Outside of the Word of God there is no truth (John 14:6), yet Christians today are too lazy to "Prove all things" (1 Thessalonians 5:19-22), and try the spirits (I John 4:1-5). It is only by searching the scriptures that we can assure ourselves of fact, truth, and protection from deception (Acts 17:11). Do not be deceived by the vain words of men (Ephesians 5:6-11). We must not substitute views, opinions, emotions or feelings, for Word of God. If we please men then we should not be the servants of Jesus Christ (Galatians 1:10).
Every feast, holy day or ceremonial observation for the glory of the Lord, was always written in the Word of God, and our Heavenly Father always gave instructions on how to do it. For religious commemorations or celebrations, we must have a Biblical command or precedent. We are told in Deuteronomy 12:29-32, that not only did God want to prevent His people from being enticed to worship false gods, by telling them to destroy all vestiges of pagan worship that they found in the "Promised Land.", but He specifically revealed that He did not want His people to worship Him in the same manner in which the heathen worshiped their gods. Our Lord is displeased by practices which profess to honor Him, but which are copied from the tradition of false religions. God commanded them to worship Him only in the way He commands, not to add to them nor take away from them.
The sons of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, were slain in the temple for offering up "strange fire" before the Lord God (Leviticus 10:1,2; Numbers 3:4 & 26:61). Strange fire is offering something to God that He has not asked for, does not receive, does not observe, it is worshiping God your way (how you think He should be worshipped), instead of Gods way. Saul disobeyed God's prophet in order to worship God in his way (1 Samuel 15:1-3, 7-9, 21-23). Is not the celebration of Christmas, with all its pagan symbols and forms, one of man's ways of worshiping Christ, a "strange fire" unto the Lord, a form of worship contrary to what God commands? If we truly love Jesus we will keep His word and offer no strange fire before Him. (John 14:15, 23; Luke 6:46)
Did the orginal Apostles - our spiritual fathers and foundation in the faith and those who knew Jesus personally, ever teach or celebrate His birthday?
FACTThere is no Biblical warrant, precedent, nor precept for the remembrance of the day of Christ's birth as a day of special religious celebration. The early church did not celebrate Christ's birth, such celebrations only came into the church with the "Christianization" of pagan rites as Catholicism was made the state religion by Constantine in the fourth century A.D. The Word of God does not support the tradition of Christmas.
But didn't the Angels and Shepherds come and worship Him?
FACTNo, they did not. If you will read your Bible in Luke 2:13-20, you will see that when the Angels announced this to the shepherds, they (the Angels) glorified "God in the highest" (v14), in other words, the Heavenly Father, and the Shepherds returned (from Bethlehem), "glorifying and praising God, for all the things that they had heard and seen" (v20).
[Note: For background on why it was Bethlehem, study the Book of Ruth]
Did not the three wise men come and worship Jesus in the manger? And did not the three wise men give gifts to Him when he was born?
[Note: Wise men is a translation of the Greek word magoi, the ancient Greek transliteration of the Persian original for a select sect of priests. The word 'magic' comes from the same root. Magi is the Latinized form.
The Magi were a hereditary priesthood of the Medes credited with extraordinary religious knowledge. After some Magi, who had been attached to the Median court, proved to be expert in the interpretation of dreams, Darius the Great established them over the state religion of Persia. (Oneiromancy, not astrology, is the key skill mentioned by Herodotus, 1.1 07, 120; Vil.19.) Contrary to popular belief, the Magi were not originally followers of Zoroaster.(Encyclopedia Britannica, 7:691.) That all came later.
It was in this dual capacity whereby civil and political counsel was invested with religious authority, that the Magi became the supreme priestly caste of the Persian empire, and continued to be prominent during the subsequent Seleucid, Parthian, Sasanian periods. (Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, 4:31-34.)]
FACTThere is not one record of there being three wise men! The Bible says in Matthew 2:1, there came wise men from the east. They brought three gifts which were also prophetic, gold (for his "diety"), frankincense (a spice used in the priestly duties, signifying His office as priest), and myrrh (an embalming ointment signifying His sacrificial death, as savior). Because there was three gifts, man's imagination changes the Bible, and says, there were three men. In the millennium, He will also receive the gifts of gold and frankincense; (Isaiah 60:6) but no myrrh. His death was once and for all.
FACTMatthew 2:3 says that Herod and all Jerusalem were troubled. I do not think that three men on camels would be noticed much in a city of great size like Jerusalem, the city would have been filled daily with men on camels. The wise men were a supreme priestly caste who held the governmental office of the upper house of the Council of the Megistanes ("magistrates"). Their duties included the absolute choice and election of the king of the realm. It was therefore a group of Persian-Parthian "king makers" who entered Jerusalem in the latter days of the reign of Herod. Their sudden appearance in Jerusalem (wise men usually traveled in caravans of 40 or more in number), probably traveling in force with every imaginable oriental pomp, and accompanied by adequate calvary escort to insure their safe penetration of Roman territory, certainly alarmed Herod and the populace of Jerusalem. Herod's reaction would of been one of fear when one considers the background of Roman Parthian rivalry that prevailed during his lifetime (see note below). It would seem as if these wise men were attempting to perpetrate a border incident which could bring swift reprisal from Parthian armies.
[Note: Political Background: Since the days of Daniel, both the Persian and the Jewish nations had, in their turn, fallen under Seleucid domination in the wake of Alexander's conquests. Subsequently both had regained their independence: the Jews under Maccabean leadership, and the Persians as the dominating ruling group within the Parthian Empire.
Pompey, the first Roman conqueror of Jerusalem, attacked the Armenian outpost of Parthia in 63 B.C. In 55 B.C. Carssus led Roman legions in sacking Jerusalem and, in a subsequent attack, Parthia proper. The Romans were decisively defeated at the battle of Carrhae with the loss of 30,000 troops, including their commander. The Parthians counter attacked with a token invasion of Armenia, Syria, and Palestine.
Nominal Roman rule was reestablished under Antipater, the father of Herod, who retreated before another Parthian invasion in 40 B.C.
Mark Anthony re-established Roman sovereignty in 37 B.C., and, like Carssus before him, also embarked on a similarly ill-fated Parthian expedition. His disastrous retreat was followed by another wave of invading Parthians, which swept all Roman opposition completely out of Palestine (including Herod himself, who fled to Alexandria and then to Rome).
With Parthian collaboration, Jewish sovereignty was restored and Jerusalem was fortified with a Jewish garrison.
Herod, by this time, secured from Augustus Caesar the title of "King of the Jews." However, it was not for three years (including a five month's siege by Roman troops) that he was able to occupy his own capital city. Herod had thus gained the throne of a rebellious buffer state which was situated between two mighty contending empires. At any time, his own subjects might conspire in bringing the Parthians to their aid.]
[Note: Daniels Role: It is entirely conceivable that the messianic prophecies of Daniel was of profound motivating significance to the wise men. Daniel, who was a principal administrator in two world empires, the Babylonian and subsequent Persian empire, was considered to be one of their own magicians, he was given the title "master of the magicians" (Daniel 4:9; 5:11). When Darius appointed him, a Jew, over the previously hereditary Median priesthood, the resulting repercussions resulted in the plots leading to the lion's den.(Daniel 6). Perhaps the wise men were entrusted to a messianic vision, to be announced in due time by a "star"? Another interesting note is that the Angel Gabriel, who gave Daniel skill and understanding concerning the time when the messiah will present Himself, is also the Angel mentioned in Luke 1:19.]
Consulting the Jewish priests and scribes, Herod discovered that the Promised One, the Messiah, would be born in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:4-6; Micah 5:2). Hiding his concern and expressing sincere interest, Herod requested that the wise men keep him informed (Matthew 2:7-8).
Did they bring these gifts to the manger?
FACTThe Bible clearly states in Matthew 2:7-16, that the wise men followed the star for two years (v16), and they presented the gifts to the young child (Jesus was two years old when the men finally arrived) in His house (v11). Thus their giving had nothing to do with a birthday.
After presenting their prophetic gifts to the young child, the wise men "being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod (Matthew 2:12-13), (a form of communication most acceptable to them) departed to their own country, ignoring Herod's request.
Didn't the wise men come to worship the child?
FACTMatthew 2:2, states that the "wise men" came to worship the King of the Jews, it is interesting to note that in verse 8, Herod said that he wanted to worship "the young child". Wise men worship the King, but men will worship the child. Asking Herod, "where is he that is born King of the Jews?" (Matthew 2:2) was probably also a calculated insult by the wise men, because Herod was an Edomite, a traditional enemy of Israel, who had most probably contrived and bribed his way into that office.
Was Jesus born on December 25th?
FACTIn December it is the winter season, rainy and cold and the shepherds do not keep their flocks out at night grazing in the winter (Luke 2:8). It was customary for the shepherds to herd their flocks and take them in after Mid-October and release them in early spring. Thus the Luke 2 account of the birth of Jesus could not have been in December.
FACT No man knows when Jesus was born, but we can be pretty sure that it was not the twenty-fifth of December. If God desired us to remember Christ's birthday, He would have left us the precise date. But in so doing, He would have vindicated every astrologer in the past 2,000 years, because in occult circles, the anniversary of a person's birth is the most important metaphysical day of the year. The Bible recognizes no such significance. It is intriguing that there are only two birthday celebrations recorded in the entire Bible and they were both those of ungodly kings, and both resulted in an execution (Genesis 40:16-22 and Matthew 14:6-10/Mark 6:21-27). Although Luke places the birth in a historical perspective, even the year cannot be exactly determined. The Bible does tells us though, that He was born before the death of Herod the Great who died in 4 B.C, so the 1AD date is certainly wrong.
FACT God has warned us about getting entangled with special days (Galations 4:9-10). There is no record in the Bible of people observing or worshipping Jesus because of his birth, it is not taught, or preached. What we are taught though, is to remember Him in His death, but no special day was specified for this either, any day of the year will do. (Matthew 26:26-31; Mark 14:22-27; Luke 22:17-20).
For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lords death till he come (1 Corinthians 11:23-26)
To commemorate His death is Scriptural. To commemorate His birth is not, it is extra-Scriptural (Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32; Proverbs 30:6; Revelation 22:19).
But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; (1 Corinthians 1:23)
Joseph and Mary did not just show up in Bethlehem, go to an Inn, find there was no room, and had to go to a dirty stable with animals to have a baby.
We even have this fixed picture in our minds of what "there was no room for them in the inn" (Luke 2:7) may have meant. The word "inn" in Luke 2:7 [kataluma], is used again by Luke in 22:11:
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:7)
And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? (Luke 22:11)
kataluma, Greek 2646, Strong's kataluma, kat-al'-oo-mah; from Greek 2647 (kataluo); properly a dissolution (breaking up of a journey), i.e. (by implication) a lodging-place :- guestchamber, inn.
The same word for inn (kataluma) in Luke 2:7, is used for "guestchamber" in Luke 22:11. The guestchamber was the upper room of a house for guests (see Luke 22:12-13).
FACT Joseph was returning to his home town of Bethlehem to be counted with his family in the Roman census (Luke 2:1-2). Joseph must of had relatives living there, and it must have been Joseph's intention to stay with his family, he knew Mary was with child and due soon. Since many out-of-town family members would have been arriving at the same time, the inn, which was the upstairs room, on the roof of the house, used for guests, was already full (Notice that it is not 'at an inn', but 'in the inn', Luke 2:7). Mary and Joseph found space in the area that comprised the first floor of the house - the manger. Here it was usually warm and would have been comfortable for the birthing. And even though used for domesticated animals and shelter, it would have been clean. Also notice, that the Bible states that they had been there a while, and the days were accomplished that she should be delivered (Luke 2:6).
Now in the days of Jesus, when a family was poor, the manger was a part of their house where the families lived and it was the lower part or portion of the house which would represent his humbleness or humility when born into this earth. This manger was usually adjacent to the living quarters of the family and they would keep their domesticated animals there. The manger or trough was usually hewn out of rock (Bakers Encyclopedia of the Bible, Vol.2 page 1392).
A manger was usually hewn out of rock, which would be scripturally fitting, for our Lord Jesus is the ROCK of our salvation, we are to build our house on the ROCK, and His tomb was hewn out of a ROCK.
And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. (1 Corinthians 10:4)
He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.(Luke 6:48, see also Matthew 7:24-25)
And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre. (Mark 15:46, see also Matthew 27:60)
If Mary had to wait until after her purification to bring Jesus into the temple to present him to the Father (Luke 2:22), then what makes you think that HE would allow her to give birth in an unclean, straw dunged stable? Wouldn't taking a newborn baby and laying him in straw or hay dangerous? Isn't cut straw or hay very sharp?
Today's depiction, or "Manger Scene", with animals, hay or straw, Joseph, Mary, baby Jesus in a straw laden crib, three wise men bowing down and giving gifts, shepherds, and a star over a stable, all come from St. Francis of Assisi, A Catholic Monk. None of it is the truth, yet isn't it amazing what people believe as truth because of what men say?
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. (Colossians 2:8)
"...no room for them in the inn" (Luke 2:7) was probably not a rejection of Jesus Christ, as we are taught, but a gracious accommodation in the best circumstances the family could provide, which would represent his humbleness or humility when born into this earth. Notice also that, while there was no room in the upper part of the house for Jesus on his first night on earth, that is exactly where he spent his last night on earth with His disciples before going to Gethsemane (Luke 22:11-13), and then to Calvary to shed blood for our sins.
Is your foundation of Christmas beginning to crumble? Is Christmas now sounding a bit confused?
For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. (1 Corinthians 14:33)
"For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work." (James 3:16) This verse could just as easily be applied to the Chrismas season, with the envy of presents, and the strife the pressures of the season can cause. The pressures of the season bring people to loneliness, despair, alcohol, debt, and it is also the season of the year that holds the highest record of yearly suicides.
Sometimes our souls do not like being weaned from the doctrines of men, especially when we have believed something for so long. But the truth will set you free, and stear you on the right course.
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32)
We should now ask ourselves two things: If Christmas is not found in the Bible then where did it come from? And if Christmas is not celebrating Jesus' birthday, then whose birthday is it celebrating?
Next ...The Origin Of Christmas
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KJB - ALL SCRIPTURE is given by inspiration of God ...
Message - EVERY PART OF SCRIPTURE is God-breathed ...
c. The Bible is a record of what God thinks and speaks, not of what man thinks and speaks