by Ruel Thompson and the Congregation of Yahweh

The truth about Christmas (2)


The New Covenant speaks of being separated and holy to Yahweh.
The Scriptures teach separatedness. For example, in Heb 12:14 "...and holiness, without which no man shall see Yahweh." Holiness is sanctity, 'unworldliness.' Not that we should not have joy, the true Feasts of Yahweh are filled with joy, fellowship, meals together and thanksgiving. If you desire to have fellowship, joy, eating together, having fun, then join with thousands of believers all over the world, and keep the Feast of Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, Pentecost and Tabernacles which are periods of rejoicing fully endorsed by Yahweh/God. ( (Leviticus 23, verses 3, 5-6, 10, 15-16, and 34, and Exodus 23:14-16) ) We have much to rejoice about, as Israel celebrates their deliverance from Egypt, we too can join with them in joyous celebration of the victories Yahshua/Jesus has wrought for us. We too have been set free from cruel bondage.
No-one actually knows when Yahshua was born. Many attempt to work it out using the Priestly courses as we are told that Zechariah was 'on duty' when the angel informed him of John's birth, and knowing that Yahshua was 6 months younger than John etc. etc. It's all out there on the web. Some even give the 'supposed' exact date of His birth! However, the Priestly courses were changed at the time of Ezra when the Jews returned to Jerusalem after their exile in Babylon, and we have no evidence of what the new courses were or when they began etc.
I would also like to add that if I wanted you to celebrate the day of my birth, then I would tell you exactly when it was, in order for you to do so. Yahweh has not made it clear to us when Yahshua was born, and with His Feasts He has made definite reference to when and how they should be kept, (Leviticus 23, verses 3, 5-6, 10, 15-16, and 34, and Exodus 23:14-16) so we can safely surmise that He does not actually want us to keep a special day, but to celebrate the birth of His Son every day and any day.
There is so much paganity and made up stories around December 25th. The story has been embellished beyond recognition. For example, when the Magi arrived, Joseph and Mary were no longer in the place where Yahshua was born. They were now residing in a house (Matthew 2:11). Yahshua had been circumcised after 8 days (Luke 2:21) and dedicated at the temple some forty days after his birth (Luke 2:22,24). He was then being called a paidion (Gk.toddler) and no longer a brephos (Gk.infant).
Holiness is about ridding ourselves of fleshly and unrighteous pursuits, especially if there is a chance that these pursuits could be connected in some way to idolatry, and a commitment to following the Commandments of Yahweh and not the traditions of men. Aaron himself attempted to give excuse that the worship of Baal/golden calf at the foot of Sinai was somehow connected to the 'Feast of Yahweh.' Because of the judgement which followed, this opens up a fresh thought about Yahweh/God hating 'mixtures' in our worship and lifestyle.
Exo 32:5 "And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, "To morrow is a Feast to the LORD." When we read the outcome to this idolatry, mixed with worship of Yahweh, we can see how Yahweh hates these mixtures of truth and paganity.
If there is something we really enjoy, it is not an easy thing to give up. However, one day we may stand next to warriors of the faith, who have paid the price, and our lame excuses and lack of dedication and refusal to die to selfish persuits could be embarrassing, if not condemning. Also, you may be thinking... "But Christmas is a time for the family to get together," or "It's a time to show people how you care for them" and I am sure you have lots of other reasons for continuing the practise. It is also a 'cosy' thing to do, so very comforting. But the bottom line is, should we be affirming a festival full of pagan practises if we are believers in Yahshua, which, if we read our Bibles correctly, asks for holiness and a set-apart life? Should we be supporting practices which originated in pagan worship, including the date?

I am extremely concerned about the things which go on during the Christmas period. The over-eating, drinking, debauchery and other unmentionable activities are all carried on in the name of the most holy Person ever to have lived. We ourselves may not engage in any of these activities, and may even attend Church, and use the season as an outreach to the unchurched. But by encouraging the Festival, we may be encouraging those less strong to become involved with these activities, and the Bible is clear on the subject of supporting the weak, and that our behaviour should not tempt those who are 'weaker' in the faith, or who have struggles which we do not have, and may be unaware of. This is all worth thinking and praying about.

A decision to refrain from observing Christmas is fraught with many difficulties, especially relating to family and friends, but following Yahshua and His Word was never promised to be an easy way to live one's life, and countless multitudes before us who have made that sacrifice.

Christmas can include lovely family times, giving and receiving gifts, special meals etc., but it can be (although perhaps not for you) is a season of crime, debauchery, overeating, promiscuity, drinking, etc. It also is a season which causes financial hardship and many people regret becoming involved with activities they perhaps would not indulge in normally, 'just because it's Christmas'. The 'Lord of misrule' (of Roman origin and included in the Saturnalia festivities ) sadly takes hold of men, women and children during this short time of 'acceptable license'. May I encourage you dear friend, pray about this, ask Yahweh/ God what you should do in connection with festival in our day.

If you do decide to place these festivities on the altar of sacrifice and even perhaps obedience, then Yahweh/God Himself will strengthen you to keep yourself apart and pure, show you how to express your concerns and share your convictions with friends and family, and He will begin to lead you on into the Festivals of His choice, documented so clearly in His Word. No, Christmas will not be kept when Yahshua returns, but the Feast of Tabernacles will. Yes, by all people. Zec 14:16 "And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles."
Many sincere people in the Churches manage to 'bring Jesus' into the festival somehow making it 'right'. But is it right?
David Pawson, an eminent Bible teacher once asked Yahweh (God) what He hated most, much to his amazement, the answer he received in his heart, was "Christmas!" Maybe we should humbly ask Him what we should do about the Festival? Would you be willing to give it up if He asked you to?
Many people have voiced their desire to abandon the whole thing but are afraid to. "What would my family think of me?" they think, as they long to be free from the pressures and problems enforced upon them, and dreading having to partake in the office or factory party, even family parties when sadly many fall out. We have been surprised at the response of some of our friends when we have declared our faith in relation to abandoning the practise, comments like "I wish I were brave enough..." and "I hate all the work and preparation just for one day" and "Our family always falls out..." and "...The money, we could use more profitably ..." For many it is a great day to be with family, but for others it presents hardship, loss, regrets and feelings of sadness for one reason or another. Others through history have come to the realisation that perhaps Christmas isn't something believing people should be involved with.
"To Cromwell and his fellow Puritans, singing and related Christmas festivities were not only abhorrent but sinful. ... In 1644, an Act of Parliament effectively banned the festival and in June 1647, the Long Parliament passed an ordinance confirming the abolition of the feast of Christmas." As Abraham of old, and many others mentioned in Biblical text were called out to be separated from worldly pleasures and idolatry. If you decide to do refrain from keeping Christmas, Yahweh will surely give you the strength to do so and He will also give you wisdom to deal with the members of your family who have a problem with your 'opting out'. "What about the children?" you may be asking yourself. There is nothing wrong with buying them special gifts or treating them during the winter months 'just because you love them' - perhaps treats in the January sales? It would be difficult to deprive them of something all their friends are enjoying and perhaps talking to them about at school after the holidays. I will always remember the horror of realising that my parents had lied to me for years about Father Christmas. Do we want our children to lose faith in our words? The same goes for the tooth fairy and the Easter bunny, all are set to erode our childrens' confidence in their parent's words.
May I encourage you to choose this day whom you will serve? Do you remember how Elijah treated the Priests of Baal? He was well aware of what spirit they were of. Are we aware today of what spirit is within our 'traditional christmas'? If so, pray that you will have the strength to do as Elijah did, and not have anything at all to do with it, but to show it up for what it really is.


A fair and balanced
short teaching
on Christmas

on YouTube by
Shirley Bate. Begin the actual
message 1.35 minutes in.

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