To my Christian Borthers & Sisters who endeavor to celebrate the incarnation of the Word of G-d on earth, blessings an joy for a wonderful celebration. We seek only to challenge believers to remove pagan elements that have entered into certain celebrations & return to faith in G-d and His Messiah.
Origin of Christmas - The Tradition
For today's Believer, Messianic or Christian, Christmas has taken on a traditional meaning, the birth of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Bible. However, most of what we witness on December 25th each year has absolutely nothing to do with that blessed day (probably in late summer or early fall at the feast of Sukkot).
In fact, most of the customs and traditions of Christmas actually pre-date the birth of Yeshua (Jesus), and many of them are deceptive in their meaning and origin.
The Early Church
Christmas was not celebrated, commemorated, or observed, neither by the apostles nor in the early church. It was sufficient for the early Messianic believers that Yeshua, their Lord and Savior, had come in the flesh, the day and the time of His birth had no relevance to them, because Yeshua had returned to heaven. It was the risen, exalted Messiah (Christ) whom they looked to, not to a babe laid in a manger. Yeshua Ha'Mashiach (Jesus the Christ) is no longer the "Christ-child," but the exalted Lord of all.
Hislop, in The Two Babylons, noted the rejection of pagan traditions in the early church:
"...within the Christian Church no such festival as Christmas was ever heard of till the third century, and...not till the fourth century was far advanced did it gain much observance. How, then, did the Romish Church fix on December 25th as Christmas-day? Why, thus: Long before the fourth century, and long before the Christian era itself, a festival was celebrated among the heathen, at that precise time of the year, in honour of the birth of the son of the Babylonian queen of heaven; and it may fairly be presumed that, in order to conciliate the heathen, and to swell the number of nominal adherents of Christianity, the same festival was adopted by the Roman Church, giving it the name of Christ." The Two Babylons, p 93
Vine, in The Collected Writings of W.E. Vine, noted:
"Christianization" of Pagan Customs, Symbols, and Terminology — Christianity had to undergo a transformation so that pagan Rome could "convert" without giving up its old beliefs and rituals. The actual effect was to paganize official Christianity. "'A compound religion had been manufactured, of which ... Christianity furnished the nomenclature, and Paganism the doctrines and rights.' The idolatry of the Roman world, though deposed from its ancient pre-eminence, had by no means been demolished. Instead of this, its pagan nakedness had been covered with the garb of a deformed Christianity" Volume 5. Glasgow, Scotland, 1986, pp.436-439
Where did Christmas Come from?
According to a Roman almanac, the Christian festival of Christmas was celebrated in Rome by AD 336. In the eastern part of the Roman Empire, however, a festival on January 6 commemorated the manifestation of God in both the birth and the baptism of Jesus, except in Jerusalem, where only the birth was celebrated. During the 4th century the celebration of Christ's birth on December 25 was gradually adopted by most Eastern churches. In Jerusalem, opposition to Christmas lasted longer, but it was subsequently accepted. In the Armenian Church, a Christmas on December 25 was never accepted; Christ's birth is celebrated on January 6. After Christmas was established in the East, the baptism of Jesus was celebrated on Epiphany, January 6. In the West, however, Epiphany was the day on which the visit of the Magi to the infant Jesus was celebrated. Encyclopedia Britannica
In pagan Rome, 300 years after the resurrection of our Lord, there was a yearly feast celebrating the Roman god Saturn. This time of celebration was always situated around the December 17th - 23rd time frame, which was also called the Winter Solstice.
The pagan year is a period of days, months and times that revolve around the seasonal changes of the earth (winter, spring, summer and autumn). The Winter Solstice is a day or period of days in the winter when the days are shortest (light) and the nights longest (darkness prevails). This is usually a time in their festivities of drunkenness, revelry and debauchery (perversion).
The Pagan Romans called this celebration "The Feast of Saturnalia," in honor of their god Saturn. Notice how close the name and sound of SATAN and SATURN are. This festival was celebrated the from the 17th to the 23rd of December. It was a time of merrymaking, and on the last two days exchanging "gifts" from house to house in honor of Saturn.
"Saturnalia"—was the name of an ancient Roman festival given in honor of Saturn, the Roman harvest god. The festival began on Dec.17th and lasted for seven days. On the first day, public religious ceremonies honoring Saturn took place. On the second day, many families offered sacrifices of young pigs. The Saturnalia festival was a gay occasion. Schools closed and all public business stopped. Courts of law closed their doors, and no criminals could be punished. Families held their banquets and even slaves were free to attend the festival. The last days of the festival were spent visiting and exchanging presents. Some of the gifts were little clay images called "sigillaria", which means small images (idols) World Book Encyclopedia
Then on the 25th of December, they began the new Celebration of "The birthday of the unconquerable Sun" (Natalis Solis Invicti). The ancient pagans believed that the sun would die during the winter solstice and then rise again from death as the solstice ended and the days of light began to lengthen, with the sun climbing higher in the sky, regaining its dominance. December 25 was also regarded as the birth date of the Persian/Iranian mystery god Mithras, the Sun of Righteousness, the god of light, the Grand Deliverer. The Sun God Mithras was a popular deity in the Old Roman Empire, whose cult penetrated the Roman world in the first century B.C.
"This festival has been commonly believed to have had only an astronomical character, referring simply to the completion of the sun’s yearly course, and the commencement of a new cycle. But there is indubitable evidence that the festival in question had a much higher influence than this--that it commemorated not merely the figurative birthday of the sun in the renewal of its course, but the birth-day of the grand Deliverer...the Sun-God and great mediatorial divinity." Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons or The Papal Worship, Loizeaux Brothers, 1916, pp. 94, 97
Mithra was known as Horus in Egypt, Tammuz in Babylon and various appellations in other ancient mythologies:
"In Egypt, the son of Isis, the Egyptian title for the queen of heaven, was born at this very time, ‘about the time of the winter solstice.’ The very name by which Christmas is popularly known among ourselves - Yule day - proves at once its Pagan and Babylonian origin. ‘Yule’ is the Chaldee name for an ‘infant’ or ‘little child’ and as the 25th of December was called by our Pagan Anglo-Saxon ancestors, ‘Yule-day,’ or the ‘Child’s day,’ and the night which preceded it, ‘Mother-night,’ long before they came into contact with Christianity, that sufficiently proves its real character. Far and wide in the realms of paganism was this birth-day observed." The Two Babylons, pp. 93, 94
"Mother night", which today is called, "Christmas Eve", has nothing to do with Mary, the mother of our Lord, it was observed centuries before Jesus was born. Semiramis (Nimrod's wife) was the inspiration for "Mother night," and "Child's day" was the birthday of her son (Tammuz), the sun-god.
Obviously Satan knew that Jesus would leave heaven and be born of a virgin to become the Saviour, and mediator between God and man, so he created a counterfeit Virgin and child, to confuse the people and take away their worship from God. The counterfeit Virgin was a beautiful witch named Semiramis.
Constantine used religion as a political tool, and started to introduce the Babylonian mystery religions in 313 A.D. which then established a foothold with the holding of the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D.
In 375 A.D., the Church of Rome under Pope Julius I merely announced that the birth date of Christ had been "discovered" to be December 25th, and was accepted as such by the "faithful." The festival of Saturnalia and the birthday of Mithras could now be celebrated as the birthday of Christ, even though the early church fathers, including Origen, stated for the record that it was blasphemous to celebrate this festival. Following the lead of Rome, the Church at Jerusalem commenced the celebration of Christmas, around 440 A.D.
As Messianic believers we should seek G-d's will in all we do. Adonai commanded that we abstain from idols, this includes practicing pagan traditions and calling them "Christian".
Both Christmas and Easter are pagan celebrations and are not the actual days they propose to celebrate. We celebrate the actual days of the birth (Sukkot) and resurrection of Yeshua (First Fruits), which were already G-d ordained Feasts of Israel.
Blessings in Messiah