Plain truth of Christmas (narrated by the editor-click to LISTEN)
Many today are deceived into believing that Christ was born on Dec.25 and is therefore the “reason for the season”. What form of religion brought this late December celebration to us and was Christ ever in it? Why is Christ’s birth date never mentioned in Scripture if it is “Christian” to celebrate it?
People like to claim they need to put “Christ back in Christmas” but before we get into this, let us focus a little bit on the world we are living in today.
Most people realize we are in a time frame, here in the USA and around the world, of increasing liberalism, immorality (Including sexual and homosexual sins), violence and bloodshed. Some people today no doubt have some sort of demon-possession of the mind, when considering the mass shootings, even beheadings and many other ways of hurting and evening killing other human beings, especially children! Much of this however is being attributed to fanatic religious extremism, too many guns and easy access, possibly drugs or insanity; and the real cause of these problems goes unrecognized. Satan & his demons, sin and unrestrained human nature is the cause of all evils in this world! Would Christ and true Christianity ever be a party to the mass deceptions that harm and pervert truth in the minds of children? Of course the Muslim religion does not claim Christ or “Christianity”—but Mohamad—which makes it very clear they worship another god and a different set of beliefs. True Christianity sees Christ as Lord, savior and Head of the Church, which obeys God and the doctrines found in the Bible. (John 10:27) This is also different than what is considered “mainstream or traditional Christianity”, which is actually false and a counterfeit. (for more on this subject, please read the article titled Christianity or “Christianity”.
Far too many, (the majority in fact) in our world (The USA) and in many other countries are so deceived by the “prince of the power of the air” (Eph.2:2) and “the god of this world”, (2Cor.4:3-4) which is none other than Satan the devil, who deceives the whole world! (Rev.12:9) Satan is subtly influencing even the leaders and law makers of our country to “kick” God out of everything. They are unwittingly giving place to Satan the devil by passing laws that support his deviance and perversions, which go against the way of God recorded in the Bible. Anyone who can read can see these right things in the Bible but it takes a willing heart to want to please God and do anything about it on the individual and even religious and organizational levels. The bottom line is, there are various kinds or branches of claimed “Christianity” here in the USA—but there is only one True Christianity! That is contained within one Spiritual organism, which makes up the one body of the now scattered true COG, but it has also now become lukewarm in many areas today, (Rev.3:14-22) and that is becoming very recognizable by the zealous.
It is a sad thing for the people of God, called out Christians in the true COG body today, to see this beloved & once a God-blessed country, now rapidly heading for destruction—but that is exactly what it is doing! This country and its various leaders have had over 80 years of various warnings and the Gospel going out from the COG, first through radio, then TV and now in our time of the last era of Laodicea, also through the internet. This truth is still going across this country and around the world, but it has largely gone unheeded and is not now going out as powerfully as it used to! Herbert W Armstrong and now other true servants of God have in one way or another been crying out these warnings for years and decades! (Isa.58:1) It is a deception and possibly a corruption of the mind to want to blend paganisms that have come down to us today, as though they came through real and true Christianity, but some are ignorantly doing that very thing! That brings us back to our title subject, Plain truth of Christmas.
Pagan celebrations were never Christian!
Let us give this some serious thought; We are now once again approaching the demonic and paganist observance of Halloween as I write, (Oct.2015) with its made-up costumes of witches, ghouls & goblins and demonic characters! So many professed “Christians” are involved in this, along with their children! From this it is off to planning for December, with great anticipation to celebrate Christmas, which very few people really know the truth, about either of these celebrations. The background of Christmas is always masked with falsehoods because they are touted as “Christian” and the celebration of the birth of Christ. I am going to quote below a few of Herbert Armstrong’s written warnings, dealing with the Babylonian paganisms of this society that God hates, dealing with Christmas and false Christianity. These are not Christian celebrations my friends, but counterfeited as such, under the influence of Satan and coming down to us through the Harlot of Rev.17 and the entity that is called the Image of the beast in your Bible! I know that most do not want to hear this truth, because of the darkening of the mind by deception, here in this country and around the world, about the pagan celebration of “Christmas” and other pagan holidays. Even the so called “black Friday” has now been moved back to Thursday evening on Thanksgiving Day in an attempt to “get” more from shoppers as people rush to “get” the early Christmas buying bargains. A lot of “Unchristian” character is displayed during this time (such as fighting in the stores, which you will probably see again this year) and it clearly is more of a “GET” attitude than a spirit of giving. (However some start this as early as right after Halloween, and Halloween has now become highly commercialized, the same as Christmas!)
Most are oblivious to how these celebrations and the satanic ways of “getting” are abominable to God. People have ignored the many warnings about the fact that Christmas does not serve God nor celebrate the true birth date of Jesus—which is truly unknown and is not Biblically sanctioned to celebrate in the first place! So where did the term “Christmas” even come from? The quotes below are from an old booklet titled—The Plain Truth about Christmas—by Herbert Armstrong. (The booklet was first produced in 1952, so these very truths about Christmas and false Christianity have been made available as a witness to the public for over 70 years now, by this and many other pieces of written material, but have also largely been ignored. These quotes are word for word from page 2—emphasis mine on the bolding throughout all these quotes)
“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 by 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."
That last quote above should reveal a lot to people who are truly searching for truth. Remember, Paul says in 2 Thess. 2:3 “Let no one deceive you by any means”; and Christ Himself told His disciples, "Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many.” (Matt 24:4-5—see article “Third Commandment” for more on how this ties into Commandment breaking.) The first celebrations of this pagan holiday were not even in December—but January—and they have never been Christian! “The church” in the quote—if you go back and look—was also not a reference to the early NT Church Christ built, but the counterfeit that rose up later and became known as the Catholic church! This celebration was later moved to December and incorporated into a supposed “Christian” celebration of Christ’s birthday. These dates were fixed by men that were not striving to follow the true teachings of the Bible and Christ Himself. Notice what the booklet brings out about this, continuing on page 3;
“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 A.D. It was not until the fifth century that the Roman Church ordered it to be celebrated as an official Christian festival!
Jesus Not Born December 25th
Jesus was not even born in the winter season! When the Christ-child was born "there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night" (Luke 2:8). This never could 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.”
So it should seem obvious to anyone who really cares to know and looks into these Scriptures and a little bit of history, everything about “Christmas” is of pagan origin and has nothing to do with true Christianity! Christ or the Bible did not sanction it nor did its teaching come from the Disciples of Christ after His crucifixion, as stated in the quotes and various historical writings. It is not in the Bible and was steeped in and came from pagan sun worship of the Babylonian mystery religion, long before Christ was born. Ancient Israel was told not to follow the abominable ways of the other nations, (Deut.18:9) nor were they to adopt the customs and pagan practices of the gentiles, which included celebrations where they used the evergreen and decorated it! (Jer.10:2-4) To God this is abominable, a form of idolatry and violates the Commandments of God! What developed into the USA was brought about by people who had descended from those scattered Israelites who received these commands and this nation is now as guilty of disobedience as they were—perhaps even more so—and if we do not repent as a nation, we will suffer the same fate of destruction as a nation, those who survive going back into captivity! We cannot accept and follow blindly the immorality and false “Christianity” of this world, which was promulgated by the Roman Catholic Church long after Christ and the apostles of the early Church were dead! Here is another quote from the Plain truth about Christmas, dealing with false Christianity and Christmas;
“Thus, during the fourth and fifth centuries, when the pagans of the Roman world were "accepting" the new popular "Christianity" by the 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'll 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!”
A clear distinction between false and true Christianity
False Christianity promotes this false birth for Christ and false worship of “Christmas”, which the word itself really comes from “Christ-mass” originating with Catholicism which in turn brought in these pagan practices of the Babylonian mystery religion and began calling them Christian! It is clear the true servant of the living God, quoted from above (Now resting in the grave) was not afraid to identify and distinguish between false “Christianity” and what the Bible reveals as the true Christian COG and way of life! The true COG should be carrying on this practice even more diligently, as we approach the return of Christ. What about you my friends? Are you seeing the difference and are willing to question these things; follow the true teachings of the Bible in hope of avoiding the soon to come “mark” of the beast and the great tribulation? These pagan traditions and observances are actually a mark or sign of those who do not obey God and have never been a part of true Christianity. It is known Biblically as part of the “mark of the beast” and will catch many off guard in the very near future, including some who claim COG status, without proper course corrections before it is too late. No one can become so lukewarm that they blend true Christianity with the false and hope to go unscathed when the tribulation does begin. (Rev.3:19) These will be vomited out of the body, according to Christ’s own words. (v.16) True Christians today should be able to discern the difference and help others do so, as has been done in the past. False Christianity is a counterfeit and Christ has never been involved with it in any way, nor is He in competition with it today—it did not get its origin in the true Christianity of the Bible, (Acts 11:26) nor from any of the followers of Christ (True COG) coming later in time; in spite of any real clear distinction going unrecognized or discerned by some COG writers today.
I hope when you read (or listen to) this and you give this some thought, you will come to the conclusion that there is no truth in the worldly practices of these pagan holidays. I also hope you do not want the great tribulation to catch you and your children or grandchildren up in it, because of a negligent or lukewarm approach to truth. Nor should you have played any part in being the cause of the deception of others, ignorantly or otherwise unless already repented of such things and put that behind you. The “mark” will again be forced on humanity, as it has been in the past, by the Roman Empire (Rev.13:1-4, beast) and the Roman Catholic Church. (2nd beast, V.11-) You may already be involved in things that have for now cut you off from God and do not know it—such as the celebrating of Christmas, and if so, this you need to repent of. True Christians will come out of and away from this pagan system (Rev.18:4) and will not take the mark of the beast, (The keeping of Christmas plays a part) even if they have to die to keep from it! Those of the true COG must continue to clearly distinguish between true Christianity and the false, (Which some in Laodicea are failing to do) teaching and believing the truth as HWA did and others do today, setting the right example for newcomers to learn from, seeing a clear distinction between good and evil. (Isa. 5:20 & 8:20)
Is eternal life in the first resurrection worth the price of some temporary persecution now, to avoid these pagan holidays and become a true and recognizable Christian? You can, with effort and real repentance, then baptism and laying on of hands by true servants of God to receive the help of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38-39) At this point you have been warned, but the choice is still yours to make, and it must be made! Those of the true COG have already committed themselves to keeping free of these pagan and abominable things God hates and they have learned the difference between false Christianity and true Christianity (The Spiritual organism) that Christ is head of. Isn’t it time for you to learn the difference between truth and error, especially the Christmas holiday of man, then step out on the side of truth and exercise some faith?
(WRITTEN BY THE EDTOR FOR TCOGMSO)