions, in violation of the scriptures, and instead of coming back to the Truth of the Gospel, they divided even more, every day. They collect the old testament tithes, build beautiful structures and pay their false clergy big wages. The Name of Jesus is not even found in many of these systems, showing that the anti-Christ has invaded their denominations.

They spend about 3% of their Sunday tithes on helping the poor but the entire assembly walks by the needy, even at their doors. Their pastors drive expensive cars, buy jet planes, and live in million dollar homes, all paid from tithes. I wonder how the people could be so deceived?

They have consistently thrown out the prophets, that You have sent to them Lord, setting up false denominational prophets who will tell the assemblies what they want to hear. Every one of their divisions, have their own bible colleges, and none of them following what You have instructed. I did not want to say this Lord but I even heard degenerate anti-Christ perverts, set in place by their blinded systems of Satan, both men and women and even transvestites, in the place of the True biblical elders. The women are even allowed to teach the men and will not be silent in the assemblies.

I found that the message of the Finished Work upon the Cross, repentance, receiving You Lord within their Temples, is not preached in very many places. Oh how the youth have been led down a pathway of worldliness. They bring in rock and punk rock bands to entertain and trap the youth. I know Lord, it is difficult to believe that things have come to this point. They, some of them, read their bibles, but the bible study leaders are clueless as to what it actually teaches. False prophets are claiming to visit heaven often and some even say that they hear from You daily, with messages that they say are for the people. However, even the notable ones have not heard the Truth and therefore the people suffer, lacking knowledge.

I have pondered the plague that has hit the nations and I now see that it will take great tribulations to bring repentance. Most, Lord, were deceived by a few, and given the great escape, they call it a pre-trib. rapture. That was a good one for the enemy, leaving the assemblies unprepared for what is soon coming on the entire world. Boy oh boy, the false clergy has made millions off of their false views of the end and a new book comes out every season. Many have allowed the old covenant to replace the new Covenant, and is promoted in their systems and believers t.v. networks. Those people have become enemies of the Cross.

Well Lord, that is my report, and I am fearful as to what You will do soon, when You return, seeing the fulfillment of the Church of Laodicea!" Jim

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Sun, Dec 15, 2019 - 12:41pm
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The reformer John Knox, said it, long ago:

“To promote a woman to bear rule, superiority, dominion, or empire above any realm, nation, or city, is repugnant to nature; contumely to God, a thing most contrary to his revealed will and approved ordinance; and finally, it is the subversion of good order, of all equity and justice.”
― John Knox, The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women

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What would John Knox say today? He understood the "order" given to the Church of God and few have any understanding of this order, even though it is all written. "Order' needs to be taught, within the assemblies, even today, but that is not a winning avenue for membership and tithes. When order, written in the new testament, is taught, the people are set free to follow the lamb, where ever He goes. Teaching biblical order today will cause riots within the divided/blinded/altered systems of men and demons. jmo Jim

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Sun, Dec 15, 2019 - 5:23pm
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The Editor's Quote of the Day

The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

0

“And when he had called all the people unto him, he said unto them, Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand:

There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.

If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.

And when he was entered into the house from the people, his disciples asked him concerning the parable.

And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him;

Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?

And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.

For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,

Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:

All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

And from thence he arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into an house, and would have no man know it: but he could not be hid.

For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet:

The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter.

But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs.

And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs.

And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter.

And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed.

And again, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis.

And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him.

And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue;

And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened.

And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain.

And he charged them that they should tell no man: but the more he charged them, so much the more a great deal they published it;

And were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.” – Mark 7:14-37 (KJV)

James Wesley Rawles December 15, 2019

Tue, Dec 17, 2019 - 1:09pm
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Yes, Halloween is over, for some!

An interesting article to read:

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https://www.rt.com/news/473383-francis-amazon-petition-catholic-repent/

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I am going to do a first and quote Exodus 23:24 from the Catholic bible:

"You will not bow down to their gods or worship them or observe their rites, but will throw them down and smash their cultic stones." Now we all should agree with this scripture, even in the Catholic bible. We could be viewed as calling out the pope and forget that millions of non-Catholics have just stored their costumes and Ishtar baskets, looking forward to next years demonic parties, right in their own steeple houses.

When they approach the gates of the Kingdom, those idols will be a witness of the prosecution. jmo Jim

(I had to try posting this three times)

NW VIEW >>>1 Cor. 1:18
Tue, Dec 17, 2019 - 4:03pm NW VIEW
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Shame on you Pope!

I honestly do not think the Pope stands for the Word. He totally goes with the flow so as not to "offend" anyone. For example, he said at one time in response to homosexuals that it is not his place to judge. But then not even back up the Bible is pretty sad. Yes, we are not to judge but if we don't stand up for what we say we believe in is just going through motions of disregard. On another note, once NW View posted the levels of Heaven, via the book of Enoch, I got to reading that book for the umpteenth time and it never really hit me before as it did at the moment I read that the 366 books he wrote were to be handed down to his sons, generations and nations. So if Noah had these books on the Ark and inherited the earth, all was pure and Godly, it's sad to think that they couldn't even follow the request of their direction and if they had do you think that we would have all the religions as we do now??????? I don't. God told Enoch everything about everything, so much knowledge and information and they couldn't even follow through. They were the ONLY humans left on earth to reproduce and keep things lined up with God and they failed miserably.

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T. Trekker, lots of subjects & important!

Jesus has watched this mess from the beginning. He was sent by the Father to make a way of Life for His Children, being only a remnant of the population. He did see Noah and his family, the ones who would be left behind and inherit the entire world. The rest were removed. Did we ever consider that there were only eight people, in the entire world, who would inherit it?

Jesus came to earth much later, taking on the form of a man. Do we actually see that He was not looking for alien spacecraft but spent a lot of time, casting demons out of real people. The early Church, were faced with these demons within the temple of lost men. When was the last time that we witnessed demons being "cast out" in the thousands of steeple houses? Jesus gave the Church (the saved people), the Holy Spirit within and that is what the demons fear.

Satan made sure that he would send agents into the assemblies, ASAP and has divided the entire believing world into sects, mostly without any Power and what is coming, will tear them to bits. jmo Jim

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Wed, Dec 18, 2019 - 6:53pm
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Aliens

Colossians 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

Deuteronomy 4:19 And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars—all the heavenly array—do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the LORD your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven.

Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

The WHOLE ENTIRE chapter of Genesis 6 goes even further on the subject.

So what's all this talk that's been going on for eons and more than ever today about Aliens? The end is near and I believe Satan is getting his army more ready to do battle that he will ultimately lose. I have a friend that has clients that have worked for the government and NASA that have shared what they have seen in space and underground and they are clearly not human. I believe it. Just read the books of Enoch, it's all in there too! It's not a secret...God has told us about them. I believe there are massive amounts of demons mascarading as aliens in their different forms that are in the undergound bases keeping humans in fear and bondage that if we don't do what they want they will annihilate mankind. Well here's my take on that fact that they've got to be demons: If they were aliens from other worlds they would have already wiped us out. What do we have to offer that has made them hold off that they couldn't have already taken??? They traveled to us. We haven't traveled to them. We can't get through the radiation belts which makes it impossible to get to the moon but somehow we have???? Yeah right, ok. If one believer put two and two together they could make one of the so called aliens poof away in the name of Jesus but they are probably just sitting in a pew on Sunday's and completely unaware of the power they have over Satan. If they really were aliens from other worlds the world would have been exposed to them by now and it wouldn't be kept in hush hush secret. Somebody would have to convince me otherwise but to me they are just demons here to do nothing but be unproductive, keep us in fear and bondage. They have our military and government duped in my opinion. Our daily fight is against satan not just living a good life!

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