Christmas

Is the birth of our Savior really the reason for the season?

A cursory look at the Sacred Scriptures concerning the birth of our Sovereign and Savior Yahushua the Anointed (incorrectly translated as Jesus the Christ) can be very enlightening to you, and I believe that you will be greatly surprised by the disinformation that has been perpetrated on the believers in Yahushua by the Emperor Constantine and the early Catholic Church in the fourth century CE, and then continued by the various Catholic denominations, the Protestant denominations (Daughters of the Roman Catholic Church), and the other so-called "Christian" religions that disagree with the Roman Catholic Church.

Knowing, understanding, and obeying the truth of our Eloah, whose name is Yahuwah (yah-hoo-wah’) really does make a considerable difference, not only for you, but for your children and your children's children. All people are vulnerable to error but children are especially vulnerable to error that is taught them by their parents and other authority figures in their young lives. Most of what they are taught as children will stay with them throughout the rest of their lives. If you teach them the truth now they can avoid the painful experience of unlearning error and then relearning the truth later, as so many of us have had to do.

For instance, the date of the birth of Yahushua is nowhere mentioned in the scripture, but based on internal and external evidence was more than likely what would be on our modern calendar in the autumn of what is called 4 BCE (Doesn't it seem a little strange that Yahushua was born in a year called by most 4 (B)efore (C)hrist?).

The internal evidence of scripture shows that He was most likely, not for certain understand but with a very high probability, born on the first day of the Festival of Tabernacles. There are two ways to arrive at that date.

1. The father of Yahuchanan the Immerser (John the Baptist) was ZekarYahuw (Zacharias). His mother was Eliysheba (Elizabeth), a cousin of Miryam (Mary) the mother of Yahushua. He was a temple official belonging to the eighth course of the temple duties. The following passage describes him, his duties, and when this took place.

    Loukas (Luke) 1:5-17 (RNV) There was in the days of Herodes, the king of Yahudah, a certain temple official named ZekarYahuw of the division of AbiYahuw. His wife was of the daughters of Aharown and her name was Eliysheba. {6}And they were both righteous before Yahuwah, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of Yahuwah blameless. {7}But they had no child because Eliysheba was barren and they were both well advanced in years. {8}So it was, that while he was serving as temple official before Yahuwah in the order of his division {9}according to the custom of the ministership, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of Yahuwah {10}and the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense. {11}Then a messenger of Yahuwah appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. {12}And when ZekarYahuw saw him he was troubled and fear fell upon him. {13}But the messenger said to him, "Do not be afraid, ZekarYahuw, for your prayer is heard and your wife Eliysheba will bear you a son and you shall call his name Yahuchanan. {14}And you will have joy and gladness and many will rejoice at his birth {15}for he will be great in the sight of Yahuwah and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Sacred Spirit, even from his mother's womb. {16}And he will turn many of the sons of Yisra'el to Yahuwah their Eloah. {17}He will also go before Him with the spirit and power of Eli'Yahuw to turn the hearts of the fathers to the sons and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for Yahuwah."

You will see in 1 Chronicles 24:10 that AbiYahuw was the eighth course of the ministership. Thus the service of ZekarYahuw, father of Yahuchanan the Immerser, would be in the tenth week of the year.

All of the courses of the ministership would serve during Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread (the third week of the year, i.e., the third week of the Yahudiyth (Jewish) month of Nisan). Likewise, all of the courses of the ministership would serve during the Festival of Weeks or Pentecost (the ninth week, i.e., the first week of the month of Siwan). Thus the eighth course of the ministership would end up serving on the tenth week of the year. The actual time of the ministration of the course of AbiYahuw was Siwan 12-18.

The story then continues in Loukas 1:23-25:

    Loukas 1:23-25 (RNV) And so it was, as soon as the days of his service were completed, that he departed to his own house. {24} Now after those days his wife Eliysheba conceived and she hid herself five months saying, {25}"Thus Yahuwah has dealt with me, in the days when He looked on me, to take away my reproach among people."

After his service in the temple, ZekarYahuw went home to his wife and Eliysheba conceived a child. If she conceived on the 25th day of the Yahudiyth (Jewish) month of Siwan, this could have placed the birth of Yahuchanan the Immerser at the time of the Passover (Nisan 15), 285 days later.

Yahuchanan the Immerser (John the Baptist) was to come in the spirit and power of EliYahuw. This is significant because the prophets had said that Yahuwah would send EliYahuw before the coming of haMashiach (the Messiah, the Anointed, or the Christ). The Yahudiym (Jews) always looked for EliYahuw to return on the day of Passover.

Continuing in Loukas 1:26-36:

    Loukas 1:26-36 (RNV) Now in the sixth month the messenger Gabriy'el was sent by Yahuwah to a city of Galiyl named Nazareth, {27}to a maiden betrothed to a man whose name was Yowseph, of the house of Dawiyd. The maiden's name, Miryam. {28}And having come in, the messenger said to her, "Rejoice, highly favored! Yahuwah is with you! You are blessed among women!" {29}But when she saw, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. {30}Then the messenger said to her, "Do not be afraid, Miryam, for you have found favor with Yahuwah. {31}And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son and shall call His name YAHUSHUA. {32}He will be great and will be called the Son of the Highest and Yahuwah Eloah will give Him the throne of His father Dawiyd {33}and He will reign over the house of Ya'aqob forever and of His kingdom there will be no end." {34}Then Miryam said to the messenger, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?" {35}And the messenger answered and said to her, "The Sacred Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Highest will overshadow you. Therefore, also, that Sacred One who is to be born will be called the Son of Yahuwah. {36}Now indeed, Eliysheba your relative has also conceived a son in her old age and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren . .

Loukas tells us that Eliysheba was six months pregnant when the messenger Gabriy’el visited Miryam. The beginning of Eliysheba’s sixth month would have been the 25th day of the Yahudiyth month of Kislew, which is the first day of Hanukkah.

Hanukkah (Chanukkah) is known as the "Festival of the Dedication" (Yahuchanan 10:22).

This date is considered by some to be the first day of the dedication of the Tabernacle and of the first and second Temples and the rededication of the second Temple after the Maccabean revolt. Except for the rededication following the Maccabean revolt, it is not completely clear from scripture what role the day of Kislew 25 played in the dedication, but scripture tells us that the foundation of the second Temple was laid on Kislew 24 (Chaggay {Haggai] 2:18). It is, however, clear that Miryam was being dedicated for a purpose of enormous magnitude.

If Miryam did conceive on Kislew 25, Yahushua would have been born on the first day of the Sukkoth (the Festival of Tabernacles), 285 days later.

If Yahuchanan was born on the first day of the Passover feast (Nisan 15), Yahushua would have been born exactly six months later on the 15th day of the month of Tishri. This is the first day of the Festival of Tabernacles. It is a high day, a special shabbath, and a time of great rejoicing.

External evidence can be seen today in Yisra’el and the practices of shepherds during the winter months. The flocks are taken out of the fields and into shelter around the month of October in advance of the very cold weather that is coming. The same thing was practiced in the time of Yahushua so there would have been no "shepherds in the field by night" to see and hear the "heavenly chorus."

December 25th, of our modern calendar, was fixed as the day of the birth of Yahushua by a Bishop of Rome (the pope) early in the fourth century. It was declared as His birthday by either Julius I or Liberius, depending on which authority you believe. This date seems fortuitous for the "church" in that it corresponds to several pagan religious events on the early calendar, as shown below, and during this period there was a frenzy of paganization going on in that church. The choice of this date was actually a very shrewd decision by the pope to correspond to the dates of the pagan festivals so that the pagans would be more inclined to "join" the church.

  • The winter solstice (usually around December 20), which was used as a time of worship by the Druids. They sacrificed animals, and sometimes humans, to ensure that after this shortest day of the solar year, that the new year got off to a good start.

  • The "birthday" of the pagan god Mithras, who was touted as "the savior of mankind" by his adherents. A lot of gift giving, eating, and drinking accompanied the celebration of this pagan god's birthday. By the way, this guy Mithras, or Mithra, was supposed to have been killed, buried, and resurrected for the redemption of "his" people. Quite a convincing counterfeit, I'd say.

  • The worship of other minor pagans god and goddesses. Some of the other gods and goddesses are similar to the ones listed above, and are their counterparts in different societies.

  • The worship of the planet Saturn. This was called the "Saturnalia," and was a real party. They erected and decorated trees, exchanged expensive gifts, etc.

In reference to the last item above, some people would like for there to be a scriptural injunction against the use and decoration of "Christmas trees" and in that effort will quote the following passage of scripture.

    YirmeYahuw (Jeremiah) 10:1-5 (RNV) Hear the word that Yahuwah speaks to you, O house of Yisra'el. {2}Thus says Yahuwah, "Do not learn the way of the heathen. Do not be dismayed at the signs of the sky for the heathen are dismayed at them. {3}For the customs of the peoples are futile! For one cuts a tree from the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. {4}They decorate it with silver and gold. They fasten it with nails and hammers so that it will not topple. {5}They are upright like a palm tree and they cannot speak. They must be carried because they cannot go by themselves. Do not be afraid of them for they cannot do evil nor can they do any good."

Unhappily for those well-meaning but misdirected people, this passage is speaking of using trees as idols and does not directly address "Christmas" trees as such. It does, however, plainly speak against following pagan customs in worship. That should suffice to cause right thinking people to realize that it is not to be done. Decorated trees in what eventually became the "celebration of the Mass of Christ" first appeared in medieval Germany where part of the celebration of the "Feast of Adam and Eve" on December 24th featured a "Paradise Tree" which was an evergreen decorated with apples.

To pagans the evergreen tree was an ancient symbol of life, as it stayed green even during the dead of winter.

The pagan celebrations and rites surrounding these and other early events have been adapted to "Christmas," again by the early Catholic Church, in order to accommodate the pagans who were enticed to "join the church" and call themselves "Christians," or maybe suffer the pain of death. None of them have anything at all to do with our Sovereign and Savior, Yahushua haMashiach (the Anointed or the Christ.)

Preachers and other "clergy" who call themselves "Reverend" (see Psalms 111:9) will most likely tell you that the gift giving tradition of Christmas is from the gifts of the three Wise Men (Magi) to the "infant Jesus" when He was born and while He was still in the manger. This is also the way nativity scenes depict that sacred event. According to the Sacred Scripture, which I am going to believe, in MattithYahuw (Matthew) 2 when the Magi found Yahushua he was no longer a newborn infant but a child of around two years old, based on the time frame given to Herodes by the Magi. Also, He was living in a house with Yowseph (Joseph) and Miryam (Mary) and not in a stable. So, according to the Sacred Scriptures the Magi were not at the birth of Yahushua nor did they see Him in the manger. Also, if what these preachers say is true, all of our gift giving should be to the Yahushua anyway and not to each other, shouldn't it? Who are you going to believe? The preachers, or the Sacred Scripture?

So far as there being three of these Magi (wise men), scripture says only that there were Magi, which is a plural word, who brought gifts. We can say that there was more than one, but not their exact number, regardless of what man's tradition says.

Why do nativity scenes so often show the manger being in a wooden building with a straw roof? The "stable" where Yahushua was born was one of the many grottos, or caves, that abound in the area surrounding Bayith Lechem (Bethlehem) or "House of Bread," and that are still used today as stables or places to put livestock overnight in the winter or on other occasions. By the way, shepherds do not keep their flocks in the fields at night during the cold weather that occurs during the month of December in Yisra’el (Israel). They don't today and they didn't two thousand years ago. The shepherds that were told that Yahushua was born were in the fields at night with their flocks. This is more evidence that He was more than likely born at a more temperate time of year.

You may be told that things of this nature are not important to the worship of Yahuwah, as long as we are sincere in that worship, but that is incorrect. Our Eloah is a spirit and must be worshipped in spirit and in TRUTH (See Yahuchanan 4:23-24). That truth is found in the book we call the Sacred Scripture and not in the mouths of man. If we want to be true and faithful slaves of our Sovereign and Savior, we must learn the truth, teach our children the truth, and obey only His truth.

None of the other rites and beliefs of Christmas can stand up to the light of the gospel either. You can see that for yourself by honestly and prayerfully reading and studying the word of Yahuwah. Just remember, Yahushua never said anything about remembering or celebrating His birth. He did however, tell us to remember His death until He returns, and so we must. He did not mean the pagan holiday Easter when He said that, either. Easter (Ishtar) is the name of another pagan female deity and is not found in the Ibriy (Hebrew), Kasdiy (Chaldean or Aramaic), or Greek in which scripture is written. This is another error that has been accepted as truth.


More pagan holiday articles:
Easter
Halloween
Valentine's Day

C.F. Castleberry
http://www.considerthis.net
buck@considerthis.net