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Concerning Christmas

"For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you" (1 Corinthians 9:19-23).

For the record, I have not celebrated Halloween or Easter since I rededicated my life to Jesus in 1987. Also, from the beginning of becoming a parent in 1992, I refused to teach my children that there was an Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, or flying reindeer. My reasoning was quite simple, I did not want to convince my children to believe in non-existent supernatural beings that they could not see, when I wanted them to have faith in Jesus without seeing Him. Plus, I did not want to lie to them or give credit to other "entities" for the blessings or gifts that daddy and mommy worked to provide through God's grace.

Of course, I have heard all the stories about Christmas being pagan and even being Nimrod's birthday and other perverted ideas. And though some of that may be the case, I believe that the custom of the evergreen tree in a winter setting with the lights of the aurora borealis and the North Star directly ABOVE the Mountain of God came LONG BEFORE Nimrod's alleged perversion. I believe the custom was an attempt to depict a special place that mankind lost touch with a long time ago (as I share in the sermon series entitled The Mountain of God in the North, Paradise, & Christmas). And besides all of this, there is very clear evidence from the Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls that Jesus Christ was actually born on December 25th.

Calculating the Birth of Jesus

The Gospel of Luke begins with the story of Zachariah and Elizabeth had no children and were beyond the age of that being possible in the natural. Zachariah was priest who belonged to the priestly class of Abia (Luke 1:5). While serving in his course of Abia at the temple, he had the vision of the archangel Gabriel (the same angel who six months later visited Mary). Gabriel told Zechariah that he and his wife would have a son and they were to call him John. This all happened when Zechariah was serving as priest before God in the appointed order of his priestly division” in the temple of Jerusalem (Luke 1,8). This is where the discovery of Professor Talmon from the documents of Qumran becomes very important.

Among the documents of Qumran (also known as the Dead Sea Scrolls) was found the Book of Jubilees. Through this ancient text, scholars were able to decipher the sequence of priestly shifts relating to service in the Temple of Jerusalem. According to 1 Chronicles 24:1-19, King David had ordered the sons of Aaron to be separated into 24 groups that alternated according to an unchanging order. Those groups priests would perform their service for a week twice a year.

So, the order of the priestly classes were already established and known (Iarib, Ideia, Charim, Seorim, Mechia, Miamin, Kos, Abia, Joshua, Senechia, Eliasib, Iakim, Occhoffa, Isbaal, Belga, Emmer, Chezir, Afessi, Fetaia, Ezekil, Iachin, Gamoul, Dalaia, Maasai). In the Book of Jubilees, it was revealed that the shift of Abia (the eighth in the order of classes) corresponded to the last week of September, that is, between the 23rd and 30th of the month. Thus, according to the Book of Jubilees, the announcement of the conception of John the Baptist should have taken place in the last week of September. In fact, in the Byzantine region, this event is said to be exactly between the 23rd and the 25th of September. It is appears that this date comes from a very accurate ancient oral tradition that was confirmed by the discovery of the priestly order in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Once the date of the angel’s announcement to Zachariah has been established as September 23-25, it is easy to calculate the birth of Jesus Christ:

Gabriel’s visit to Mary six months later also bringing the supernatural conception of Jesus by the Holy Spirit on March 25th. Then, the birth of John the Baptist after another three months on June 24th. Culminating in the birth of Jesus Christ after six months later on December 25th (which is exactly nine months from the March 25th visit of Gabriel to Mary).

This is why we have records from early church fathers who celebrated the birthday of Jesus declaring that He was born on December 25th LONG BEFORE the Roman Catholic Church came into existence:

Julius Sextus Africanus lived c. 160-240 A.D. He was born in Jerusalem, highly educated and well-travelled. He completed an elaborate chronology of the creation of the world, based on the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament, up until 221 A.D. In these calculations he concluded that the first day of creation happened March 22 and both Jesus’ annunciation and resurrection happened on March 25. Nine months from Jesus’ conception takes us to December 25.

Theophilus (115–181 A.D.) stated: “We ought to celebrate the birthday of Our Lord on what day soever the 25th of December shall happen.”

Clement of Rome and Ignatius of Antioch. Around 204 A.D., Hippolytus wrote that… “the first advent of our Lord in the flesh, when he was born in Bethlehem, was eight days before the Kalends of January, while Augustus was in his forty-second year.” (Commentary on Daniel 4:23:3). The Kalends was the first day of the month, and eight days before January 1 is December 25.

However, very early on and long before I discovered this amazing history about December 25th being actual birthday of Jesus, I decided that I would not totally boycott Christmas. In my house, we have celebrated "Christmas" without "Santa Claus" for years. We have had trees and lights. I enjoyed giving my children gifts just as the Lord enjoys giving His children gifts. The wise men brought gifts to Jesus when He was very young and Jesus is the Light of the World. Also, in my studies about the mountain of God in the north and Eden most likely being under the North Pole, I now see the Christmas tree image with the star on top differently. I think that imagery is what was passed down to many for thousands of years was a memory from ancient times of the exceeding high mountain of God in the north with the North Star Polaris directly above that mountain and the northern lights swirling around that mountain.

Another facet of my reasoning behind not being anti-Christmas is this: It is the one time a year that many unsaved people in our secular culture hear songs about Jesus, His virgin birth, that He is the Son who is also called the Everlasting Father and the Mighty God, and that He came to save us from our sins. In other words, it is a season where many acknowledge or at least think about Jesus in a positive way and that is a good thing. That is why I decided years ago that I would not fight or protest Christmas even with its obvious complications of Santa Claus and elves mythology.

I know an evangelist who testifies that it was Christmas music on a secular radio station that started his journey to find Jesus as his Savior when he was young. It is also a time that extended family members and friends will come together. For many, it is the only time of year that they will get together with family and friends, so it is a good time to share Jesus with unsaved family and friends. I actually led my mom to the Lord during my Christmas visit in 1987. Had I been protesting and boycotting Christmas, I would not have been visiting those days and would have missed that opportunity (that took several days) to witness to my mom and lead her to salvation.

Christmas Trees Are Not Pagan

I am aware of the Scriptures in Jeremiah about what sounds like a Christmas tree:

"Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people [are] vain: for [one] cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not." (Jeremiah 10:2-4).

This passage deals with two things 1) the signs of heaven or their pagan views of astrology 2) and then jumps to a custom or tradition they had of putting a tree in their house and decorating it. The Bible says the "...custom of the people are vain" concerning cutting a tree and decorating it. The means "emptiness." Basically, it means nothing and thus contributes nothing to our walk with God. That being said, I don't think having a tree will send anyone to hell or open them up to demon possession. In a nutshell, I believe that Christmas and Christmas trees are just a matter of conscience not a matter of salvation. I personally don't see anything wrong with celebrating, giving gifts or talking about the Savior coming into the world during that "pagan" December see 1 Corinthians 8. Nevertheless, if a person feels like they shouldn't, then they shouldn't.

The modern custom of a Christmas tree does not come from any form of paganism. There is no evidence of any pagan religion decorating a special holiday tree for their mid-winter festivals, although the Romans celebrated the winter solstice with a festival called Saturnalia in honor of Saturnus, the god of agriculture. They decorated their houses with greens and lights and exchanged gifts.

Late in the Middle Ages, Germans and Scandinavians placed evergreen trees inside their homes or just outside their doors to show their hope in the forthcoming spring. The first Christmas tree was decorated by Protestant Christians in 16th-century Germany. Our modern Christmas tree evolved from these early German traditions, and the custom most likely came to the United States with Hessian troops during the American Revolution, or with German immigrants to Pennsylvania and Ohio. But again, from my research, I have discovered they were called Paradise Trees and represented the Tree of Life from the Garden of Eden by earlier cultures (which confirms my understanding about the Mountain of God in the North and the location of Eden (both being in the North Pole region of our flat earth).

So, there is nothing in the Bible that either commands or prohibits Christmas trees. It has been falsely claimed by some that Jeremiah 10:1-16 prohibits the cutting down and decorating of trees in the same manner as we do at Christmas. However, even a cursory reading of the text makes it clear that the passage is one in which Jeremiah sets forth the prohibition against idols made of wood, plated with silver and gold, and worshipped. A similar idea appears in Isaiah 44, where Isaiah speaks of the silliness of the idol-worshippers who cut down a tree, burn part of it in the fire to warm themselves, and use the other part to fashion an idol, which they then bow down to. So unless we bow down before our Christmas tree, carve it into an idol, and pray to it, these passages cannot be applied to Christmas trees.

However, during the one thousand year millennial reign of Jesus Christ on earth, the Lord stated that He would beautify His sanctuary with the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box tree, all of which are evergreen trees.

“For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted. The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the FIR TREE, the PINE TREE, and the BOX (tree) together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious. The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 60:12-4).

We also know that King Solomon decorated palm trees INSIDE the holy temple of God with chains around them (which look similar to the decorative ropes on Christmas trees today). This is something Solomon did long before his pagan wives turned him against the Lord.

The Bible states…

“He paneled the main room with cypress, which he overlaid with fine gold and decorated with palm trees and chains.” (2 Chronicles 3:5)


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